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The Z Machine
March 9, 2006 6:45 PM   Subscribe

The Z Machine
"At first, we were disbelieving," said project leader Chris Deeney. "We repeated the experiment many times to make sure we had a true result." Scientists set record for hottest ever temperature record - 2 billion degrees Kelvin, or 3.6 billion degrees Fahrenheit, at one point the machine produced more energy than was put it. But they're not sure how, possibly fusion. High-res photo, higher-res photo, wikipedia, everything2.
posted by MetaMonkey (78 comments total)

 
at one point the machine produced more energy than was put it

When will these physicists learn that they can't just go and break the laws of thermodynamics whenever they feel like it!
posted by greatgefilte at 6:50 PM on March 9, 2006


In this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics!
posted by Pontius Pilate at 6:52 PM on March 9, 2006


But the question is, is it hot enough to boil a monkey's bum?
posted by greatgefilte at 6:55 PM on March 9, 2006


Crap, sorry for the sloppy wording. The second 'record' is unnecessary and the comma after Fahrenheit should be a full stop.
posted by MetaMonkey at 6:56 PM on March 9, 2006


(MetaMonkey, I think that also should have been "at one point, the machine produced more energy than was put in.")
posted by Pontius Pilate at 6:58 PM on March 9, 2006


What? They know for sure fusion happened, the question was wether or not it was enough fusion to create more output energy then was put in.

Secondly, it's not more matter+energy out then in, it's matter getting converted to energy via E=MC2, resulting in more energy then you started with, and less mass. That's not a violation of the laws of thermodynamics.
posted by delmoi at 6:58 PM on March 9, 2006


Woot. Cheap energy, here we come!

That, or the sudden death of a planet consumed by a expanding white-hot ball of strangelet death!

In either case: Yay!

**Disclaimer: This comment contains absolutely no SCIENCE, only artificially added SCIENCE flavors and colors. Use as directed. Subject to legally binding licensing agreements upon use. Misuse may be prohibited by law in your area. Caveat Emptor, YMMV, IANAL/S/P/E/A/G/X. Stop touching yourself.
posted by loquacious at 6:58 PM on March 9, 2006


Ugh, reading the article: Looks like crap-science writing strikes again.

I think we've had like three of these in the past few weeks. Something happens in the science world, and hair-brained reporters who have no idea what's going on write about it.

Although in this case the scientists do admit they don't know exactly what's going on.
posted by delmoi at 7:01 PM on March 9, 2006


Type 13
posted by melt away at 7:02 PM on March 9, 2006


I got my physics degree at a small school 75 miles south of there. We went there on a field trip of sorts while they were running the Z-machine (among other experiments), and I was one of two people randomly chosen to wear radiation badges. The safety detail assured us we'd get the results of our exposure after they analyzed the badges, but we never did hear a word. To this day, I wonder what they were hiding from us.

Of course, I've also eaten trinitite, so I'm not that worried.
posted by ewagoner at 7:04 PM on March 9, 2006


This is the interesting part,

"Sandia consultant Malcolm Haines theorizes that some unknown energy source is involved, which is providing the machine with an extra jolt of energy just as the plasma ions are beginning to slow down."

So if it isn't not fusion, what the hell is it?
posted by MetaMonkey at 7:06 PM on March 9, 2006


As I said over on Slashdot:
"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka, but rather 'Hmm, that's funny...'"

-- Isaac Asimov
This is potentially a very, very big deal. The temperature is NOT the most important thing... that's the headline for dummies.

The important part: they're getting out more energy than they're putting in, and they don't understand why.
posted by Malor at 7:07 PM on March 9, 2006


Do we have any capable physicists here that can shed some light on this whole thing?
posted by Pontius Pilate at 7:09 PM on March 9, 2006


i'm finding it difficult to believe that a machine that mad and beautiful exists.

Bravo, science!
posted by empath at 7:11 PM on March 9, 2006


The temperature is NOT the most important thing... The important part: they're getting out more energy than they're putting in, and they don't understand why.

Yes, I should have made that more prominent, it was not a well thought out FPP. I get excited by science.
posted by MetaMonkey at 7:12 PM on March 9, 2006


This machine is old. I have a physics text that is about 15 years old, and it has this picture as its cover. /not all that relevant

Apparently, this machine takes a while to tune. Isn't also the machine that might be capable of producing the magnetic field strong enough to test some of that bizarre Heim QM theory?
posted by teece at 7:13 PM on March 9, 2006


Next election, I'm voting "expanding white-hot ball of strangelet death!"
posted by j-urb at 7:17 PM on March 9, 2006


MetaMonkey: Just out of curiosity, why did you link to two postings of the same story.
posted by delmoi at 7:18 PM on March 9, 2006


I would also like to go on the record and say that the Z Machine looks more like something out of a Hollywood mad scientist movie than an actual scientific instrument. If this were Hollywood, destruction of the world would be imminent, but the plucky, stupid hero would save the day in the end.

In reality, I'd just like to know what happened inside the machine.
posted by teece at 7:22 PM on March 9, 2006


That's hot!
posted by Frank Grimes at 7:25 PM on March 9, 2006


Is this the N Machine with the N turned on its side to make a Z?
posted by terrapin at 7:28 PM on March 9, 2006


delmoi, I just noticed. I'm rather tired, I just saw the story and it made my jaw drop. As noted, I do get excited by science, and this is pretty big news. So I skim read the second article and somehow convinced myself it was different. Ought I ask someone to change the post, what with the multiple errors?
posted by MetaMonkey at 7:28 PM on March 9, 2006


Excellent - warrants much further investigation.

And that picture is completely off the chain.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 7:30 PM on March 9, 2006


Also, I just found the press release from Sandia, which may be of some interest.
posted by MetaMonkey at 7:30 PM on March 9, 2006


So, umm, is it just discharging a whole bunch of capacitors?

[Ignoring the potential fusion bit, of course.]
posted by kickingtheground at 7:35 PM on March 9, 2006


truth:truthiness :: science : ??

Scientiness?
posted by swell at 7:38 PM on March 9, 2006


OMG, OMG, OMFG, Me and my pants produce this amount of energy every *night*! OMFG!
Attention, every nation that can afford my several billion dollar fee, myself and my pants will be more than ready and able to produce this amount of energy *and more!* with the stipulation that you are to provide your most young, shapely and nubile women to my para-presidential bedchamber every night!
Kneel before me mortals, for my pants and I have the gift and blessing of omniscient, everlasting energy and Ppppooooowwwweeeeerrrrrrr ! ! ! (cue lightening flashes and deep booming rumbles across a several mile or kilometer radius).
posted by mk1gti at 7:40 PM on March 9, 2006


Is this the N Machine with the N turned on its side to make a Z?

No, its called the Z-machine because it pinches in the Z axis (as opposed to X or Y).

I did a report about it for my highschool chem class, so I'm practically an expert.
posted by delmoi at 7:42 PM on March 9, 2006


Metamonkey: My post here was a copy of my Slashdot post... that poster got the headline bad. Your summary was distinctly better. I was not criticizing you.

I thought about double-blockquoting that to be extra clear it was from Slashdot, but that's such a pain on low-res screens that I didn't want to annoy anyone.

I'm sorry for sounding like I was being critical... I truly wasn't!
posted by Malor at 7:45 PM on March 9, 2006


So, umm, is it just discharging a whole bunch of capacitors?

Yup, it's got some generators and the whole oil/water tank thing, too, though, and the pretty lightning.

And this post is fine, a couple of mistakes.

This is really, really exciting news. Hopefully it pans out. And the way this was reported as "hottest temperature ever" was stupid. I didn't even read those stories when they popped up in my Google alerts. The temperature is incidental -- it's the unexpected and amazingly powerful jolt of energy that is exciting. These guys are trying to get fusion to work, for crying out loud.

Whenever something completely unexpected happens like this, it has the potential to bring about a sea change in our understanding of the universe.

(these guys have been at this since 1980, too. That's pretty amazing. 26 years hammering away at the same problem).
posted by teece at 7:52 PM on March 9, 2006


I'd love to see the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man dropped into that bad f*cker.
posted by roguescout at 7:53 PM on March 9, 2006


Malor, Don't worry I was just being critical of myself. There were many things I could have improved about the post if I'd caught my breath for a moment.
posted by MetaMonkey at 7:54 PM on March 9, 2006


You would totally get super powers if pushed in to the energy field, I mean, just look at it!
posted by Scoo at 7:54 PM on March 9, 2006


I hope that some hardcore house/trance music thumps in the background when the turn that thing on... and they all dance.
posted by thanatogenous at 7:58 PM on March 9, 2006


Secondly, it's not more matter+energy out then in, it's matter getting converted to energy via E=MC2, resulting in more energy then you started with, and less mass. That's not a violation of the laws of thermodynamics.

Yeah, yeah, explain it away with Einstein, sure...

