Thursday, December 5, 2013
Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear AccidentMedical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident
English: Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant map (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Graph of radiation release from the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, compared to historic events and standards. Updated to show time series geographical effects, local site map, and news reporting. See http://www.rchoetzlein.com/theory/?p=171 for additional discussion and commentary on this image. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ecological lake at the NKFUST (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident
English: The Valley of the Drums, a toxic waste dump in northern Bullitt County, Kentucky. This site was one of the reasons the the U.S. Superfund law was enacted. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Toxic Waste sweets (Photo credit: cosmic_spanner)Mafia sinks toxic waste ships in the mediterranean
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
English: Otto Hahn and Lise Meitner at laboratory Français : Otto Hahn et Lise Meitner dans leur laboratoire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The first page of the MAUD Committee report, 15 July 1941, written by James Chadwick. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Source: http://www.aldebaran.cz/famous/photos/Cockcroft_J_.jpg Rationale: Photographer died >70yrs ago. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
James Chadwick (Photo credit: Wikipedia)"I still...think that the probability of anything of real military significance is very low" - Sir Henry Tizard; Appointed the Committee Contents [hide]
1 The MAUD Committee
2 The MAUD Report Findings
The MAUD Committee
The MAUD Committee (not yet named) first met on April 10, 1940 to consider Britain's actions regarding the recent discovery of nuclear fission and the possibility of building an atomic weapon. Shortly thereafter, a research program on isotope separation of uranium and fast fission was agreed upon. Lead by G.P. Thomson, the Committee included a number of renowned British physicists such as Mark Oliphant, Patrick Blackett, James Chadwick, P. B. Moon, andJohn Douglas Cockcroft.
The code name for Britain's secret committee tasked with developing an atomic bomb, given by G.P Thomson in late June 1941, has a fascinating history. While many believe "MAUD" is a simple acronym that stands for the "Military Application of Uranium Detonation", its origins appear more complex. The word "Maud" actually arrived as a mysterious word in a cable from Lise Meitner to an English Friend: "Met Niels and Margrethe recently both well but unhappy about events please inform Cockcroft and Maud Ray Kent". When John Douglas Cockcroft received the cable, he wrote James Chadwick and informed him that he believed "Maud Ray Kent" was an "anagram for 'radium taken'" and that the phrase agreed "with other information that the Germans are getting hold of all the radium they can". Thomson decided to borrow the first word of Cockcroft's mysterious anagram for a suitably misleading name for the secret committee. It wasn't until 1943, however, that committee members finally learned that "Maud Ray" was the governess who had taught Bohr's son English; she lived in Kent.
The MAUD Report Findings
Vannevar Bush and Arthur H. Compton
Building upon theoretical work on atomic bombs performed by refugee physicists Rudolf Peierls and Otto Frisch in 1940 and 1941, the MAUD report estimated that a critical mass of ten kilograms would be large enough to produce an enormous explosion. A bomb that size could be loaded on existing aircraft and be ready in approximately two years. The report maintained that a sufficiently purified critical mass of uranium-235 could fission even with fast neutrons.
American scientists had been in contact with the MAUD Committee since the fall of 1940, but it was the July 1941 MAUD report that helped crystallize the American bomb effort. Here were specific plans for producing a bomb, produced by a distinguished group of scientists with high credibility in the United States.
The MAUD report dismissed plutonium production, thermal diffusion, the electromagnetic method, and the centrifuge and recommended gaseous diffusion of uranium-235 on a massive scale. The British believed that uranium research could lead to the production of a bomb in time to effect the outcome of the war.
While the MAUD report provided encouragement to Americans advocating a more extensive uranium research program, it also served as a sobering reminder that fission had been discovered in Nazi Germany almost three years earlier and that since the spring of 1940 a large part of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin had been set aside for uranium research.
