Making Your Civilian Drone Stealthier

This article is written for drone users that use their drones to film wildlife. Many species of wildlife have far better hearing and sight than humans so a stealthier drone is necessary to film them effectively. The main stealth capability of military drones is their ability to circumvent radar. Visibility and noise are not that important because military drones operate too high up to be seen or heard. Wildlife do not have radar. Civilian drones operate at dramatically lower heights than military drones and can be both seen and hear at these lower heights. This article will focus on how to decrease visibility and noise. Civilian drones are generally quadcopters and this article focuses on quadcopters but a most of the advice would apply to any civilian drone.

1) Visibility – Paint Job

Most drones that advertise as stealth drones are quadcopters that have bodies and propellers made of black plastic. Black is a great color if you are going to use your drone at night but then you need to deal with the limited visibility of your target. The wildlife you want to film might also be asleep at night and not worth observing. Research in aircraft camouflage studies done during WW II found that “sea grey” was the best color for daytime camouflage. Paint your drone sea grey! The night camouflage studies found that matte black is marginally less visible at night than glossy black.

2) Visibility – Transparent Body

A paint job is a five dollar and two-hour solution to the problem of visibility but not the best solution since a paint job that works for the day does not work for the night and vice versa. The advantage of a transparent drone is that the drone will be less visible in both the day and the night. At least that’s what Wonder Woman thought when she rode her invisible plane.

The Hiro Action Sports Airframe is super tough and more important for the subject of this article is transparent! The picture below shows a Hiro Action drone with black wires and a black engine.

Great for the night but not so great for the day. For the day time one could use wires that are as close to sea grey as possible. Painting the engine sea grey is a possibility for a stealthy day drone. Also, transparent quadcopter propellers are available online.

3) Noise Suppression

Off the shelf quadcopter engines and propellers are noisy! Stealth capability is severely compromised because of noise. Visibility issues can be dramatically resolved through relatively cheap, straightforward and easy solutions. There are no easy answers to the problem of noise suppression. I am not going to pretend to be an expert on this very technical subject and instead will refer the reader to several excellent articles on the subject listed below.

Award for Drone Noise Reduction Technology

How to reduce propeller sound of drone – Quora

This Bladeless Drones Eliminates Buzzing Noise!

Advertisements

The Purple Werefox Philosophizes

Find out about the powers and history of the werefoxes today!

 

Genealogical DNA Test of Hugh Fox III

 

The following is an attempt to explain my 23andMe profile. My genetic heritage is 74% European. The 35% Northwestern European is probably from my father’s side. My paternal grandfather’s father and mother came to the US from Ireland. My paternal grandmother’s father and mother came to the US from Czechoslovakia so that probably explains the 29.9% Southern European. My mother’s ancestry includes Spanish, Italian and even Hungarian. That probably explains the bits and pieces that are from all over Europe. However, my mother’s family has always insisted there is some “Huanco” blood i.e. Native Americans from the area of Huanco in Peru. The story goes that one of my Peruvian Spanish ancestors married a Native American to get her land as was allowed then under Spanish law unlike English law. The Huanco story would explain the 20.4% that is Native American. 2.9% of my ancestry is unassigned.

I frankly hope that I have alien DNA as in aliens from other planets! Pre-Columbian Peru is after all the most prominent site of ancient astronauts. That would explain my Hyperkinesic Perception (HKP). LOL! I occasionally have interesting dreams and am pretty good at figuring out body language but I wouldn’t go so far as to say I have a superpower!

In general, I support research that would look for correlations between unassigned DNA and cognitions that manifest themselves observationally as psychic powers. In my article, A Survey of Psychic Powers Found in Fiction and History, I found precognition is the most common psychic power in history. I posit that precognition is an ability to process huge amounts of information and then create output in the form of dreams and/or visions.   I have come to the conclusion there are no psychic powers as such but rather some human beings have cognitions that mimic psychic powers. However, I am sad to say that I suspect unassigned DNA is not caused by extraterrestrials but due to more mundane factors.

BBC has an interesting discussion that alien unassigned DNA is due to gene-swapping with other terrestrial species as the donors. Crisp et al, have found 145 alien genes in the human genome! Crisp et al also state that most gene-swapping is due to bacteria and protists. As far as I know no one has speculated what macro factors would affect gene-swapping.