/all kidding aside, this is quite a week for science. First Enceladus, now this.
posted by greatgefilte at 7:59 PM on March 9, 2006


WARNING SELF-LINK: In case anyone is interested, I've gathered a bunch of Z Machine related links on my site, link in profile. I promise this wasn't some kind of masterplan, I just find this really really interesting.
posted by MetaMonkey at 8:02 PM on March 9, 2006


Metamonkey: No biggie, you correctly determined that this could be _extremely_ important. It's a big deal. Worth being excited about. :)
posted by Malor at 8:05 PM on March 9, 2006


I would also like to go on the record and say that the Z Machine looks more like something out of a Hollywood mad scientist movie than an actual scientific instrument

Yeah. It's really a scary amazing beast -- and has the kinds of numbers that make the guys working on LEP and the Tevatron stop and think.

Basically, it's a large series of Marx Generators and capacitors. Anyone who's played with any sort of EHV knows that mixing these two is a fast way to die.

This one takes that to a whole new level. They pump 20 million amps into tiny wires. Working out the math, they're using 144KV to do it with. 20MA*144K=One Serious Shitload of energy going into a very tiny set of wires. Go to your local Home Refurb Superstore, and find the electric cable labled "1 AWG." That's rated to carry around 100A in your house.

Now, take a hair. That's roughly the total size of the target conductors -- there's a couple of orders of magintude of handwave there, but not too much.

That picture is famous -- and righfully so. What you don't know is just how much oil and water is in between the camera and the acutal HV parts -- those arcs are the leakage through several feet of low conductivity water and transformer oil.

It really is sort of mad science. "Just how much power can we get out of this thing? What if we do this. ZAP!. That was cool. How about this. ZAP!! Nice."
posted by eriko at 8:12 PM on March 9, 2006


truth : truthiness :: science : scienticity
posted by wanderingmind at 8:20 PM on March 9, 2006


OMG. That's the coolest pic EVAR.

I have absolutely nothing of value to contribute to this thread, but....OMG. What a cool freakin' picture.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 8:30 PM on March 9, 2006


It pains me to give our Fearless Leader credit for anything, but I recall reading a week or so ago that he had been quoted at public appearance related to energy research and technology as saying that some "startling" developments were in the offing. Here is an article from the Denver Post covering that event.

This makes me wonder if he may have had some heads-up about this Z Machine thingy. At the time I just chalked it up to his standard happy-talk bullshit line.
posted by hwestiii at 8:31 PM on March 9, 2006


Now that's SCIENCE!
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:34 PM on March 9, 2006


Apparently, this machine takes a while to tune. Isn't also the machine that might be capable of producing the magnetic field strong enough to test some of that bizarre Heim QM theory?

Yes. From here:
It may be a long while before we find out if he's right. In its present design, Dröscher and Häuser's experiment requires a magnetic coil several metres in diameter capable of sustaining an enormous current density. Most engineers say that this is not feasible with existing materials and technology, but Roger Lenard, a space propulsion researcher at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico thinks it might just be possible. Sandia runs an X-ray generator known as the Z machine which "could probably generate the necessary field intensities and gradients".

For now, though, Lenard considers the theory too shaky to justify the use of the Z machine. "I would be very interested in getting Sandia interested if we could get a more perspicacious introduction to the mathematics behind the proposed experiment," he says. "Even if the results are negative, that, in my mind, is a successful experiment."

posted by Ryvar at 8:35 PM on March 9, 2006


Driven so furiously in the Machine, and then storming the array, the pulse of electricity - enough juice now to light up America like a birthday cake -


Now, I do think this is cool as hell, but... wtf? If it doesn't have any real application in the near future, what the hell's the point? If, and I'm sure it's an exaggeration, that it takes as much juice to light this thing up as it does for the entire country of America ummm... don't we have bigger things to worry about? (Although, as it was mentioned earlier in this thread, if it somehow COULD, create more energy than it took to power it... then wow....) Still... it must take any awful alot of juice to power... considering today's energy situation, I can't really tell if it makes sense to the layperson...
posted by Debaser626 at 8:46 PM on March 9, 2006


duh... I just reread the quote... it says it creates enough energy to light up america.. not uses it.. my bad...
posted by Debaser626 at 8:47 PM on March 9, 2006


This is very interesting and potentially big, but I am vastly entertained by this excerpt:

Z is housed in a flat-roofed building about the size and shape of an aging high-school gymnasium.