Vannevar Bush and James B. Conant immediately went to work. After strengthening The Uranium Committee, particularly with the addition of Enrico Fermi as head of theoretical studies and Harold Urey as head of isotope separation and heavy water research (heavy water was still highly regarded as a moderator), Bush asked yet another reconstituted National Academy of Sciences committee to evaluate the uranium program. This time he gave Arthur H. Compton of the University of Chicago specific instructions to address the technical questions of critical mass and destructive capability, partially to verify the MAUD results.
Note: Portions taken from "The Manhattan Project - Making the Atomic Bomb"; U. S. Dept. of Energy; January 1999http://www.atomicheritage.org/mediawiki/index.php/The_MAUD_Report
Sunday, December 1, 2013
English: Schematic representation of the two methods with which to assemble a fission bomb (see nuclear weapon design). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Leó Szilárd (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Physicist Leo Szilard. Probably circa 1960. DOE Digital Archive Image 2017774. "Credit: DOE Photo" (Photo credit: Wikipedia)http://en.wordpress.com/read/post/id/18041633/18735/nd.
A Point of View: The man who dreamed of the atom bomb | BBC
Leo Szilard was the man who first realised that nuclear power could be used to build a bomb of terrifying proportions. Lisa Jardine considers what his story has to say about the responsibilities of science. 112 more
The ten commandments of Leó Szilárd
Recognize the connections of things and laws of conduct of men, so that you may know what you are doing.
Let your acts be directed toward a worthy goal, but do not ask if they will reach it; they are to be models and examples, not means to an end.
Speak to all men as you do to yourself, with no concern for the effect you make, so that you do not shut them out from your world; lest in isolation the meaning of life slips out of sight and you lose the belief in the perfection of creation.
Do not destroy what you cannot create.
Touch no dish, except that you are hungry.
Do not covet what you cannot have.
Do not lie without need.
Honor children. Listen reverently to their words and speak to them with infinite love.
Do your work for six years; but in the seventh, go into solitude or among strangers, so that the memory of your friends does not hinder you from being what you have become.
Lead your life with a gentle hand and be ready to leave whenever you are called.
The Baby Boomers’ 50th birthday 3 (Photo credit: Christchurch City Libraries)
English: Image of Gertrude Stein and Jack Hemingway in Paris, 1924. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
"Lev Tolstoy in Yasnaya Polyana", 1908, the first color photo portrait in Russia Français : « Léon Tolstoï à Iasnaïa Poliana », 1908, le premier portrait photographique en couleur en Russie. Suomi: "Leo Tolstoi Jasnaja Poljanassa", 1908. Ensimmäinen Venäjällä otettu värimuotokuva. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Cover of Gertrude Steinhttp://punditfromanotherplanet.com/2013/12/01/p-j-orourke-on-the-baby-boom-the-aftermath/P.J. O’Rourke on the Baby Boom: the Aftermath
Posted: December 1, 2013 | Author: The Butcher | Filed under: Art & Culture, History, Humor, Reading Room | Tags: Baby Boom, Baby boomer, Coming of age, Jason Bellini, Lost Generation, The Wall Street Journal, United States |Leave a comment »
Here we are in the baby boom cosmos. What have we wrought?
P.J. O’Rourke writes: The Baby Boom generation spans eighteen years. Already, the earliest boomers have reached retirement age. Many are getting more conservative as they get older. WSJ’s Jason Bellini reports.
We are the generation that changed everything. Of all the eras and epochs of Americans, ours is the one that made the biggest impression—on ourselves. That’s an important accomplishment, because we’re the generation that created the self, made the firmament of the self, divided the light of the self from the darkness of the self, and said, “Let there be self.” If you were born between 1946 and 1964, you may have noticed this yourself.
That’s not to say we’re a selfish generation. Selfish means “too concerned with the self,” and we’re not. Self isn’t something we’re just, you know, concerned with. We are self.
