Kinetica museum

UPDATE: 7-10-2007 – The Orbo demonstration failed due to excessive heat from the lighting used to improve visibility.

This British museum of kinetic art sounds like a pretty cool place to check out. I’ve never been there, but just looked at the website. In concept, I like what they say.


Set strikingly against the backdrop of the old Spitalfields Market in London’s East End, Kinetica Museum opened in October 2006.

Kinetica is the UK’s first museum of kinetic art. It will actively encourage the convergence of art and technology, providing an exhibition space in central London where the most important examples of kinetic, technological and electronic art, both past and present, can be properly stored and displayed.

The thing that makes me wonder about the place, though, is that they are the host site for the new unlimited energy (nee perpetual motion) machine Orbo from energy company Steorn. You might remember that I wrote about this last year. So why suspicion of this? Well, if you can’t see the problem based on the description, you might not understand or care what’s wrong with it, but just the description makes me doubt such a claim.

Orbo produces free, clean and constant energy – that is our claim. By free we mean that the energy produced is done so without recourse to external source. By clean we mean that during operation the technology produces no emissions. By constant we mean that with the exception of mechanical failure the technology will continue to operate indefinitely.

The sum of these claims for our Orbo technology is a violation of the principle of conservation of energy, perhaps the most fundamental of scientific principles. The principle of the conservation of energy states that energy can neither be created or destroyed, it can only change form.

Violates the principle of conservation of energy? Color me skeptical of a machine that produces more energy than it consumes.

[tags]Perpetual motion machine, Unlimited clean energy, Orbo, Steorn, Kinetica museum[/tags]

US court determines Presidents and NSA are not subject to US law

Sadly, I just don’t have time to do this story in the manner it deserves.  I’m preparing for a trip, and won’t have time to completely cover this until returning from travel.  But the story is too important to let wait until then.

Overturning a lower court decision that President Bush’s unlawful wiretap authorization after the 9/11 attacks, a U.S. appeals court has ordered the dismissal of a lawsuit against the NSA for wiretapping.  The simple reason is the court stated that since none of the plaintiffs could prove their 4th amendment rights had been violated by the wiretaps.

The appeals court ruled that the plaintiffs didn’t prove they had been affected by the NSA’s Terrorist Surveillance Program, authorized by President Bush in 2002. The program allowed the NSA to monitor communications between U.S. residents and people in other countries with suspected ties to the terrorist group al-Qaeda.

The plaintiffs argued, among other things, that the program violated the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, protecting U.S. citizens against unreasonable search and seizure. But none of the plaintiffs could prove their Fourth Amendment rights had been violated, wrote Appeals Court Judge Alice Batchelder.

“The plaintiffs cannot show they have been or will be subject to surveillance personally,” Batchelder wrote.

Well, here’s the kicker.  Because the program and all information collected is classified, no one can EVER prove their 4th amendment rights have been violated.  Quite literally, the court has ruled that any program initiated by a President and stated to be classified complete protects the government from all legal repercussions.  Think about this carefully before you dismiss it.  That means, for instance, that if Hillary were to win the election next year (please dear ${diety} no, but just suppose) and she determined she needed to eavesdrop on political opposition.  If she were to start doing this and claim it was classified, no one could bring any legal weight against her.

If any President does anything in violation of current law but declares all information about it to be classified, no one can do anything about it if this ruling stands.  This is an insanely dangerous ruling, and it sets America up for very bad executive branch programs in the future.  It’s especially sad to me that the ACLU actually takes on a case that they should, and because they can only speak of the potential damage of the program, it gets thrown out.  All the cases judges let the ACLU run through that they win, and one this important gets dismissed?  Sad.  A pathetic show of judicial ruling.

[tags]US court appears to hate America, Court declares President above the law[/tags]