I have a pet theory of my own. Warmer climates cause an increase in insect populations and the spread of diseases via insects. Warm water has more bacteria than freezing water. Drinking from a running river in Norway in the winter is probably a safe bet. Drinking water from a running river in the tropics is one way to lose a lot of weight quickly! If a population is exposed  to more bacteria via various mechanisms then perhaps there will be more gene swapping than in a population exposed to less bacteria. Warmer climate indirectly causes more gene swapping. In particular, could a hot climate in the Amazon cause more gene-swapping among the inhabitants over thousands of years than elsewhere? Huanco is not that far from the Peruvian Amazon.

Furthermore, shamanic practices, such as those practiced in the Peruvian Amazon, may have thrived because there were more persons that were predisposed to have the cognitions a shaman needs to be successful. Perhaps there is more alien DNA among Africans not due to sampling but because of more gene swapping due to the tropical climate of Africa? I have never been to Africa but have had friends that have traveled there and feel there is almost a psychic connection to the land and people. You don’t really hear this sort of thing when people discuss let us say Finland.

On a personal, note I am very intuitive and one thing an intuitive person can do is sense who is and who is not intuitive. I have been all over the world and from first-hand experience I don’t think so called “intuition”, which is the poor cousin of psychic powers, is equal among all human groups. Some human groups seem to better at the intuition game than others regardless of causation. Overall, is there any relationship between DNA due to terrestrial gene-swapping and cognition outliers?

I admit this is all wild speculation!

 

 

Red Werefox Goes to Show DC

The Red Werefox decided to meet his buddies at Show DC in Bangkok!

 

Video Essay – Fellini and Sorrentino, two directors portraying Rome

Bicultural Identity in Star Trek Characters

 

Introduction

My mother was born in Lima, Peru and later became a US citizen. My father was a third generation American. I self-identify as a Peruvian American. I consider myself bicultural. I had spent 4th and 5th grade in Venezuelan schools were even the English teachers didn’t know English. I was aware by this time that the fact that I could speak, read and write Spanish and knew who Simon Bolivar was what made me different from my peers in the US. I ironically watched my first episode of Star Trek after returning from Venezuela to the United States when I was ten on my first night in the US. I felt an instant kinship towards Spock but at ten could not intellectualize that we had a bicultural identity as a commonality. I have lived in ten countries for a period 26 years. I have taught course work on cross-cultural communication. I think my bilingual/bicultural heritage is a key factor in explaining why I thrive in international situations. This article will explore the permutations of bicultural identity in Star Trek characters.

1) Spock

 

Spock has a human mother and a Vulcan father, Sarek. The biological impossibility of two species from different planets having offspring via normal coitus is not explored in Star Trek TOS but is explained in the novel Spock’s World. Spock is product of Vulcan genetic engineering. Vulcans deal with emotion through extreme repression. There is a suggestion that emotion for a Vulcan is like alcohol for an alcoholic. Vulcans cannot handle a little emotion. A little emotion opens the flood gates and Vulcans are soon out of control. So extreme repression may make sense for Vulcans. The problem is that Spock is only half Vulcan and thus appears to have emotional needs that are at odds with his desire to be logical. Anyone watching the series and movies realizes that Spock is NOT logical but is trying to be logical and watching him struggle with his inner demons is interesting because the actor playing Spock, Leonard Nimoy, does this so well. Spock’s bicultural identity is central to his character.

2) Data

 

Does Data belong on this list? Captain Picard tells Data that he is a “culture of one” that is no less valid than a culture of billions in the episode Birthright.  Data is a culture of one in a culture of humans. Also, strictly speaking, Data is also not alone as an android. Lore is an android made before Data. I think Data’s bicultural identity rather than the usual robot trying to become a human plot line is what makes Data interesting. Captain Picard defends Data’s right to self-determination in The Measure of a Man when a scientist in Starfleet wants to dismantle Data. Data in turn can become more or less human by having an emotion chip installed.

However, like Vulcans, Data doesn’t seem able to handle a little emotion and loses control when the chip is installed. Data’s “brother” Lore was the first android built and emotion seems to have turned him into a villain. Data even has a daughter of sorts named Lal in the episode The Offspring. Lal dies due to cascade failure which is more or less the robotic equivalent of nervous breakdown and in the case of robots apparently leads to death. Emotions can literally kill androids and that is not the case with Vulcans.

Some of the same territory that was explored with Spock, reason versus emotion is explored again with Data. The difference is that Vulcans can have emotion but choose not to. Data can’t have emotion unless he uses a potentially dangerous emotion chip. This overlap of themes is explored in Unification. Spock informs Data that Data is more or less what Vulcans aspire to be. Same plot device but a slightly different take on the plot device.

3) Deanna Troi

 

Deanna Troi has a Betazoid mother, Lwaxana Troi, and a human father. Betazoids are telepaths. Deanna is only an empath. Deanna can sense the emotions of humans but not read minds. Lwaxana, the mom, likes to wander around the nude, and chase men. Deanna’s human side has problems with her mother’s colorful ways but the plot device most associated with Deanna is her telepathic powers. Deanna may only be an empath but this does not stop her from being the damsel in distress due to telepathic attacks from full telepaths most notably in Clues, and Violations. Deanna is certainly dressed for the part and in most of the series shows a bit of cleavage. Deanna also has big black eyes due to her Betazoid heritage. Deanna’s bicultural identity is less important than playing the role of a buxom damsel in distress.

4) Worf

 

Worf’s Klingon parents were killed by the Romulans and was raised by human parents on a human colony. Worf was around seven at the time. Despite being raised by humans, Worf did not assimilate and retained his Klingon cultural identity. As a Starfleet officer Worf wore a Klingon ceremonial sash.   However, one was to assume that Worf did acculturate and his successful graduation from Starfleet Academy is proof of this. Initially Worf has an idealized view of Klingon culture. Worf thinks Klingons value honor over anything and is shocked that actually Klingons spout honor but pursue realpolitik.

In particular, Worf’s agrees to let his dead father accept the dishonor of a treasonous relationship with the Romulans rather than name the true culprits, the powerful Duras family in Sins of the Father. Exposing the truth would lead to civil war. Political expediency is more important than honor. When the embodiment of Klingon honor, Kahless returns and is exposed as a clone not the true Kahless, Worf again chooses expediency over honor in Rightful Heir. The false Kahless will act as the titular head of the Klingon Empire while real power will stay in the hands of Gowron. Gaining power and retaining order is more important to Klingons than ideals. This is something the viewers relate to.

When I was seven I thought President John F. Kennedy was a hero and cried when I heard he was assassinated while I was in elementary school. I later found out about the Bay of Pigs, Kennedy’s affairs, and his drug use. We have an idealized version of our national identity as youths which becomes more “realistic” over time. Worf’s bicultural identity is not the central conflict of the character but instead the central conflict is Worf’s realization that honor must be tempered by pragmatism.

5) B’Elanna Torres

 

Torres has a Klingon mother and a human father. Torres rejects her Klingon heritage to a great extent. However, she seems to have some anger management problems due to that heritage at the genetic level. Torres is split into a full-blooded human and a full-blooded Klingon in Faces. The Klingon Torres ends up saving the human Torres. The lesson of the Faces episode is that her Klingon side is not a deficit but a plus that gives her strength, courage and grit.

In Barge of the Dead, Torres has a near death experience and meets her Klingon mother in Klingon hell. The mother of Torres  is in hell because Torres has rejected her Klingon heritage. In the end, Torres is reconciled with her Klingon heritage. Torres is the opposite of Worf. Worf embraces his Klingon identity while Torres rejects her Klingon heritage. In both cases, their bicultural identity is a part of what defines the character.

6) Seven of Nine

 

Seven of Nine was created to provide a third person view of the human condition like Spock and Data (Poe, 2001). Seven and Nine explores the pros and cons of individualism versus collectivism. Human cultures do not neatly divide into logical versus emotional cultures. Perhaps cultures can be described as being warm versus cold and having different forms of emotional expression. The Spock/Data cultural dichotomy is very artificial. However, some societies are more collectivist than others and this is dealt with empirically by Hofstede.

The Borg have taken collectivism to a whole other level with their technology. Individuals are forcibly assimilated into a hive mind. This seems to be terrible. However, when Seven of Nine is forcibly cut off from the Borg hive mind she finds many disadvantages to the human condition. As a drone you have no fear or doubt, have purpose and most of do not experience loneliness. The hive mind Borg can do things a collection of individuals could never do regardless of team work. Seven of Nine makes a plausible argument that in many ways the Borg condition is superior to the human condition.

