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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Morning News

Posted by on August 22 at 7:30 AM

UN and EU peacekeepers evacuate foreigners from Congo as gun battles rage between political factions fighting after a contentious election.

Zimbabwe rolls out a new currency to battle hyper (hyper-hyper-hyper) inflation. The new currency cuts three zeroes off the value of the old, so $220,000 bread is now worth $220.

$127 billion over ten years: Estimated cost of the Senate’s immigration bill — most of which is for beefing up enforcement and border patrols. For some reason, the gov’t doesn’t give an exact figure for the cost of the more enforcement-heavy House Bill, just “substantial amounts” over the next decade.

Nuclear Power Plants: America’s future — again?

AOL tries to bolster user privacy after making thousands of user’s seach records publicly accessible. We may never discover who that mysterious masturbation and Martha Stewart obsessed user 927 was, after all.

Budgets are slashed for UW stem cell research thanks to decreased federal funding. That link also has a picture nonchalantly captioned: “rat with a tiny video camera inside his brain”.

Blue Moon and the City finally, finally strike a compromise agreement… though the owner thinks he still might sell the “historic dive bar.”

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And Iran finally responded, in a manner which I'm sure disappoints the apocalypse-minded Cornerites.

"nonchalantly? captioned" Where are the Slog editors?? Wasn't there a puff piece about abverb usage in a recent issue? I guess it's Miss Mirk's subjective right to say anything and however she wants to say it, but to me this is just awful 'nonchalant' analysis, opinion, automatic writing, whatever you want to call it. So what do I expect from a news blurb?

Stem Cell, anyone want to discuss?

i luvs me some 927 in the morning. though thelma arnold (4417749), not so much.

"Nonchalantly captioned" sounds fine to me. Quite descriptive.

Zimbabwe used to be the breadbasket of Africa, before Mugabe gave all the farms to his fuck-up relatives and started his organized program of murdering everyone in the country with a clue.

Fnarf, you don't even know the half. i'm supposed to own, by inheritance, an expensive house in a posh part of harare; instead i own a worthless house in a posh part of harare.

actually, I know Wendy in the article on UW research. remember, if we didn't have cameras inside rats brains, we'd have to put them on streetcorners and put RFIDs on every Citizen of the USA.

oh, wait, never mind, guess we're doing that already ...

Anyone interested in the nuclear power issue might find interesting. It's an insider's look at the nuclear industry in the form of a novel. There's no cost to readers. Endorsed by Stewart Brand, founder of The Whole Earth Catalog.

I like your stories about Africa, Charles. You should write more.

WOW - Stuart Brand is someone who believes/acts/talks like he can change the world. JAMES AACH, Thanks for the link!

Yeah, we all like Charles stories, he's a great writer.

Now, FYI, nuclear energy isn't our future, unless it's nuclear fusion, and that has always been 20 years in the future - since 1950.

Unless you actually dispose of the nuclear waste and radioactive contaminants and decommissioned stations - and I mean permanently.

@Charles: Hey, just add the 3 zeroes back onto the value of the house, and it's expensive again!

@Will: nuclear energy isn't a problem if you just colloquially pronounce it "nucular". Then it sounds as benign as kittens and teddy bears.

Nuclear Fission isn't the future of energy, but it sure as hell would be a nice way to get energy in the present. Anyone who is against it really doesn't understand it. There is nothing that we are going to have in the next 5-10 years that can compete with nuclear fission. Sitting around doing nothing sure isn't an option.

Nuclear waste is not a big problem for a few reasons. Number 1, the more toxic the waste; the less time you need to store it. It's that great thing called a half life. The more dangerous it is the shorter the half life. Number 2, at least with nuclear power we have the waste contained. Burning coal puts tons of radioactive elements into the atmosphere. I know I'd rather have the option of collection and safe disposal then just spewing pollution into the air. Number 3, the waste can be recycled using breeder reactors such that you get multiple uses out of the fuel and have much less to dispose of. Number 4, there are now all sorts of reliable reactors that are very clean including: CANDU, pebble bed, and thorium.

Almost all the complaints made against nuclear power are from designs from the 50's and 60's. We've come a long way since then.

I love glowing kittens and teddy bears - easier to find the door to the bathroom that way.

And no, the designs still have the exact same disposal problem, Andrew.

Will, did you not understand my post. The waste isn't as dangerous as you think, it can be recycled, and we contain it rather than pumping it into the air. Coal puts more radioactive waste into the air then comes out of a fission plant.

There are plenty of ways to dispose of the stuff safely. And who knows, in 20 years we might find a use for it.

None of the new reactors produce depleted uranium. In fact depleted uranium is what you get when you enrich uranium for fuel. New reactors don't need this step. Alsorecylcing your waste means you don't need to enrich your uranium either.


The recycled fuel is plutonium, particularly from breeder reactors. I think we have enough of that floating around the world right now.

Uranium is also a nonrenewable resource.


If we use the plutonium for fuel, then it isn't plutonium any more.


If you look at it that way there is no such thing as a renewable resource. All energy on earth comes from the sun except for nuclear energy. Good luck renewing the sun when it stops.

There is plenty of uranium and thorium on earth to meet the energy needs for some time. And there is enough in our solar system to last almost as long as the sun will. And we don't need it to last forever. We just need something to bridge the gap until we can make solar panels efficient (possibly in orbit) and figure out nuclear fusion. I'd much rather be using the uranium for the next ten years rather than oil/coal/natural gas.

Mr. Mudede, Fnarf, I'm sure you know, but declined to mention, that the VAST majority of Zimbabwe's remaining white population were the farmers. The very farmers that made Zimbabwe Africa's breadbasket. That's why Mugabe went after them, because they were white, and an easy target. He played the race card as hard and heavy as any Grand Wizard of the KKK.

The greatest hindrance to dealing with racism is thinking that certain groups (i.e. black people) can't be racists, or that the racism of certain groups (i.e. white people) is much worse than other forms of racism. The liberals like to turn a blind eye with their 'power + prejudice = racism' crap, basically saying that the only way to be free of racism is to be powerless & oppressed. Fucking great. It also perpetuates the illusion that racism belongs to certain groups & not others. Racism is a problem that all humans inherit, because all humans are capable of it, as has been shown time & time & time again.

By taking the time & reading the literature of the racist, by listening to what they have to say & understanding their point of view, you come to realize that the racist feels very powerless in his/her world, feels very much oppressed, and has decided that it's all 's fault. "If we can only get rid of all the lousy stinkin' then we can all live free & happy lives." However, if those people felt empowered on their own, the need to blame others falls away, and appreciation of the differences grows.

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