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LIU Atlas - Flumen A'ris . There are billions of stars, millions of planets, but there is only one man, Terrance McDoogal. Welcome to LIU Atlas. . LIU Atlas - Flumen A’ris The Ludgonian Industrial Union’s galaxy contains billions of stars and planets. Unfortunately, most residents of the LIU could only name a handful of these worlds. In order to improve astronomy grades across the LIU, TV2 has started a new program called LIU Atlas. Follow our host, Terrance McDoogal, as he takes you on a tour across the LIU and some of its more obscure worlds. Note: This episode is presented in full screen. The corresponding dialogue is underneath each photo. Doog: “Welcome to another episode of LIU Atlas. I’m your host, Terrance “Doog” McDoogal. Today, we’re visiting Flumen A’ris, a desert planet in orbit around the fast spinning neutron star Nendum. Nendum’s extremely quick rotation has caused Flumen A’ris’ rotation to drastically speed up. The planet’s quick rotation gives it short days and nights, and, due to the Coriolis effect, powerful jet streams. These planet encircling jet streams and their associated winds have stirred up Flumen A’ris’ dusty, sandy surface into a planet wide sandstorm.” Doog: “This sandstorm, raging for nearly a century, has made surface habitation nearly impossible. Instead, the residents of Flumen A’ris live on large floating cities. These cities drift gently around the planet’s equator, where the weak neutron star keeps the planet’s temperature the most comfortable. We’re headed aboard one of these cities to meet our guide.” Doog: “Ah, you must be my guide. I’m Doog.” Iberus: “Hola, I am Iberus. Welcome to Bote de Rio, one of seven floating cities here on Flumen A’ris. I am the city’s mayor and economic director.” Doog: “Yeah, nice to meet you. So, let’s skip to it then. What do you guys do here?” Iberus: “Our economy is very diverse. The planet, and its unique properties, have created many opportunities for exploitation. Our main export is power, but we also have mining interests, and a striving fertilizer industry. I figured I’d give you a brief tour of all our industries.” Doog: “Sounds good.” Iberus: “To see the industries, we will have to descend to the city‘s lower decks, closer to la tormenta, er…sandstorm. For your safety, you will be required to wear a helmet with goggles like mine.” Doog: “Uh, yeah, sure.” Iberus: “Like I said before, power is our main export. We generate this power from two different sources, wind and static. Wind power is pretty self-explanatory; the strong winds that drive the sandstorm below also turn large wind turbines. I figured I wouldn’t bore you with spinning fans. Instead, I figured we’d head down and see the static power generators.” Doog: “Yeah, I’ve dealt with wind power before. Let me tell ya, it blows…” Iberus: “Between both sources of power, Flumen A’ris generates a substantial amount of energy. Unfortunately, we must siphon off a quarter of this energy to keep our cities afloat. ¡Vamos! We’re almost there.” Doog: “What’s this?” Iberus: “This is the static electricity generator. The bottom of our floating city extends into the top edge of the sandstorm, and the city’s hull is constantly being struck with particles of sand and rock. This builds up an electric charge. This charge must be dissipated, or my people would be shocked every time they reached for a door knob. Instead of wasting this energy, we direct the charge into static balls on the exterior of the city, como este.” Doog: “I could use this thing on my ship. If I get shocked walking to the bathroom in my bunny slippers one more time, I might just lose it.” Iberus: “Ha. Sí, I know the feeling. As you can see, the static ball builds up a static charge before releasing the energy into the nearby contacts. The contacts route the electric energy to our charging stations, where it is stored until it can be exported.” Doog: “It’s a little loud out here with wind constantly blowing, but man, this static ‘ball’ creates quite the ruckus. It sounds like a mini-thunderstorm out here.” Iberus: “Sí, the properties that make this work are very similar to the mechanics of a thunderstorm. Let’s not dwell on that, we have much more to see. Let’s head back inside. We must descend further into the city to reach our next stop.” Iberus: “Bote de Rio has many economic uses, but let’s not forget that it is also a community. Almost a million people call this city home. Most are employed in the various industrial sectors, but we also have police, doctors, teachers, et