Before us, self was without form and void, like our parents in their dumpy clothes and vague ideas. Then we came along. Now the personal is the political. The personal is the socioeconomic. The personal is the religious and the secular, science and the arts. The personal is everything that creepeth upon the earth after his (and, let us hasten to add, her) kind. If the baby boom has done one thing, it’s to beget a personal universe. (Our apologies for anyone who personally happens to be a jerk.)
Self is like fish, proverbially speaking. Give a man a fish and you’ve fed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and, if he turns into a dry-fly catch-and-release angling fanatic up to his liver in icy water wearing ridiculous waders and an absurd hat, pestering trout with 3-pound test line on a $1,000 graphite rod, and going on endlessly about Royal Coachman lures that he tied himself using muskrat fur and partridge feathers…well, at least his life partner is glad to have him out of the house.
So here we are in the baby-boom cosmos, formed in our image, personally tailored to our individual needs, and predetermined to be eternally fresh and novel. And we saw that it was good. Or pretty good.
We should have had a cooler name, the way the Lost Generation did. Except good luck to anybody who tries to tell us to get lost. Anyway, it’s too late now. We’re stuck with being forever described as exploding infants. And maybe it’s time, now that we’ve splattered ourselves all over the place, for the baby boom to look back and think. “What made us who we are?” “And what caused us to act the way we do?” “And WTF?” Because the truth is, if we hadn’t decided to be young forever, we’d be old.
The youngest baby boomers, born in the last year when anybody thought it was hip to like Lyndon Johnson, are turning 50. We’d be sad about getting old if we weren’t too busy remarrying younger wives, reviving careers that hit glass ceilings when children arrived and renewing prescriptions for drugs that keep us from being sad. And we’ll never retire. We can’t. The mortgage is underwater. We’re in debt up to the Rogaine for the kids’ college education. And it serves us right—we’re the generation who insisted that a passion for living should replace working for one.
Still, it’s an appropriate moment for us to weigh what we’ve wrought and tally what we’ve added to and subtracted from existence. We’ve reached the age of accountability. The world is our fault. We are the generation that has an excuse for everything—one of our greatest contributions to modern life—but the world is still our fault.
This is every generation’s fate. It’s a matter of power and privilege and demography. Whenever anything happens anywhere, somebody over 50 signs the bill for it. And the baby boom, seated as we are at the head of life’s table, is hearing Generation X, Generation Y and the Millennials all saying, “Check, please!”
To address America’s baby boom is to face big, broad problems. We number more than 75 million, and we’re not only diverse but take a thorny pride in our every deviation from the norm (even though we’re in therapy for it). We are all alike in that each of us thinks we’re unusual.
Fortunately, we are all alike in our approach to big, broad problems too. We won’t face them. There’s a website for that, a support group to join, a class to take, alternative medicine, regular exercise, a book that explains it all, a celebrity on TV who’s been through the same thing, or we can eliminate gluten from our diet. History is full of generations that had too many problems. We are the first generation to have too many answers.
Not a problem. Consider the people who have faced up squarely to the deepest and most perplexing conundrums of existence. Leo Tolstoy, for example. He tackled every one of them. Why are we here? What kind of life should we lead? The nature of evil. The character of love. The essence of identity. Salvation. Suffering. Death.
What did it make him? Dead, for one thing. And off his rocker for the last 30 years of his life. Plus he was saddled with a thousand-page novel about war, peace and everything else you can think of, which he couldn’t even look up on Wikipedia to get the skinny on because he hadn’t written it yet. What a life. If Leo Tolstoy had been one of us he could have entered a triathlon, a baby-boom innovation of the middle 1970s. By then we knew we couldn’t run away from our problems. But if we added cycling and swimming…
So, to the problems of talking about the baby boom, let us turn our big, broad (yet soon to be firmed up, thanks to the triathlon for seniors that we’re planning to enter) generational backsides.
