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Evolving steampunk

I look forward to reading the next round of steampunk novels, the ones which will deal with the impending helium shortage.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
lil_shepherd
Aug. 26th, 2010 02:50 am (UTC)
And, in the early 20th Century, the rest of the world used hydrogen for airships because the US considered it a strategic resource and wouldn't sell it. See, the Hindenburg...
steer
Aug. 26th, 2010 05:25 am (UTC)
But it's the second most common element in the universe. Where's it all gone?
del_c
Aug. 26th, 2010 06:31 am (UTC)
Up into the universe.

We're lucky we even have iron on the surface of the earth. If there had been just a little less oxygen in the solar nebula, none of the iron would have got oxidized, and it would all have fallen into the earth's core with the rest of the iron and nickel. Two of the most abundant metals in the universe, and we wouldn't have been able to get our hands on any of it from where we were.

The lesson is, what's abundant in the universe isn't the same as what's abundant on the surface of our planet.
steer
Aug. 26th, 2010 06:44 am (UTC)
*grin* Sorry, was mainly actually joking with that comment -- it was the scaremongering "oh my god where is all the helium" complete with "it's generated in the sun" in that article which tickled me -- as if we could go scoop it out of the sun if we ran short.

Genuinely don't understand your thoughts about iron there though. Why would non oxidized iron end up at the earth's core? It's not that much more dense than the oxides. I thought the causation was the other way round -- we don't get non oxidized iron in the crust because iron oxidizes regularly. You are probably right, I just wonder why.
pfy
Aug. 26th, 2010 10:44 am (UTC)
If somebody finally invents a commercially-viable fusion reactor, I expect we'll soon have more of the stuff than we know what to do with. Scientists of ITER, we are depending on you for the future of all human civilisation and party balloons.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )