Friday, March 8, 2013

No, Mike Bara, a tetrahedron is not a 4-sided pyramid

You'd think that, considering the tetrahedral figure is fundamental to the joke which is "hyperdimensional physics," Mike Bara could at least have got that right. But no, it was one of many blunders in the latest Bara errorothon—Dark Matters woo-woo internet radio by Jammerstream. If you hurry you can hear it all, and I hope you have an airsickness bag handy. Here are a few more gems:

James Webb, the first NASA Administrator, was a 33rd degree mason.
- I believe Webb's affiliation is correct1, but he was not the first NASA Administrator. T. Keith Glennan was, and held the post for 885 days, laying strong foundations.

It's been 53 years since the invention of the rocket, and we've made no advance since then.
- The invention date of rocketry is variously reported as  AD 998, 1232, and 1264. The need for a rocket engine to operate in a vacuum, and thus be self-contained with respect to its fuel, means that certain fundamental principles are invariant. However, the ion engine, such as powered the highly successful Dawn mission to Vesta and Ceres, must surely be counted as progress.

All the energy in the universe comes from higher dimensions.
- This will come as a surprise to the worlds of physics and cosmology. However, it's perhaps true that nobody really knows where the energy originates. Certainly Mike Bara is not in possession of any privileged information.

The original occupants of Egypt were Caucasian, not Moslem.
- Caucasian is a racial division, Moslem a religious one. This is therefore a false comparison.

The landing site & time of Apollo 16 were contrived so that the constellation Orion would be at an elevation of 33°.2
- Ha-ha, how funny that he picked Apollo 16 for this nonsense. Of all the Apollo landings, this was by far the most off-nominal. The launch was delayed from 17th March 1972 to 16th April. The landing was very nearly cancelled outright due to a malfunctioning SM engine immediately after CSM-LM separation. The actual landing, nominally at 98:46 MET, did not take place until 104:30, nearly six hours late. I would say it's rather obvious that any sinister Egyptian God-worshipping elements in NASA would have had their plans well and truly shafted, wouldn't you?

Caution: On no account have anything in your mouth when you read this next gem
...actually, you might bust a rib laughing. Don't blame me!

Mike Bara mentioned several times his entirely erroneous idea that spinning a heavy object somehow creates energy, in defiance of some of the best-established principles in all of science. He eventually gave as an example the return trip of the oh-so-nearly-doomed Apollo 13. Maintaining trajectory, he explained, required several mid-course corrections, and that, of course, was because the CM was powered down and the gyros were not spinning as they normally would be. Hence, you see, an important element of the spacecraft's propulsion was absent. Then, perhaps anticipating the objection that the guidance engineers would have known about that and taken it into account, Mike Bara the world-renowned aircraft designer came up with this gob-smacker:

"I think this was something that Von Braun snuck into the rocket equation back in the 1950s without anyone knowing."

Mike -- go to your room.

1. This is funny. I found "confirmation" of this factoid on wikipedia. However, the citation was to Ancient Aliens --The NASA Connection. In other words, none other than Mike Bara, world-famous purveyor of non-facts. The citation was added last May by—a user who is now blacklisted.

2. Chris Lawrence has the Stellarium software that displays a labeled starfield as seen from anywhere at any time. He checked, and in fact the whole of Orion was below the horizon. Sirius was at -33°, which is in fact in line with Hoagland's Table of Coincidence. Mike Bara is just as wrong as ever.


jourget said...

Did he really say it's been 53 years since the invention of the rocket? After he and Hoagland have ranted so much about the launch of Explorer 1, which (if kindergarten subtraction serves me correctly) took place a little over 55 years ago?

I seriously can't believe the Egypt comment, either. What ill-informed raving. No matter what yardstick you go by, since ancient Egypt's existence as an independent state, it was alternately controlled by Zoroastrian Persians, polytheistic Hellenes and polytheistic Romans before Mohammed was even born. At least we can be thankful Mike's writing books that generally preach to the choir, and not teaching anywhere.

astroguy said...

I've downloaded the audio file if anyone needs it after it's been erased.

In other non-news, haven't heard back from Noory about getting me on C2C.

James Concannon said...

How many ways is that Apollo 13 story wrong? I make it four main ways:

1. There were 2 mid-course correx on the way back to Earth, the same number as on the outward trajectory. Nothing unusual at all.

2. What is normally referred to as "the rocket equation" is not Von Braun but Tsiolkovsky.

3. Rocketry had nothing to do with the return trajectory. The last time a propulsion rocket fired was at Trans-Earth injection, close to the Moon.