But a difficulty remains. Most groups of people who get tagged by history as a “generation” can be described in an easy, offhand way: as folks sort of the same age experiencing sort of the same things in sort of the same place, like the cast of “Cheers” or “Seinfeld” or “Friends.” I’m pretty sure—as a result of taking Modern Literature in college—that Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, Ford Madox Ford, Henry Miller and Ezra Pound were roommates in a big apartment on the Left Bank in Paris in the 1920s. (If not, I give this idea for a sitcom away for free to the reader.)
But the baby boom has an exact definition, a precise demography. We are the children who were born during a period after World War II when the long-term trend in fertility among American women was exceeded.
Still, distinctions among varieties of baby boomers need to be made. Geographical distinctions are peripatetically moot for us. Distinctions according to race, class, gender or sexual orientation would be offensive to baby-boom sensitivities. Furthermore, they’d be beside the point, because the author—much as he endeavors to be as different from everyone else as a member of the baby boom should be—finds himself to be hopelessly ordinary in matters of race, class, gender identification and which section of Playboy he turned to first when he was 16. But time is a distinction we all have to endure. And there are temporal variations in the baby boom.
The seniors of this generation were born in the late 1940s. The author is of that ilk. The seniors were on the bow wave of the baby boom’s voyage of exploration. But they were also closely tethered in the wake of preceding generations. In effect the seniors were keelhauled by the baby-boom experience and left a bit soggy and shaken. If we wound up as financial advisers trying to wear tongue studs or Trotskyites trying to organize Tea Party protests, or both, we are to be forgiven.Hillary Clinton and Cheech Marin are seniors.
The juniors were born in the early 1950s. They were often younger siblings of the seniors and came of age when parents were throwing in the towel during the “What’s the Matter with Kids These Days” feature match. The juniors pursued the notions, whims and fancies of the baby boom with a greater intensity. For them, drugs were no longer experimental; drugs were proven. From the juniors we got the teeny-boppers, the groupies and the more ragamuffin barefoot urchins of Haight-Ashbury. They hunted up some shoes when they eventually made their way to Silicon Valley. ( Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were both born in 1955.) But they never did find their neckties.
The sophomores were born in the late 1950s. By the time they reached adolescence, the baby-boom ethos had permeated society. Sophomores gladly accepted sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll and the deep philosophical underpinning thereof. But they’d seen enough of the baby boom in action to realize that what works in general terms doesn’t always work when the bong sets fire to the beanbag chair. Circumstances had changed. In college, many of the sophomores attended classes. Some even sneaked off and got M.B.A.s.
The freshmen were born in the early 1960s. They felt no visceral effects from the events that formed the baby boom. To freshmen, the Vietnam War was just something that was inexplicably on TV all the time, like Ed McMahon. Feminism had gone from a pressing social issue to a Bea Arthur comedy show that their parents liked, and, by the time the freshmen were in college, feminism was an essay topic for the “Reading Shakespeare in Cultural Context” course. Hint: Lady Macbeth hit that glass ceiling hard.
Now the American baby boom is the world’s future. Everyone on the planet will turn into us eventually, as soon as families get excessively happy and start feeling too much affection for their kids. Unless, of course, extravagant freedom, scant responsibility, plenty of money and a modicum of peace lead to such a high rate of carbon emissions that we all fry or drown. But you can’t have everything. And you can have a profusion of opportunity and, at the same time, a collapse of traditional social standards.
Just look at Western Europe and the wealthiest parts of Asia and Latin America. They’re almost as useless as we are—with abundant disposable income and ample leisure time to devote to pointless activities that don’t harm anybody much except ourselves.
Baby-boom-like places all seem to be engaged in bellicose national political deadlock the way we are in America. There’s much tut-tutting about bellicose national political deadlock. But it’s an improvement on bellicose national political purpose.
It will take a while to turn the whole world into baby boomers. For one thing, due to declining birthrates, the rising generation won’t be a boom like we were with the same weight of numbers on their side. On the other hand, aging populations in places such as Russia and China will let these babies speak in booming voices.