Is "aging high-school gymnasium" Some kind of archittectural constant?
posted by ParisParamus at 8:50 PM on March 9, 2006


Another step...

For a long time I've thought we're basically in a race between the advancement of science and our consumption of easily-produced energy, and running out of same. I'd feel a hell of a lot better about it if we hadn't turned away from nuclear power twenty, thirty years back. We'd have a cushion, and wouldn't be tapping oil nearly so fast.

Think of our civilization's use of energy in a SimCity/SimEarth sort of simulation. You start out with wood, find coal, then oil - then develop on to nuclear fission, then use the fission to bootstrap yourself to fusion - at which point you've won the game. You can jump a level (from wood, for example, to oil or coal to fission) but it takes a hell of a scientific leap to imagine the next level, then comprehend it, then develop it and implement it. And to get to the next level takes X amount of energy/research - but to jump a level takes X2 amount. It's possible to do it from wood to oil, or from coal to nuclear, and even oil to fusion - but it always takes a minimum of X2 to get there.

Oh, not that I think we'd run out for a good while yet, a couple of centuries - there's technologies to use oil shale and oil sands and improving efficiencies - but that's like six months of emergency cash put into a safe-deposit box. You don't tap into it unless you absolutely have to.

Thankfully, we're not at that point yet. We've got a few decades left of oil before we REALLY need fission on line - but it could be we're jumping a level here... or maybe hitting something completely unexpected.

On preview - what Paris said. Especially about the architechural constant. But considering it's too large to fit into a garage, if you're a tinkerer out to change the world you gotta put the thing somewhere...
posted by JB71 at 9:05 PM on March 9, 2006


From the Z machine page:
Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories' Z machine -- the former dark horse among accelerators meant to produce conditions required for nuclear fusion -- have increased the machine's X-ray power output by nearly 10 times in the last two years.

The most recent advance resulted in an output X-ray power of about 290 trillion watts -- for billionths of a second, about 80 times the entire world's output of electricity.
*Lets out respectful whistle*
posted by the duck by the oboe at 9:16 PM on March 9, 2006


Batman has the Z Machine?
posted by misterbrandt at 9:22 PM on March 9, 2006


destruction of the world would be imminent, but the plucky, stupid hero would save the day in the end.

So the US president will shut the experiments down?
posted by rough ashlar at 9:29 PM on March 9, 2006


Is "aging high-school gymnasium" Some kind of archittectural constant?

It's press-release speak trying to tell John Q. Taxpayer that they've prudently spent the money on the machine itself and not a Taj Mahal in which to house it.
posted by trondant at 9:34 PM on March 9, 2006


is it just discharging a whole bunch of capacitors?

yeah. capacitors. flux capacitors.

1.21 jigawatts worth.


(jigga wuhhht?)
posted by Hat Maui at 9:38 PM on March 9, 2006


The light is tearing me apart.
posted by 235w103 at 10:06 PM on March 9, 2006


Don't these scientists realise the danger of what they're doing? They're obviously going to rip a hole in the fabric of space, through which aliens will come.
posted by mokey at 10:36 PM on March 9, 2006


You would totally get super powers if pushed in to the energy field, I mean, just look at it!
posted by Scoo at 7:54 PM PST on March 9 [!]

The light is tearing me apart.
posted by 235w103 at 10:06 PM PST on March 9 [!]


!!

Let's hope no one gets any ideas...

That said, when I read the temp bit I kinda went "huh. That's kinda cool" when I saw what the news really was I got super excited.
posted by kosher_jenny at 10:53 PM on March 9, 2006


I know a Stargate when I see one.

/which is to say, I've seen the movie - I don't watch the tv show, CMON!
posted by iamck at 11:03 PM on March 9, 2006


Debaser, first, you have to realize, this is probably the single most important research going. More than any other single thing, the advance they're striving for will change humanity completely. Fusion power is cheap and clean... the waste products are gamma radiation (which is non-residual.... it doesn't make things radioactive) and helium. So a runaway event could be dangerous for the people on site, but ten minutes later, the plant wouldn't be radioactive. No long-term damage, no dangerous waste to dispose of, no carbon cycle.

