atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#3391: Friday, the cool before the hot

I guess the wind switched last night.

Just before I went to bed, I checked the outside temperature; it was about the same temperature outside as inside but something told me that I'd do well to open up the house. "What the hell," I thought. "I like fresh air."

So I went to bed with the windows open, with the fan propped in my west window blowing outside air on me. I was reasonably comfortable.

Sometime in the night, the wind switched, and it got cool outside. I had to pull up the blanket to keep myself comfortable. And it's still nice and cool.

But tomorrow the projected high temp is 93°, and Sunday's is even higher.

* * *

Strange how on-line-only play causes problems you don't have with off-line single-player mode. Blizzard has suspended the real-money auction house that was supposed to make D3 a cash cow, because they're having trouble making it work. Reportedly they haven't set a due date, only saying that it won't be up in May.

Also? Players are getting their accounts hacked and stuff stolen. Was this ever a problem with D2?


So Blizzard says, "we need a bit more time to iron out the existing general stability and gameplay issues." What "gameplay" issues does the real-cash AH cause? And why is a company like Blizzard, which arguably runs the biggest MMORPG on the planet, having "stability" issues in its on-line systems?

Making D3 on-line-only was bad enough; this crap is just adding insult to injury.

* * *

Words fail me. Graduation photo, girl flips up her gown and skirt to show her genitals to the camera. Somehow, the cameraman and whoever put the photo into the yearbook missed seeing this.

"...I had 'Mother' tattooed on my forearm at a carnival. Mom was distressed, Dad disgusted; he said to leave it as a reminder not to be a witling." I'd say the same punishment is due here: leave the yearbooks alone, and let them serve as a horrible warning to others.

Guarantee that in 20 years this idiot is going to sue the school when it adversely impacts her career path or something: "They shouldn't have let me get away with that!"

* * *

Reality is not conforming to liberals' wishes, so they're making shit up again. This time it's Politico saying that Limbaugh's ratings took a hit after he called Sandra "I'm such a slut I use $3,000 of birth control per year" Fluke a slut.

...except that Limbaugh's ratings did not take a hit, and the huge boycott that was supposed to teach him a lesson failed miserably.

* * *

But it has a picture of a dog's butt on it! You can't wear a t-shirt with a picture of a dog's butt to school!

I'm sure that's the excuse the school faculty is giving for this. I mean, you could never walk down the street and see a dog's butt and genitals! That kind of thing is reserved for sickos and perverts and the Internet! Everyone knows that dogs don't go around with everything hanging out in the open!

* * *

I don't miss getting the Chicago Sun-Times at all.

All I ever read in it was the comics. Their leftist slant invariably infuriated me, and whenever I accidentally read anything but the comics I'd have to write a long-winded blog post about how infuriating that "news"paper was.

Once the subscription expired, I turned to the Internet for my daily comics fix, and that has kept me from having to take blood pressure medication. I don't miss the paper at all.

But the one bad thing about the comics page where I read them? The comments. Because invariably they're stupid.

A cartoonist spends time finely honing the joke, and it's either funny or it isn't...and some goober comes along and tries to be funnier, and fails. Or else he explains the joke to the rest of us.

Every time.

Today's Wizard of Id:

First comment: "Looks like it’s more bowling at the peasants," SIC

Second comment: "They’re all king pins today."

Fourth comment: "Now we know what it will be like if Mitt Romney becomes President."


No life, no brain, no common sense, not in any of those. It's a three-fer!

* * *

Borepatch has something funny I never knew about until just now: literal music videos.

This example of the genre is a parody of "Safety Dance" where the lyrics of the song have changed to describe what is happening in the video.

The "Safety Dance" one is well done; I had to think about it before I realized I wasn't hearing the original song. But other videos in that category are not as good. You've been warned.

* * *

Dragon's docked with ISS! Real history has been made! Not that "first time two women have ever been on ISS at the same time" nonsense that NASA was trying to fob off on us; real history, something important.

* * *

Vox Day notes that abortion has begun to lose its luster among the American people.

* * *

Pants-shitting hysteria from an econazi site about the Fukushima disaster.Here's a quote:
the soil around Tokyo is so contaminated with Fukushima radiation that it would be considered nuclear waste here in the U.S.
Yeah. Some person took samples, supposedly at random, from five sites around Tokyo:
...[E]ach [sample] had high levels of radioactive cesium-134 (CS134) and cesium-137 (CS137), while three of the samples contained high levels of cobalt-60 (CO60). One of the samples also tested positive for uranium-235 (U235).
Do you notice what's missing from this? If you read the article you'll see that nowhere in it are any numbers given whatsoever.

No: "high levels" and "dangerously high levels"...but no numbers. If you go to the lab report at the linked page, you see numbers listed in nanocuries per gram.

You know what it means when you've got 507 nanocuries of radioactivity?