Noxious politics will disappear as all the world’s political science classes happily degenerate into hourlong shouting matches the way our old Constitutional Law classes did. It’s hard to remain truly noxious when you like being obnoxious better.
Stupid notions of central planning, nationalization and protectionist trade barriers will fall by the wayside when everyone is paying as little attention in Economics as I was.
And sooner or later, the 1.29 billion people making $1.25 a day, the way we were, selling “underground” newspapers on the street in Baltimore, are going to figure out there’s a better way. I just received an email from Nigeria about a rather large amount of money needing to be transferred to an American bank and requiring only modest assistance on my part.
There will be no religious fanaticism. We’re not a generation who listens to anybody, God included. In our defense, I doubt God minds us not bothering about Him. Very few of the people we’ve bothered—parents, college deans, the police, LBJ, the psychiatrist at my draft physical, supervisors, bosses, attractive types in bars—have minded when we quit bothering them.
World peace is probably too much to ask. But it will be hard to assemble those huge conscripted armies that used to fight wars. We’ll all have a letter from our doctor about our deep-seated psychiatric problems and drug use.
Besides, war is about power. Baby boomers aren’t power hungry. Power comes with that kicker, responsibility. We’re greedy for love, happiness, experience, sensation, thrills, praise, fame, adulation, inner peace, and, as it turns out, money. Health and fitness too. But we’re not greedy for power. Observe the baby boomers who have climbed to its ascendancy in Washington. The best and the brightest? They’re over at Goldman Sachs.
And all of you tyrannical, despotic, overbearing squares and wet smacks with your two-bit autocracies in the butt ends of the world? You shall gather in finished basements while your revered elders stand at the top of the basement stairs yelling, “I think something’s on fire down there!” Your offices shall be liberated by raving peaceniks. You shall spend your treasure on cocaine and rehab. Your junk bonds shall default. You shall form overage garage bands and try to play “Margaritaville.” Your third spouse shall acquire an American Express Black Card with a credit limit higher than the U.S. national debt. Your daughters shall wear nose rings. Your sons shall have pagan symbols indelibly marked upon their necks. (Unless you belong to one of those cultures where daughters wear nose rings and sons have pagan symbols indelibly marked upon their necks, in which case they shall not.) You shall be perplexed by the Internet. You shall grow old and addled enough to vote for Ron Paul in a presidential primary.
There is no escape from happiness, attention, affection, freedom, irresponsibility, money, peace, opportunity and finding out that everything you were ever told is wrong.
Behold the baby boom, ye mighty, and despair.
This essay is adapted from the latest of Mr. O’Rourke’s 16 books: “The Baby Boom: How It Got That Way…And It Wasn’t My Fault…And I’ll Never Do It Again,” to be published in December by Grove Atlantic.
Echo boomers fuel downtown housing boom (bizjournals.com)
Easing of China policy may not result in baby boom (straitstimes.com)
Analyzing Generations (rachelclairebradley.wordpress.com)
How will baby boomers’ retirement affect Idaho’s economy? (idaholabor.wordpress.com)
Possible baby boom gets industries dreaming – Wei Gu (chinaherald.net)
China’s Expected Baby Boom A Boon For U.S. Business (etfdailynews.com)
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Saturday, November 30, 2013
Kennedy's Final Resting Place The eternal flame at Arlington National Cemetery was placed at the fallen President's grave as a special request from Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy. From: Arlington: Call to Honor
English: Grave of John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis in Arlington National Cemetery. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: J.F. Kennedy family graves and Eternal Flame at Arlington National Cemetery Nederlands: Graven van de familie J.F. Kennedy met eeuwige vlam op het Arlington National Cemetery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
http://www.smithsonianchannel.com/sc/web/video/titles/12210/kennedys-final-resting-placeKennedy's Final Resting Place
The eternal flame at Arlington National Cemetery was placed at the fallen President's grave as a special request from Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy.
From: Arlington: Call to Honor