My return has taken much longer than I expected since I announced my sabbatical. Since then, one of my processors crashed, and I lost all of my blog backups and a whole series of drafts. It was a major loss, since I had been working on some posts that took several months to put together. One was an atheist hymnal that included well over 100 entries – everything from old favorites like Plastic Jesus to hard rock anthems. A couple were close to being ready to publish, including Sitzpinkel and God’s opinion, little-known facts about the Hamilton-Burr duel, and a piece about “clean” coal and “safe” nuclear power.
The last one covered quite a bit, like the politics of both, what it takes to sequester heavy metals, organic toxins, sulfur and nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide, and sludge created from sequestration. It also compared significant differences between natural gas and coal-fired power.
On nuclear power, the surprising point is that power can be generated safely, but that politics won’t allow it. Nearly all current nuclear reactors are inherently unstable, create extremely long-lasting radioactive waste, and are very inefficient. The post compared differences between naval and commercial light-water reactors and the refueling processes. It talked about various types of reactors and their problems. Then came the interesting part – the marriage of molten-salt reactors (inherently safe – they have an unstoppable, tamperproof unpowered automatic shutdown to prevent overheating or meltdown, and they’re relatively efficient) and thorium fueling (as opposed to enriched uranium, plutonium, or other possible fissile materials), which produces much lower-level radioactive waste and creates a self-limiting Th-232/U-233 fission cycle. In addition, thorium can’t be used for nuclear weapons.
Interestingly, both processes were developed by Alvin Weinberg and Eugene Wigner (and they also developed light-water reactors). President Nixon fired Weinberg from his position as the director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory for insisting on safe reactors, because in Nixon’s scientific wisdom, what the world really needed was lots of fast-breeder reactors to give the world a never-ending supply of plutonium – just what the world needs more of. (The fast-breeder was cooled by liquid sodium, by the way, if there are any chemists in the crowd.)
There were a couple draft posts with photos about my trips through southern Colorado, Southeast Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. Although I still have the photos, everything else is lost.
I also lost other drafts in various stages of completion. The first temptation is to blame this mischief on God for punishing me for my ceaseless atheistic propaganda. However, we know that Yahweh, El/Ashera, and Allah are impotent (except with virgins), and they require self-righteous earthly surrogates to wreak mayhem, vengeance, and retribution, and to raise money for their greater glory. That leaves very few godly candidates with true power for cratering my processor. I’d have to nominate Mammon, Loki, or maybe Kokopelli as being the gods who have real power. Although I know all gods are imaginary, I’m quite sure Kokopelli was responsible.
To top it off, after getting back to my PC, I started looking for a new backup server and tried to download a PDF file describing one of the products. Instead, I got requests to allow soderi.com to finish installation. Eventually the requests stopped interrupting everything, and I found that five new products had installed themselves including soderi. Of the five, Norton Antivirus only caught soderi. I made the mistake of using the Windows uninstall to get rid of them, but when it came to the searchfunmoods trojan horse, the uninstall looked like it worked, but it had merely metastasized. It took some major tinkering to get rid of all the new files and registry entries. Having learned my lesson, I used Revo to uninstall the last uninvited guest. Kokopelli was definitely working overtime.
In addition, one of my former favorite blogs (Pharyngula) decided to ban me from commenting not only on that blog, but every blog on Freethought Blogs (FtB). Normally, to be sent to the Dungeon, PZ Myers has to make that decision after some especially obnoxious comments, like being nasty to other commenters or to PZ himself, being disgusting, annoying, obsessive, petty, violent, threatening, trolling, insulting Scandinavian descendants or squids, defending or promoting kittens – well you get the idea. The dungeon supposedly has 3 levels, and PZ supposedly either warns you or if you’re banned (as I was), he spells out why. He gave no warning or explanation, and I was none of the above, although there were other commenters who were being particularly obnoxious.
After all, I’m just an NRA/God-fearing American soul, and the only reason I think people should have guns is to prevent big government from trampling our basic God-given rights when cities try to pass NRA-sponsored ordinances forcing everyone to own a gun. (No, I didn’t really say that, but I’m seriously wondering why PZ banished me to the nether regions of existence without even saying “boo”.) I don’t mind so much that he doesn’t want to be contaminated by my comments, but he also cut me off from everyone else on FtB, which is a little on the extreme side. My Favorite Blogs list has needed updating for awhile, so this is the perfect opportunity.
Lastly, when I started this blog, it was for my own amusement. It was an outlet for writing anything that didn’t belong with the other writing I was busy with. I am glad to have several subscribers and for their persistence in following my blog, but the current turn of events makes it difficult to continue with material that I’m satisfied with. Trying to recreate my lost drafts is much more trouble than it’s worth. For the foreseeable future I really will be the Infrequent Atheist – at least until I have some uncontrollable inspiration. I hope that’s soon. See you then.