Merged humans are a topic of science fiction that is increasingly relevant as the internet expands. Is something like the Borg a possible future for humanity? Humanity faces extinction due to nuclear war, resource depletion and global warming. A merged humanity might be able to face these challenges.

There is a bit of a dominatrix in the Seven of Nine character. In some versions Seven of Nine does have a corset under her skin-tight costume and she is wearing four-inch heels. As a Borg, Seven of Nine has superhuman strength and intelligence. Seven of Nine does act in a domineering manner with fellow crew.  Regardless of the obvious sexuality of Seven of Nine, her bicultural identity is a major part of her character.

7) Michael Burnham


 

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Burnham is the step sister of Spock! Michael was orphaned when Klingons attacked a Federation outpost and killed her parents. Michael was adopted by Sarek and raised as a Vulcan. While Spock is biologically a hybrid, Michael is genetically 100% human. I find the character of Michael Burnham implausible. I have a master’s in Educational Psychology and pretty much all research available shows extreme repression of emotions causes problems. Michael would have extreme feelings of loss due to the deaths of her parents and Sarek would be the last thing Michael would need. Michael would thrive in a loving household and be severely damaged in a cold Vulcan household. The adoption of Michael appears to be an experiment of sorts by Sarek. I cannot imagine the enlightened Federation allowing such a cruel experiment to go forward. However, I can accept an implausible character but not a boring one.

Michael is very Vulcan and logical in the first episode of the series and then reverts to being a human who happened to pick up some interesting Vulcan skills like Vulcan martial arts and limited telepathy while growing up. On the other hand, Michael is a rounded character not because of her bicultural identity but because she is a mutineer! The events and her personal history make her mutiny totally plausible and we have the first Star Trek protagonist who is an anti-hero!

8) Voq / Ash Tyler

 

Voq is a Klingon who undergoes surgery to pose as the human Tyler, chief of security for the USS Discovery. Voq’s surgery was extensive and painful surgery. We infer that Voq was a great warrior to volunteer and withstand such surgery for the Klingon cause. Voq is a hero from a Klingon point of view while being a monster from a human point of view. Voq has human body parts on the outside and Klingon body parts on the inside and therefore must be considered a physical hybrid. Tyler, the human identity, is at first unaware of his Klingon identity. Tyler as Voq has killed the ship’s doctor secretly but Tyler remains unaware of this act until Episode 11, “The Wolf Inside” when Tyler becomes aware of the existence of Voq inside.

The Tyler side of Voq is suffering from extreme bicultural identity crisis! Tyler is guilt-ridden about the things that Voq has done! Voq/Ash Tyler is a Doctor Jekyll/Mister Hyde type character. Tyler is playing the part of the guilt-ridden Doctor Jekyll. Voq is Mister Hyde. As in the case of Mister Hyde, Voq has no guilt about his “terrible” actions.

Other bicultural Star Trek characters suffer from psychological distress while trying to integrate their bicultural backgrounds but the distress is a temporary challenge rather than a serious ongoing identity crisis.  For example, Spock cries like a human in “The Naked Time” under the influence of some sort of drug that lowers inhibitions. Spock’s crisis is miniscule and fleeting compared to that of Voq/Ash Tyler.

The 15th episode and last episode of season one of the Discovery series, establishes that the Orion Syndicate, a criminal organization, has an outpost on Qo’noS, the home world of the Klingons. The Klingons have a pragmatic relationship with the Orions. A human that has both human and Klingon skill sets could find a place at the Orion Syndicate outpost. Even if that outpost is more or less the ghetto of the Star Trek universe.

Ultimately Tyler’s Klingon skill set helps save the Federation. Due to his redemptive actions, Tyler is allowed to go his own way at the Orion Outpost by Michael. Michael was/is in love with Tyler. Sarek points out the irony that Michael hates Klingons for killing her parents but ends up falling in love with a Klingon!

