Like, OH MY GOD, Iran is making atomic bombs! Who the hell would have thought it? How could Iran be so treacherous? They said they were pursuing nuclear power for peaceful purposes, not making atom bombs! They lied to us! How shocking!
...if, that is, you're a moron.
Uranium must be enriched to about 3% U-235 in order to work well in a typical light water reactor. It must be enriched to around 90% U-235 to be weapons-grade. Which do you think is happening at this "secret" site?
If you want to build an atom bomb without spending billions on developing an implosion process, or without incurring all sorts of sanctions before you're finished, the uranium "gun bomb" is your best bet: it's cheap, easy, and you can disguise your enrichment program as a fuel program for reactors. It takes two slugs of U-235, total mass around 10 kg, and some sort of arrangement that brings them together as quickly as possible. With the right engineering you could make one from the barrel of a tank's main gun: embed the muzzle in one chunk of U-235 and fire the other one down the barrel with the right high explosive. Add depleted uranium around the muzzle for a tamper and neutron reflector. It won't be man-portable but it'll get you around 20 kilotons plus all the nifty thermal and EM effects of a nuclear bomb.
And if you want to get fancy, well, there are all sorts of ways to build a boosted-fission device that won't significantly increase the complexity of the thing and which will also up the yield by a factor of two or more.
Building a nuclear bomb, even a multi-stage device, is just a matter of engineering; all the science has been done.
OBama's answer? "When we find that diplomacy does not work, we will be in a much stronger position to, for example, apply sanctions that have bite."
"Sanctions". Oh, good. Yeah, that'll work. It worked so well with Saddam Hussein, didn't it? "Oil for Food", remember how well that worked? It worked so well that various UN members were gaming the system and buying lots of oil on the grey market from Iraq, thus enriching Saddam Hussein without doing anything to help the people of Iraq.
The only "sanctions" that Iran will understand and heed are the kind that are dropped from airplanes and have laser-seeker heads. Anything else is bloviation.
* * *
Terror attack planned for 9/11. The islamic goons are big on numerology; hence they do their damnedest to strike on "significant" dates.
* * *
For the past week, it's been amazingly humid here; today is the first time in a while that the dewpoint has been below 60°. Despite the cool temps, I ended up turning on the AC just to dehumidify the place, because the walls were damp. I mean, Jesus, enough is enough already!
When it's humid enough that there is dew forming on the drywall, it is too damned humid.
* * *
On the plus side, my gut finally stopped hurting.
It had been crampy and explody for more than 10 days, but yesterday the cramps finally receded. It's still not 100% but it's vastly better than it was, and I think a few more days will see me getting my energy back.
* * *
FlashForward had its premiere last night. I was skeptical about how good it would be; after seeing the pilot I've concluded that it's not particularly impressive but interesting enough to continue to follow, at least for now. I may change my mind as the series develops.
Tonight is the season premiere of Smallville. This year, Clark is supposed to get the Superman costume; and I fail to see how he can wear the suit but not fly.
The season premiere of House, MD on Monday was pretty good. Generally people seem to think that the writers have broken the show by "fixing" House's personality, but just because House did his best to "get better" it does not mean House is no longer going to be an acerbic misanthrope. Maybe he won't be popping Vicodin (or at least not as much) but as soon as he has to deal with stupidity the wisecracks will resume. House's goal was to "become happy", and to overcome his Vicodin addiction; not to become popular or less sarcastic. House will never be a glad-handing gregarious man, and if the writers tried to show him as such it would not work. (Hugh Laurie could pull it off, don't get me wrong, but it wouldn't look or sound like Gregory House.)
That's the sum total of my TV schedule: Monday, House, MD; Thursday, Flash Forward; and Friday, Smallville.
Oh: Saturday, Powerblock on Spike. End of list.
* * *
Finally, I can't believe September is almost over.