4. It suggests a whole generation of students of rocketry asking their professors "what's this term in the equation?" and the reply being either "I'm not sure but it seems to work" or "You don't need to know that."

Verily Mike Bara is a laughing stock.

Strahlungs Amt said...

4. It suggests a whole generation of students of rocketry asking their professors "what's this term in the equation?" and the reply being either "I'm not sure but it seems to work" or "You don't need to know that."

If it's the same school of rocketry Mike attended, the answer was more like "You Blithering Idiot! I hear J. Edgar Hoover is looking for a new masseuse. You should apply moron".

Seriously, I have no words to describe the universe-imploding stupidity of that comment.

Chris Lopes said...

Well the rocket equation comment is in line with the Hoagland/Bara idea of science as just arguments from authority. If you honestly think scientists believe what they believe about the universe because that's what they were told to believe, then Von Braun adding something to the equation without anyone asking why is quite plausible. If you understand how real science is done, it's complete nonsense. Bara is Hoagland without the education.

Biological_Unit said...

A Tetrahedron has four Sides - A Pyramid has five.
The Base is a Side!

expat said...

Bio: So you'd call a Giza-type pyramid a 5-sided figure? I would not, and I doubt the Giza tourist guides, with their mangy camels and ever-open hands, would either.

James Concannon said...

Clarifying my 3rd point, it isn't quite true that rocketry had nothing to do with the return trajectory. I was mistakenly thinking that the RCS jets had sufficient thrust for mid-course correction -- in fact, the main engine was fired.

The substantive point is that for almost all the return trajectory, the spacecraft was under the influence of gravity only, and not under rocket power. Obviously, the idea that an Apollo CSM would normally have a power-assist from its gyros is pure horse-feathers.

Anonymous said...

Mike "Hoagy's Monkey" Bara claims: "I think this was something that Von Braun snuck into the rocket equation back in the 1950s without anyone knowing."

This is based mostly on RCH's dramatic story told in Von Braun’s 50-Year-Old Secret 2 although the part about a modified rocket equation is possibly in part 3, which was never released.

What RCH actually suggests is that rotating elements in the crafts, especially gyroscopes causes a need for "mid-course corrections" to hit the moon. Otherwise the conferred inertia on the object would add "free energy" to the system.

It's hard to find equations for this in place somewhere but in RCH's defense, there's Marshall's global experiment, von Braun memories evoked at the NASA site which might have inspired his own theory on secret corrections to orbital equations.


expat said...

I don't know that he ever wrote "especially gyroscopes." The main point is that the upper stages of the Juno rocket were deliberately spun -- at about 1500 rpm as I recall. It is this that imparted Hoagland's fanciful anti-gravity effect.

Why were they spun? Partly for stability, but also because stage 2 was a ring of 11 "Baby Sergeant" military rockets, and Von Braun knew that there would be uncertainty about the precise thrust from each rocket. Spinning avoided the potential problem that overthrust of one rocket would send the whole stack off course.

Uncertainty about the thrust of the solids is, of course, the very thing that accounts for Explorer 1's excess apogee. Hoagland cannot see that because his math is so hopelessly wrong.

The Juno tech report contains all we need to know on this:

expat said...

....and by the way, somewhere in that report is the launch profile, which makes it plain that Stage 2 was not fired off until the stack was already at altitude and traveling horizontally. Gravity was out of the picture.

Biological_Unit said...

The Base of the Pyramid is the largest feature of this object. You mock the Gods with your haughty scripture.

A Cube has Six Sides!

Anonymous said...

Expat "I don't know that he ever wrote "especially gyroscopes."

This I believe was the gist of RCH's article where after mentioning the spinning of upper stages, he still needed additional evidence to explain the problems the USSR was having - in his eyes for the very same reasons. The gyroscopes have less mass but were spinning faster to have a similar effect on inertia. Not, I suppose, influencing "gravity" but more like providing additional boost and therefore causing a probe going off course.

No evidence in sight for calculated mid-flight course corrections or changes in initial vectored thrust. But I'm sure part III of the article will show the references some day...


expat said...

Bio: If he'd said a pyramid with four faces, I wouldn't tease him about it. It's the four sides that's wrog.

John Cooper said...

Crème de la Crème, or the very best of the great Mike Bara.....
I'm SO curious what a Curveball the next Special Guest "NYTBSA" (RCH) is going to throw us ;)

Biological_Unit said...

I think MB is confusing "gyroscopes" with flywheels.