Could the fact that they shared a bicultural identity be one reason Michael and Tyler were attracted to each other in the first place? I personally find a kinship with other persons with a bicultural background. Michael is an example of integrative, positive Bicultural Identity. Tyler is the dark “mirror” image of Michael’s Bicultural Identity. One of the lessons of the first season of the Discovery series is that you don’t have to go to a mirror universe, as the Discovery does, to find dark mirrors! The larger question I would like to ask is can our soul mates not just be mirrors as commonly conceived but dark mirrors?

Conclusion

Bicultural identity is a central part of the Star Trek universe. Bicultural identity allows a third person view of the human condition.  The only Star Trek series without a bicultural character was Star Trek: Enterprise. Star Trek: Enterprise was by far the least successful series of the Star Trek franchise and the lack of a bicultural character may be one the reasons for the poor reception of the series.  The table below summarizes the findings of this article.

References

“Stephen Poe, Star Trek Author”. Star Trek.com. April 2, 1998. Archived from the original on October 7, 2001. Retrieved September 5, 2014.

Extending the One Belt One Road Initiative to Latin America

China’s One Belt One Road Initiative connects Asia to Europe. However, visionaries have wondered how to connect China to Latin America as part of this initiative. China-Latin American trade has increased by 1,200% or from $10 to $130 billion between 2000 and 2009.  The challenge is physical. There is a vast Pacific Ocean separating China from Latin America. China has the ability to create islands in record time with the MV Tian Kun Hao. Hawaii has acted as a gateway to Asia for the United States. What about the equivalent of a Chinese Hawaii from a strategic point of view? The author proposes that China will create an island in the Pacific that is more or less equidistant from China and Latin American. This island will act as an extension of the One Belt and One Road Initiative.

Would the island be sovereign Chinese territory? If China builds the island on the high seas beyond any national jurisdiction, 200 plus nautical miles from a nation, then China may construct artificial islands that according to Article 87 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea treaty (UNCLOS) would be sovereign Chinese territory! If China was building a military base in the middle of the Pacific Ocean then the US would be opposed to such a project regardless of legality. However, the island proposed in this essay would have peaceful goals!

The island could be named after Zheng He the admiral who might have arrived in the Americas before Columbus. The Island could also be called “Lucky Eight Island” for reasons that will become apparent later in this essay. I think the Zheng He name could be the more official formal name for Chinese audiences and Lucky Eight could be the more vernacular informal name for none Chinese audiences. This island will have both commercial and educational goals.

Commercial Goals

A traveler traveling from Beijing to Mexico City wastes a lot of time using hub airports that do not support the goal of connecting these two cities. The traveler has to go to hub airports in the US such as Dallas, Vancouver, Chicago, Los Angeles and even Amsterdam that are out of the way. The island will act as a hub airport connecting Chinese cities to Latin American cities. The distance from Beijing to Mexico City is 12,450 km.  The Boeing 777, the most common airplane in the world, has a range of 9,704 to 15,844 km. An island more or less 6,000 km from Beijing and Mexico City would allow a Boeing 777 to reach just about any city in China or Latin American from that island. A Boeing 777 has a speed of 950 km/h. In theory with a one hour layover, a traveler could travel from Beijing to Mexico City in 14 hours via the island versus the usual 18-20 plus hours the traveler now has to travel.

The Chinese cities the island airport hub serves might include Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenzhen. The following Latin American cities are economically important to China. Bogotá, Lima, Mexico City, Panama City and São Paulo. There are students from five Central American countries that could easily go to the island from Mexico City or Panama City.   The diplomatically important countries are Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

The traveler to cities in China other than Beijing or Shanghai can arrive at other Chinese cities with only one layover rather than two or even three layovers as is currently the case. As a specialized hub airport, layover times should be minimal but longer layovers are inevitable. The airport should be designed with pod style accommodations as a design priority rather than a design afterthought.

Japanese tourists go to Guam to buy US goods! Could the Chinese island be a place where Latin Americans go to buy Chinese goods? Conversely, could the island be a place where Chinese go to buy Latin American goods? Business to customer sales are part of any airport. However, could business to business also be done on the island?

The island will have advanced communication infrastructure that connects China with Latin America either via satellite and/or an underwater fiber optic cable connection. The island could house a submarine branching unit connecting Chinese cities to Latin American cities. Chile and China are already working on an underwater fiber optic cable connection.

