Look to lesbians for fusion solution
The fusion reactor is something of a Holy Grail among physicists, as it promises to provide a virtually unlimited, safe source of energy. Fusion, which powers the sun, involves slamming isotopes of hydrogen atoms together at very high temperature and pressure in plasma.
The fuel, hydrogen atoms, is plentiful as it can be extracted from water. Fusion is safe. A fusion reactor produces 100,000 times less radioactivity than a fission reactor. Furthermore, a fusion reactor can't melt down and doesn't create air pollution or contribute to global warming. However, scientists have been stymied in their efforts to keep fusion reactions going much longer than in several-second pulses. The primary problem appears to be turbulence, which swiftly cools down the multimillion-degree reactor plasma and stops the fusion process.
I would suggest that the physicists and engineers working on this challenge are thinking too hard. Sleep on the problem. It's worked before. The 19th-century German chemist, Friedrich Kekule, discovered the molecular structure of benzene through a dream in which a snake had its tail in its mouth, forming a circle. He interpreted the dream to mean that the structure of benzene was a closed carbon ring.
We should explore metaphors, not hard reality. Less physics, more metaphysics. Journey into the collective unconscious, into the world of mythology and gods and goddesses. I have taken that journey myself. It began several years ago with Saddam Hussein and ended with lesbians and Homer Simpson.
I was always the student in class who vigorously waved his hand when he thought he knew the answer. I had a similar feeling in January 1991 when the US began its war against Saddam Hussein. I had this idea about something Saddam might do during the Gulf War. I called the Pentagon, which referred me to Army Intelligence in Fort Meade, Maryland.
I told a soldier my idea over the phone. Two days later I got a call from an Army Intelligence officer who said he wanted to interview me. He came to my workplace, which was in Napa, California at the time. He said my idea sounded like the sort of thing Saddam would do and asked me if I had gotten it from classified material. I said no.
The idea seemed simple: Hussein had constructed a crude nuclear reactor in Kuwait and was prepared to melt it down if forced to retreat. The resulting radiation would contaminate the oil fields in Kuwait and cause illness and death among soldiers invading the country.
Sex bomb Why hadn't someone thought of this before? I decided this mental block was caused by sexism. We are used to thinking of weapons in "male" terms: weapons that explode or penetrate. A nuclear bomb has "male" characteristics: It is a miniature sun; the sun is usually represented in mythology as a male god. Furthermore, the nuclear bomb explodes quickly like a male orgasm and is usually delivered in a phallic-shaped missile or bomb.
The male sexuality of the bomb was further emphasized by the introduction of the modern bikini at a Paris fashion show on July 25, 1946. The skimpy, female two-piece outfit was named after the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, the site of nuclear weapon tests a few days earlier. Both the atoll and the woman wearing the swimsuit were "targets" for the male "bomb."
A nuclear reactor, on the other hand, has "female" characteristics: It provides a long continuous release of energy, like the female orgasm. Instead of killing by penetration (like a bullet) or by explosion, the reactor in a meltdown kills by radiation poisoning. Poison is the traditional weapon of the female. Note the double standard. Male weapons that kill by penetration or explosion are deemed acceptable in war; female weapons that kill by poisoning, such as germ or chemical warfare, are considered abhorrent.
The sexual dichotomy is also expressed in light and darkness. The "male" nuclear bomb produces a white-hot explosion; the black graphite of the "female" Chernobyl reactor suggests the darkness inside the womb. A nuclear reactor in a power plant could also be compared to a woman stuck in a kitchen, forced to cook all her life.
I would suggest, then, that a fission bomb (the A-bomb) represents a male form of nuclear energy. A fission reactor represents the female form. What are we to make, then, of a fusion bomb (the H-bomb) and a fusion reactor? I would suggest that these are the "gay" and "lesbian" forms of nuclear power.
Let us see if the metaphors fit. The hydrogen bomb, a thermonuclear device, is a union of male and male: A male atomic bomb triggers an even greater male explosion, a kind of nuclear sodomy. The H-bomb consists of a phallic-like cylinder with an "anal" sleeve. Ignition of the fission ball excites the cylinder elements: A membrane of U238 arouses the tissue of lithium deuteride, forcing the eruption of U235 or plutonium inside a urethra-like tube.
Two donuts That leaves the fusion reactor as the one incomplete part of the nuclear equation. Current fusion experiments use a chamber in the form of a torus or donut. The donut is a classic "female" geometric shape as it is all curves and no straight lines. However, as a donut represents only one female, one may conclude that a successful "lesbian" reactor must incorporate two donuts, perhaps one on top of another. Ellen DeGeneres can energize us.
However, a further study of lesbian relationships suggests that a double torus may not be sufficient to sustain a nuclear fusion reaction.
In the 1980s psychologists observed that over time, sexual activity, particularly genital contact, among many lesbian couples would decline and even become non-existent, a phenomenon dubbed “lesbian bed death.” One theory held that “fusion” between lesbians resulted in an emotional connection that resembled incest and thus inhibited sexual expression. Another explanation was that absent a “male force,” women revert to a passive sexuality.
In the last several years many lesbians have compensated for this deficit by incorporating more maleness into their culture and relationships. New trends include “trannie boys,” who take male hormones and have double mastectomies but keep their female genitalia, and “Bois,” lesbians who dress and act like men, including wearing a dildo under their pants.
Thus, to sustain a continuous flow of energy, a fusion reactor must also incorporate a male force, perhaps a phallic instrument that skewers the double torus, like a churro piercing two donuts.
A dream I had suggests that my concepts may lead to success. In the dream, I have decided I must obtain a patent on my idea. As I begin to draw an illustration of a double torus, a corporation offers me a million dollars for my concept, although I know the idea is worth a billion dollars.
Next, I am in a tunnel that is part of a fusion experiment. A strong wind blows through the tunnel. Scientists are excited by the wind; they believe it means the experiment is a success. Scientists then find a dinner plate-size metal disk that has the name of a scientist, "Antichrist," engraved on it. However, the word is spelled slightly differently, as if it was in a foreign language. Again, the scientists are enthusiastic, believing the word "Antichrist" to be a sign of success.
Finally, in the dream, I see a complicated equation. I don't remember the formula, but I believe the letter "e" is repeated several times.
The part about the money seems easy enough to interpret: The dream reflects my fear that my ideas will never be fully valued. The tunnel in the dream may represent a passage from the physical world to the spiritual realm. Perhaps the wind is the "breath" of a spirit making its presence known.
The word "Antichrist" may express duality. If Christ represents the spiritual world, the Antichrist represents the physical world. Thus, "Antichrist" is a material equivalent (fusion reactor) of a spiritual or symbolic idea (sexual metaphor). That "Antichrist" is in a foreign language could mean that the scientists are dealing with ideas that are "foreign" to them. The name may also identify me as the Antichrist.
Mandala The disk on which the word "Antichrist" is discovered is suggestive of a mandala, the "magic circle" representing balance and order in the dreamer's inner being, according to psychologist Carl Jung. The mysterious equation at the conclusion of the dream may represent my own efforts and frustrations in trying to decipher the secrets of creation. While the e in the equation may have some symbolic meaning, the letter e is also used in physics and mathematics. In some studies, -e denotes an electron, while e+ represents a positron.
I am not the only person who dreams of a fusion reactor. Let us visit the nuclear power plant in the town of Springfield, where safety inspector Homer Simpson sits at a control panel. He begins to daydream, not realizing that his subconscious is pointing to the creation of a fusion reactor . . . "Mmmm donuts" (or now, “Mmmm lesbians”).
Images Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory; churros, Dominik, Creative Commons