A flywheel is a rotating mechanical device that is used to store rotational energy. Flywheels have a significant moment of inertia and thus resist changes in rotational speed.

expat said...

Not just speed but orientation as well -- in fact, that's exactly why a gyroscope does what it does.

But really -- this whole idea of rotation somehow grabbing energy from a higher dimension, it's so easy to refute. Think about turbo-generators, hydro-electric generators, marine engines, even jet engines. All these things have angular momentum way in excess of a gyroscope (not to mention one of Bruce DePalma's spinning balls). Does Mike Bara think engineers who design, install and operate these things WOULD NOT HAVE NOTICED an unexplained increase of energy?

Trained Observer said...

It has been revealed through the automatic handwriting of a cocktail waitress in Reno that the hidden part of the "rocket equation" was secreted within the calculus through the clever use of disappearing ink made from the very lemon in Von Braun's tea as he scribbled in mystic rune type fashion on a dinner napkin one fateful evening at precisely 19.5 hours GMT. An extensive world-wide search is now being conducted by NASA in an attempt to locate "Von Braun's Lemon." Just call and ask them. They will of course deny it, which is code for a full admission of guilt as we all well know.

FlightSuit said...

"All the energy in the universe comes from higher dimensions."

New Age nonsense. Impossible to test, impossible to falsify, and utterly meaningless.

FlightSuit said...

Bara's statement about the original Egyptians being Caucasian, and not "Moslem," reveals his intense racism on several levels:

1. He seeks to rewrite history in such a way as to deprive non-whites of their accomplishments. Since his model of reality holds that the ancient Egyptians were at the very least in contact with a highly advanced, space faring civilization, and possibly even the descendents of that civilization, then of course he needs for them to be white.

2. Is it even necessary to comment on the fact that his Islamophobia has caused him to accidentally say "Moslem" when he meant to say "Arab"?

I'm giving him a lot of credit in making that assumption, of course, because I'm assuming he's at least aware of the fact that Islam did not come into existence until 500 years after the birth of Christ. So there is now way the ancient Egyptians could have been "Moslems" because "Moslems" did not yet exist.

He does at least know this much, doesn't he?

Anonymous said...

expat: "Think about turbo-generators, hydro-electric generators, marine engines, even jet engines (...) Does Mike Bara think engineers who design, install and operate these things WOULD NOT HAVE NOTICED an unexplained increase of energy?"

It's a good question but not that simple perhaps. We need the example of a fast moving craft using a fast rotating mass, perhaps even a propeller might suffice or a turboprop. Marine ships do not move fast enough perhaps to have this supposed effect noticeable (?). And then ask: is the craft velocity exactly as can be expected looking at momentum, drag and fuel being burned?

RCH suggested engineers just would think the efficiency of the engines or combustion was better than calculated.

Now one would wonder how RCH would have dealt with the Pioneer anomaly (and with other spin-stabilized crafts) which appear to have been slowing down slightly. Not exactly a confirmation unless the hyper-dimensional effect can also work in reverse.

Before lookup up the answer yourself: he wrote about it and suggested the speed of light might have been increasing instead. And yes the rest of the world has settled on thermal recoil force.


expat said...

>>We need the example of a fast moving craft using a fast rotating mass...<<

I should think the eight Pratt & Whitney TF33s on a B52 strato-cruiser would do nicely.

Anonymous said...

Expat: "I should think the eight Pratt & Whitney TF33s on a B52 strato-cruiser would do nicely".

Since the 'Explorer I' had 10-20% "performance gain" thanks to the "new physics" of its gyroscopes we could expect at least 100% gain on a B52? Perhaps we cannot add them like that. You see, we never are given the exact formula to test this spinning magic.

Assuming superalloys do the trick. From which material a military grade gyroscope would be made? Tungsten alloy?

So indeed we're asked to believe all turbine equipped airplanes would perform better than the normal mathematics involving drag, turbulence burn rate and aerodynamics would allow for? It certainly seems hard to disprove entirely since a lot is experience based too and I guess someone is counting on that?


expat said...

Jet engines in development undergo very rigorous static testing so that by the time they actually fly the thrust at various throttle settings is accurately known. I'm not an expert (although I did once make a short film for Rolls Royce Aero Division) but I'm very sure that an unexplained 15% overthrust would be noticed.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe there are more like me who are so violently angry at this rubbish they can't take it anymore. The nonsense. I can just hear Hoagland saying Mike Bara has proven white people, not Moslems, were the original inhabitants of Egypt. How, shouts Richard? Science, Mike found Mayonaise jars at a 19.5 degree torsion field. Anger.