Educational Goals

The island will provide a place in which Chinese and Latin Americans can learn together and from each other. The island will house a trilingual university. The best and the brightest Chinese learn Spanish. The best and the brightest Latin Americans learn Chinese. English is used as a transitional language in the first two years but eventually the students move to all Chinese classes for the Latin Americans and all Spanish classes for the Chinese. Trilingual graduates will be in demand in any number of fields. However, the university could focus on creating top of the line aviation management, environmental studies, logistics, telecommunications, translation studies and tourism-hospitality departments. The aviation management students can do internships in the airport. The logistics students will act as leaders that have the skills to increase trade between China and Latin America. The tourism students will acts as leaders that can increase tourism between China and Latin America.

The foreign language department will focus on Chinese, English and Spanish. There will be a further emphasis on translations studies and computer-assisted translation in particular. The wide spread use of applications like Google Translate show that ultimately computers will play a larger and larger role in translations tasks. The department may also offer classes in Portuguese and Japanese for those students interested in becoming quadrilingual.

The advanced communications infrastructure capability on the island could be used to promote distance learning between China and Latin America. This distance learning project includes regular and guest professors from China that are on the island teaching students throughout Latin America and vice versa. An advanced communication system will also allow Chinese and Latin American researchers to communicate with each other more effectively. The university can act as a convenient physical space where researchers can finalize research face to face that has already been done largely in cyberspace. The university should be able to host international conferences involving the Americas and China. The university hotel can be used by university guests. The tourism and hospitality students will do internships in the university hotel.

A university affiliated online educational TV station based on the island will take advantage of the communications infrastructure. Telecommunications majors will do internships in the television station. The TV station will send Chinese television shows, with educational and/or cultural merit to appropriate Latin American audiences including students and academics in Latin America. The students in the translation studies program will translate the Chinese shows into Spanish for Latin American consumption. Latin American television with educational and/or cultural merit will in turn be translated into Chinese and aimed at appropriate audiences in China. The translations studies students gain valuable real life translation experience via this project. Large audiences in China and Latin America gain a broader international outlook from this programming.

Later, original programming made by students under the direction of professors at the island university could be part of the project. The student made programming could focus on Chinese-Latin American connections. A series of modules designed to teach Spanish speakers Chinese could be one of the projects of this television station. Also, a series of modules designed to teach Chinese speakers Spanish could be a project of this television station.

Culture shock is always a problem when students study abroad but distance acts as a remedy of sorts for the students in the college. The location of the island means Chinese students are more or less seven hours from home in China. Obviously the Latin American students are also more or less seven hours from home. This means students can more conveniently go home and recharge than if home was 14 to 20 hours away! The communications infrastructure could be used to allow the students easy two way video communication with friends and family back home. The university should obviously have a rich extracurricular environment. Busy students have less time to be homesick!

Student electives and student clubs can act as extensions of the cross-cultural focus of the university. Classes in Chinese cuisine and Latin American cuisine would be logical electives. Chifa is a fusion of Chinese Cantonese cuisine and Peruvian cuisine and could be the signature cuisine of the university. A cooking club could be an outgrowth of these classes. The faculty sponsor should probably be a member of the tourism and hospitality department and the students of this department should take a lead role in the cooking club. Latin American students teach Chinese member Latin American dishes and vice versa. The creation of original fusion dishes that combine Chinese and Latin American elements should be encouraged.

China is of course famous for wushu and classes in wushu make sense in this university. Latin America does have some very effective martial arts such as the Brazilian martial art capoeira, Colombian grima, and juego del garrote.  The author of this paper does have some martial arts experience in both Chinese and Latin American martial arts. I think Chinese and Latin American martial arts would complement each other. Latin American martial arts are more modern than wushu and reflect modern realities such as the use of modern weapons like machetes for offense and specialized moves that act as a defense against firearms. The use of hand stand techniques in capoeira seem fantastical until you realize that shooting a moving leg is a difficult task compared to shooting someone in the chest. A leg wound is also less likely to lead to death than a chest wound. In contrast, Chinese martial arts use more ancient and even exotic weapons and generally provide no defense against firearms but have no equal in terms of variety of weapons and variety of techniques. A martial arts club might be a good place for students to explore a fusion of these martial traditions. Surfing and scuba diving could both be classes and clubs that do not serve a cross cultural function but take advantage of the island location. The elective classes act as introductions to an area of interest while the clubs with the appropriate faculty sponsorship allow the student to gain additional expertise in their interest area.