Suddenly, instead of being scarce, energy would become abundant. It would take awhile to get the plants built, but once they were running, _everything_ would change. This isn't hyperbole... cheap, nearly unlimited energy would be the biggest transformation since agriculture. With cheap enough energy, feeding, clothing, and housing everyone on the planet would be easy... we'd barely notice it. Space flight, interstellar exploration.... most things that humanity has dreamt about would suddenly be within our grasp. Fusion power is the Holy Grail, and I say that in all seriousness. (hopefully, we'll do better finding it than we've done so far with the Grail :) )

So if they are using mains power, even in the energy shortage, it's well worth it. I doubt they are, however... that machine would probably use hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of energy every time it 'fired'. Sandia does nuclear research anyway, so the sensible solution would be to have an old-fashioned fission reactor on site.
posted by Malor at 11:23 PM on March 9, 2006


This is the part where the subspace energy we've tapped into signals the tyrannical space monsters at the center of our galaxy that it's worth it now for them to come kill us all.
posted by muppetboy at 12:31 AM on March 10, 2006


yeah. capacitors. flux capacitors.

1.21 jigawatts worth.


article seems to suggest 2.9e5 jigawatts, actually :)

acting under the assumption that jigawatt = gigawatt and Christopher Lloyd just didn't know hoto pronounce it.
posted by spiderwire at 1:20 AM on March 10, 2006


I'm sorry, but that thing looks exactly like the room in the beginning of Half-Life that causes all the trouble... A Dr. Freeman on the project?

I'm with loquacious on this one.

Utopia or total annihilation - accept no substitutes.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:16 AM on March 10, 2006


This makes me want to write up a post about Infocom text adventures, just so I can also use the zmachine tag for that.
posted by Cironian at 3:22 AM on March 10, 2006


A little lab background for those who noticed the mention of Sandia's status within the national lab system...

During WWII, first there were Los Alamos and Oak Ridge. Los Alamos did the research and design, Oak Ridge produced nuclear fuel (an enormous feat in itself both in terms of theory and design, and pure titanic-scale industry). Kirtland Air Force base sat alongside the southeast side of Albuquerque, only 70 or so miles from Los Alamos—materials and personnel related to the Manhattan Project moved in and out via Kirtland. Also, being a large Air Force base, Kirtland had some innate engineering capacity.

By the time of the end of the Pacific war, at the end of the 40s and early 50s, two new national laboratories were created. One in Livermore, California, named "Lawrence Livermore" after the physicist Ernest O. Lawrence; and "Sandia" on Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Sandia is watermelon in Spanish; the mountains immediately to the east of Albuquerque are the Sandias, so-named because of their reddish glow at sunset1. Livermore was a second theory and design lab—it exists because Lawrence was one of the few allies of Edward Teller's who wanted to go full-throttle on a thermonuclear fusion bomb—an enthusiasm not shared by most of the brightest and powerful scientists at Los Alamos, and most importantly, Oppenheimer. But Teller had Pentagon allies and political allies, so eventually Teller got his lab.

Sandia is a different story. Sandia is what all that nuclear-related stuff that was necessarily going on and through Kirtland became. By the time of the Trinity test, a considerable amount of engineering and fabricating work was being done at Kirtland. As the national lab system expanded, and as new weapons were designed and needed to be built, an engineering and supporting design center grew. At some point, it made sense to give it lab status in the national laboratory system2.

Sandia's primary mission has always been, and continues to be, more pragmatic, practical, and weapons and engineering oriented than LANL or LLNL. That's not to say that they don't do all sorts of non-weapons related research: they do. But most people don't realize the depth and breadth of the non-weapons related and pure science research that LANL does. Large portions of LANL feel like an academic environment; so too does LLNL. Generally speaking, Sandia is the nitty-gritty of the labs (if we see Oak Ridge as being somewhat unique).

There's a couple of things that have resulted from the quirks of the history of Sandia. The first is that Sandia is more "martial" and down-to-Earth than LLNL or LANL, and I think it's safe to say that in terms of politics, while LANL could hardly be said to be predominantly liberal, it nevertheless has a liberal academic influence that it couldn't avoid. Sandia doesn't.

Civilians can get into and around much of LANL with various authorization and escorts. Not so Sandia. If you want to see where daddy works, you get exactly one day a year to do so. And that's only for family and only after you've been approved in advance.

Part of these differences are probably merely accidents of site design and construction. LANL has one central contiguous area, and a large number of outlying areas scattered in the mountains around Los Alamos and down in the canyons below it. In contrast, Sandia is and always has been essentially entirely enclosed by the Air Force Base.

The second result of its particular history, is that Sandia has always had, and continues to have, an inferiority complex. Producing these results with the Z machine, then, can be seen as a vindication of fusion and similar research at Sandia along with its general intellectual prowess.

Several members of my family have worked at Sandia, including my grandmother after the war, and my aunt for 40 years until last year.