cetera.” Iberus: “Bote de Rio is a very large place, and many sections of the city are color-coded to make things easier for the citizens to find. As you can see, colored lines on the floor indicate the routes to various parts of the city. The orange line, for instance, indicates the route to the residential districts. Blue shows the route to our next destination, the Sand Mining Vacuums.” Doog: “The vacuums?” Iberus: “Sí. And I must warn you, this following area can be vary dangerous. We will be on a narrow catwalk on the bottom of the city. There will be nothing below us but the planet’s surface, which is several miles down. Try not to fall.” Doog: “No warning needed Iberus, as a rule of thumb, I don’t try to fall off things. It might happen from time to time, but I never try.” Doog: “Wow, it is a lot windier down here! And the sand is somewhat painful! It is almost like I’m being sandblasted!” Iberus: “Sí, we are now in the upper reaches of the sandstorm. Any exposed skin will certainly be feeling a stinging sensation.” Doog: “You could have saved the ‘do not fall’ warning and told me about this, Iberus! I might have worn sleeves! Let’s make this quick!” Iberus: “¡Lo siento! I figured you’d dress appropriately when I told you this planet is enveloped in a planet wide sandstorm. Anyway, this is one of the Sand Mining Vacuums. The sand in the sandstorm is made up of several different minerals. Three of these minerals: rutile, ilmenite, and zircon, are extremely valuable as they contain the elements titanium and zirconium. The mining vacuums have to extract these components, which only make up about three percent of the sandstorm, from the various other minerals. The vacuum has several antennas which charge these minerals to a specific ion frequency, and the vacuum inhales only these particles. We don’t produce as much as other mining planets, but it’s a nice compliment to our energy sector.” Doog: “Hey, it’s here. Might as well take advantage of it. Shall we move on!” Iberus: “¡Claro! But, I’m afraid it’s only going to get more painful. Our last industry is on the planet’s surface.” Iberus: “In order to reach the surface, we must take one of our vertical trains. It is too dangerous to fly in these winds. The ‘River of Air’, as we call it, constantly blows in one direction. It’s easy to fly one direction, but very hard to fly the other way. Not to mention how much more fuel it would take. We’ll reach the surface in about thirty seconds. Prepare yourself.” Doog: “Ahhh! My arms are burning! Phew! And I have sand in my mouth!” Iberus: “Haha. Novato! It isn’t that bad. ¡Vamos!” Iberus: “The first settlers here were surprised to find that Flumen A’ris actually supports some native life. The Flumen Hormiga, an extremely large ant-like species, somehow survives down here on the surface. While it hasn’t been studied too closely, it is believed that the ants farm various algal species inside their burrows.” Doog: “Ow! What…ouch!…does this have to do with your economy? Ow! Dang it! Do you guys sell Ant Farms or something?” Iberus: “Haha. No. The ants serves as a food for the Flumen Pájaro, the apex predator of Flumen A’ris. Look, there are some behind you. The Flumen Pájaro have large wings and glide with the planet’s strong winds. They can circle the planet several times a day searching for ants to eat. If they miss a strike, they must fly on. There is no flying against the wind. They are beautiful, no?” Doog: “Yeah! Ahh! So, I still don’t get it! Who cares about all these animals?! Ow!” Iberus: “¡Vamos! I’ll show you.” Iberus: “The Flumen Pájaro take shelter in caves created by wind erosion. This allows them to rest, eat, and take shelter from the sands. It is also where they defecate. That’s where the economic value is. Bird poop, or guano, contains lots of phosphorus and nitrogen, making it an extremely useful fertilizer.” Doog: “All this pain for some bird poop!” Iberus: “Sí! Every so often, workers come down here, brave the elements, and scoop up containers full of guano. It’s very valuable. So, there you have it. Here on Flumen A’ris, we take advantage of all the natural resources: wind, static, sand, and guano.” Doog: “Let’s go home!” Doog: “Ahh! Well folks, Iberus summed it up pretty well. So, I’m going to leave it at that! I need to get out of here now! See ya!” Note: The sandstorm did wonders for Doog’s skin by removing any dry patches or blemishes. Unfortunately, it also removed a large portion of healthy skin, but the skin he has left…smooth as a baby’s bottom.

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