As a central Pacific Ocean outpost of China, the island could make soft power inroads among Pacific island populations. The children of local Pacific island elites could receive substantial scholarships to attend the university or even have full-tuition scholarships depending on circumstances. There will be a need for custodial labor and clerical workers on the island. Most Pacific islands suffer youth unemployment that is estimated at being around 23 percent! The educational television station could broadcast TV shows over the air that are of value to Pacific island populations.  China probably has a special interest in better diplomatic relations with the following Pacific islands: Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

Description of the Island

In an earlier megaproject proposal, I suggested there are several advantages to a donut shaped island. Belgium has suggested a donut shaped island can store energy generated by wind power as described in Wired. The center of the donut is a fresh water lake. This provides a source of drinking water, fresh water fish and a shark free area to practice water sports such as sailing and scuba diving.

If you have two donut shaped islands side by side and touching then you get a figure eight shaped island! Eight is a lucky number in Chinese culture! One donut shaped island is used for the airport. The airport island is bigger because airports use up a lot more space than universities. Plus, there is always the possibility that the island grows from being a hub airport connecting China and Latin America to becoming a hub airport that connects Asia and the Americas as a whole! The other donut shaped island is used for the university.

The B2B center, B2C mall and government services center sit where the two islands meet. Perhaps the building housing both the B2C mall, B2B center and government service center are in an eight story building.  The top floor of the building allows a view of both lakes as well as the Pacific Ocean and houses a 5 star fusion seafood restaurant as well as many other restaurants. The B2C mall occupies the lower floors and the B2B center occupies the top floors. Can a floor of the mall be designed so that virtual reality entertainment is more immersive than in a less modern mall.

The area where the two islands meet provides natural shelter for ships and yachts. My own experience with harbors is that big cruise ships and relatively smaller ships such as yachts should be kept separate to some extent but both types of ships need access to similar supplies. The cruise ship harbor and the marina for small boats should have equal access to the B2B center/B2C mall. Hopefully the island becomes a trilingual outpost in the Pacific that attracts both cruise ships from Asia and the Americas and smaller boats from neighboring islands. The marina with student interns from the tourism department can offer tours in Spanish/Chinese and/or English of surrounding Pacific islands.

Security at the Eastern B2B center/B2C mall exits can prevent unauthorized personnel from exiting into the university island. In general I would say the university island should be off limits to all but university related personnel. Do you really want random travelers from the airport, harbor and/or marina wandering around the university? The students of course have free access to both islands with their student IDs. There could be a K12 boarding school next to the university and that extra layer of security will make the parents happy. Cameras can be mounted on the outside of the B2B center/B2C mall. The external cameras mean that the airport, harbor, marina and university can be observed to some extent with these cameras.

One floor of the building should be dedicated to government services including city hall type functions, customs, the police station and the coast guard. I would suggest a hardened basement for the government services. Typhoons are common in the Pacific Ocean. The basement facility should be strong enough to survive even a super typhoon. The people of the island need leadership no matter how bad the situation.

Dubai is planning to create an underwater theme park. The airport island could have a similar type of park from an infrastructure point of view but with a different theme! Swimmers and scuba divers can explore Chinese and Latin American man made wonders of the world underwater. The following Chinese wonders of the world could include wonders of the world underwater from China and Latin America. China has several man made wonders that merit inclusion in the underwater theme park including the Terracotta Army, the Hanging Temple, the Great Wall of China, the Leshan Giant Buddha, Shibaozhai, and the Forbidden City. Latin American is more famous for scenic wonders than man made wonders but the two big ones that would look incredible underwater is the Pyramid of the Sun and Machu Picchu.

Another potential tourist attraction could be a recreation of the Glass Beach of Fort Bragg, California but on a much larger scale. Glass is made of silicon just like sand. Glass left on a coast will be pounded by the waves and turned into smooth rounded pieces! I doubt that China needs to bring glass waste all the way from China. I suspect there is plenty of glass waste all over the Pacific that populations will be more than willing to donate to China! The Glass Beach in California was created by accident.