1. Incidentally, all three of these nearby mountain ranges have names reflecting their beautiful and stunning appearance at sunset: The Manzanos, manzano is apple in Spanish, further south of Albuquerque; and the Sangre de Chisto mountains, Blood of Christ, which sit directly east of Santa Fe.

2. I'm writing this off the top of my head and I don't doubt that there's more to Sandia's genesis than I've presented and quite possibly I'm in error on one or two points. But it's the general idea that's important.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:32 AM on March 10, 2006


I'm liking the old school EB info-dumps again. Thanks for that.
posted by longbaugh at 3:48 AM on March 10, 2006


Why is it whenever new energy technology is mentioned, the utopian idea of cheap energy follows shortly thereafter? Looking at the energy monopolies that exist today, it seems to me that Somebody Big would lock it up and use it as a club to squeeze profits from everyone else in the world.

More customers, sure. CHEAP energy... not so much.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 4:31 AM on March 10, 2006


Even if someone big didn't lock it up, whatever new limits we set will be quickly run up against.
posted by sonofsamiam at 4:58 AM on March 10, 2006


acting under the assumption that jigawatt = gigawatt and Christopher Lloyd just didn't know hoto pronounce it.

In most dictionaries, the soft g is listed first. "Jig-a" and "gig-a" are both valid.

Of course, when dealing with the Z machine, the proper pronuciation is "Tera".
posted by eriko at 5:20 AM on March 10, 2006


For some of us, there will only ever be one Z Machine.
posted by jscott at 5:37 AM on March 10, 2006


With cheap enough energy, feeding, clothing, and housing everyone on the planet would be easy... we'd barely notice it.

While being optimistic is all nice, shiney and good.....

Fusion within the earth's atmospheric envelope on any kind of big scale WILL result in trapped heat. Global warming via a different method.

Use it in space to mine/refine/transport materials. Use it to leave this solar system. But use within the heat-trapping blanket of atmosphere without mindfullness of the trapped heat, and you are asking for more trouble.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:15 AM on March 10, 2006


Yeah, but rough ashlar, with limitless and free energy, we can just keep the airconditioning on all the time.

Seriously though, that's a good point to bring up. For every possible benefit fusion power would bring there has to be new, as of yet undiscovered/realised, downsides. I just like to think that the good would outweigh the bad.
posted by slimepuppy at 6:45 AM on March 10, 2006


**Disclaimer: This comment contains absolutely no SCIENCE, only artificially added SCIENCE flavors and colors. Use as directed. Subject to legally binding licensing agreements upon use. Misuse may be prohibited by law in your area. Caveat Emptor, YMMV, IANAL/S/P/E/A/G/X. Stop touching yourself.

Best. Disclaimer. Ever.
posted by ereshkigal45 at 9:01 AM on March 10, 2006


The Z-Machine melts faces.
posted by davejay at 11:00 AM on March 10, 2006


My ears are burning... FROM SCIENCE!
posted by gigawhat? at 11:19 AM on March 10, 2006


I just don't know what to do with all of this SCIENCE!

SCIENNCEEEEEEEE
posted by 235w103 at 3:20 PM on March 10, 2006


a fusion-powered facist state is still a facist state. Creating a new source of energy like this would still take heavy industry, and specialized, central labs. It would be very foolish to think that a fantastic 'cheap energy' technology would instantly create a more peaceful world.

more low-tech and easily distributable techologies seem to be the ones that would be more likely to create a more democratic world.

World hunger, for instance, is a political problem--a problem of distribution, not a problem of technological nature; even though technological problems arise in attempting to solve it.
posted by eustatic at 8:26 PM on March 10, 2006


As a Z Machine, you will melt faces in PvP.
posted by majick at 9:39 PM on March 10, 2006


majick: As a Z Machine, you will melt faces in PvP.

You know, that's the first thing I thought of, too. I really need to get out more.

eriko, I appreciate the effort, but I'll still laugh at you if you tell me that your hard drive hold two hundred jiggabytes.

also, *how to.
posted by spiderwire at 11:25 PM on March 11, 2006


and, *holds.

i suck.

posted by spiderwire at 11:27 PM on March 11, 2006


"Don't cross the streams."

"Why?"

"It would be bad."

"I'm fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean, 'bad?'"

"Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light."

"--Total protonic reversal."

"Right. That's bad. OK. All right. Important safety tip."

comment trifecta! sorry. world of warcraft *and* ghostbusters! i rule.
posted by spiderwire at 11:31 PM on March 11, 2006


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