November 28th, 2001

zissou

(no subject)

And you cheap bastards thought the space program was ripping you off... Now someone needs to put together that ion drive that they spoke of ever so briefly that would be able to accelerate a space craft at a speed vastly faster than the modified jet engines used currently. It seemed to me that this theory was relatively sound to researchers, but the problem was that they couldn't test it outside of a zero-g environment. Now that there's an international space station, don't we have a perfect testing ground for this ion drive? Maybe I'm just babbling though, maybe they're already working on this as I speak and we just aren't aware of it because there are more important things to worry about. More important, even, than the ability to travel through space cheaply and rapidly, an ability that could be used by any industry, especially by military weapons developers.
zissou

(no subject)

yesterday evening, on my drive home from class, they had an interesting piece on NPR about the rise of De Beers and the diamond industry. the report went into detail about how the De Beers company built the image of the diamond in the late 19th/early 20th century, creating an empire that has made them one of the richest companies ever. Not only did their rigorous ad campaigns create the idea that "Diamonds are a girl's best friend" and that "Diamonds are forever", but they caused the world to consider this worthless comodity (outside of it's industrial uses in complex drilling procedures) to be one of the most highly treasured items in the world. i remember studying the De Beers legacy briefly in economics in high school, but i never realized exactly how manipulative they had been. did you know that they are the only company to have ever commissioned an advertisement from Picasso? that they funded many hollywood films in exchange for the placement of diamonds into the films in an early attempt at "product placement"? have a treasured movie from the age of film noir that mentioned diamonds at some point? it was probably funded by De Beers. people worry constantly about Microsoft and it's possible monopoly over the computer industry, yet they don't mind being victims of the De Beers company when they purchase a diamond ring for a loved one? tsk tsk tsk...