The new Glass Beach could have one beach that is a rainbow of glass but how about having other beaches that use glass sorted by color. The most common colors for sea glass are kelly green, brown, and white (clear) because many bottle are made of these colors. So building three beaches of these common types of glass should be relatively easy. I would call the beach made of brown colored glass the gold beach. I would call the beach made out of the clear glass the crystal beach. Less common types of colored glass are jade, amber (from bottles for whiskey, medicine, spirits, and early bleach bottles), golden amber or amberina (mostly used for spirit bottles), lime green (from soda bottles during the 1960s), forest green, and ice- or soft blue (from soda bottles, medicine bottles, ink bottles, and fruit jars from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, windows, and windshields). The less common types of sea glass could be sold in stores and used in jewelry also sold in stores. There could be a place in the mall were tourists can make their own sea glass jewelry. The pieces of glass in loose form or converted into pieces of jewelry would be a unique souvenir. Below is a picture of the Glass Beach in California.

One lake could have an aquaculture area that farms high value edible Chinese freshwater fish. Another aquaculture area could farm high value edible  Latin American freshwater fish used in cooking. Fish of course is also available from the surrounding Pacific Ocean. The university cooking club and the B2C mall restaurants will have an incredible diversity of fish to use for fusion recipes! Fish produce feces! I don’t want to swim in fish feces or drink fish feces. The second lake is used for water sports and drinking water.

The center of the lake in the university side of the island will have a giant statue of Confucius since Confucius is considered a great teacher. The statue uses Luminor paint. Luminor paint uses electroluminescence technology. Electricity passing through the paint causes the paint to glow like a light bulb. In the day, the statue looks like a giant statue painted gold but at night the activated paint glows! Paint of different metallic hues could be used to give the statue more dimensionality. The center of the lake on the airport side of the island could have a statue of Zheng He since Zheng He is considered a great traveler.

With the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change, China has become the global leader in dealing with climate change. The island could be have an environmental center. Since the island is in the Pacific, the Great Pacific garbage patch is one problem the center could tackle. The Ocean Cleanup project is in interesting approach but I am sure Chinese and Latin American researchers can come up with an improved version of this solution. In particular, Marcus Eriksen et al. (2014) have found 92% of plastic pieces in the ocean is smaller than microplastic and cannot be caught by The Ocean Cleanup’s system. College students from all over the world could be awarded internships to act as crews on university ships based on the island that travel to different parts of the Pacific and perhaps all over the world in order to clean up the world’s oceans.

The island could have a casino!  After all the island is shaped like a lucky eight!  The island could even have a five star resort area that allows recreational marijuana usage.  The potential revenue could be huge and that revenue could in turn fund the loftier goals of the university.  A wall could separate the interesting part of the airport island from the rest of the island.

The university offers dual degrees. You get a bachelors from a Chinese university and a Latin American university. The students become trilingual. These are significant academic advantages that other universities around the world cannot offer. Latin American middle class students will probably be happy with the academic advantages. However, students that come from Latin American elites and have the money to study in Western countries and party would be valuable to China but might find the island “boring”.

If the five star resort had a three day minimum occupancy then Latin American students could go to the resort to “blow off steam” during a three day weekend. Marijuana will remain illegal on the airport island and the university island except for the resort area. Marijuana is only legal at the resort and you have to stay at the resort for at least three days or at least you have to pay for three days at the resort. Chinese students with mainland China passports could be barred from going to the resort or maybe not. Overseas Chinese that have passports from other countries other than China can stay at the resort just like Latin American students. Wealthy Overseas Chinese are another group that could be valuable for the projection of Chinese soft power.

The rise of Frankencracy in the US means the US has given up on its traditional leadership role in the Americas. The unilateral attack of NAFTA by the US means the Americas can no longer trust the US as a reliable long term partner in regional development. The rise of Frankencracy also means the demise of a potential tripolar global order. New political structures need to be created for a prosperous global future. China’s One Belt One Road Initiative will bring prosperity to millions in Asia and Europe.  Hopefully this proposal means that Latin American can also benefit from China’s One Belt One Road Initiative

Megaproject Ideas

Airship Powered from Space

Pay for the Thai Canal with an Island Next to Bangkok!

Should Maglevs be Upgraded to Vactrains?

Space-based Solar Power for Defense + Desalination + Energy Independence