It means NINETEEN THOUSAND DISINTEGRATIONS PER SECOND. the most-active sample they found, nineteen thousand atoms of Cesium 137 underwent fission every second.

Do you know what else is radioactive?


Go here and spin down to the handy chart of "Radioactivity of Some Natural and Other Materials".

Do you know what I find interesting in that chart?

"1 household smoke detector", specifically it's radioactivity:

810 nCi

Go out in the hallway and take a look at the smoke detector you're supposed to have hanging there. Yeah, that thing, which you bought at Home Depot or Menards or Ace for $14, that thing is "dangerously radioactive" according to the fruitcakes who did this little "study".

Incidentally, the post also reiterates the total f-ing nonsense that the "Fuel Pool 4" will end all life on Earth if it explodes.

Eh? "Explodes"? I think they mean a chemical explosion--at least, I hope they do, because reactor fuel (particularly used reactor fuel!) is incapable of supporting the kind of runaway fission chain-reaction that's required to cause a nuclear detonation.

...but it doesn't help their cause if they explain that. No, it's better for their anti-nuclear scaremongering if the ignorant think "HOLY SHIT MA THE JAPS ARE GUNNA NUKE US ALL!" and shit their pants in fear.

But even a chemical explosion isn't really possible. Do you know what will happen to the spent fuel in that fuel pool if the water level drops?

It will melt.

If anything, without water to carry away the heat of nuclear decay, the stuff will melt. It won't blow up; it won't catch fire; it definitely won't go off like a nuclear bomb. In fact, since the stuff hasn't been in a reactor for more than a year, now, it's even less likely to melt now than it was at the height of the disaster. The low-half-life-highly-radioactive isotopes in the spent fuel are what cause that residual heat, and by the very fact that they're so active they can't keep up that level of activity for very long.

But anti-nuclear scaremongers can't do their thing if they tell you the facts.

Now, I used to think these people were just ignorant of the facts. I used to think they simply didn't understand the science because it's all complicated and sciency...but as I've gotten older I've come to a few conclusions.

1) The science is not complicated.

It really isn't. It's very, very simple, and it can be explained using eighth-grade English in about twenty minutes without resorting to complex mathematics; and at the end of that explanation the interested listener will understand nuclear power well enough to make an informed decision about it. And because of that,

2)These people know the truth and are simply doing their best to obscure it.

They don't want the truth to be known by the general public, because the truth doesn't work in their favor. They don't want nuclear power to be understood, because if people understand it they won't be afraid of it. If they can wave their hands and say, "Oooo, scaaaaary radiation will get you!" and people don't understand it, the people will freak right the fuck out and do what they want.

3) That makes them evil, rather than misguided.

If you have to lie to make your point--and see nothing whatsoever wrong with that because if the facts contradict your opinion reality is wrong!--then you're a scumbag. If you have to lie to keep people from using an energy source that solves all the problems of other energy sources solely because you don't like it then you are the problem.

* * *

Incidentally? Yeah, radioactive Cesium has a short enough half-life that the stuff they're finding in Tokyo is probably from Fukushima. But it's not dangerous, not like taking a bath in the bathtub or crossing a busy street are.

Or using a bucket to mop your floors when there are toddlers in the house.

* * *

Meanwhile the EPA continues to wage war against dust. A county in Arizona has been warned by the EPA that it's got to do something about the high levels of dust in its air:
Although it's difficult to know how many people in western Pinal County have fallen ill because of dust, studies have shown a correlation between health and air quality.
There you go! It's scientifically proven that dusty air is GOING TO KILL US ALL UNLESS SOMETHING IS DONE!


* * *

As you are no doubt aware, the US government exempts itself from all sorts of rules that everyone under its sway must follow...including accounting rules.

Let's say you own a business, and you're facing a tough year, so you engage in creative accounting to make it look like you're not nearly as far in the red as you actually are. If the SEC catches you, you're charged with a felony.

...but if you're the US federal government, there's no problem at all!

So the budget deficit--if computed according to rules every business in the US must follow, or face indictment and jail--is actually $5,000 billion rather than $1,300 billion.

Big surprise.

* * *

Obamanomics FTW! Headline: "Under Obama: 30 Worst Months of Employment in the Past 25 Years."

Thanks, Obama! Thanks, Democrats!

* * *

Karl Denninger, a libertarian, gets on board with taking out Iran's nuclear program.

I have said it and said it: Iran is trying to build atomic bombs. When Iran gets enough of them, it will use them. When that happens it will be too late to stop them.

Denninger gets one thing wrong:
More to the point there is no reason in today's world for any nation that does not have dual-use intentions to run a uranium fuel cycle in the first place. Starting with nothing (no infrastructure) there are far better and safer options, including the Thorium fuel cycle, which are extremely difficult (but not impossible) to pervert for weapons use.
Denninger is trying to say that their choice of the uranium cycle is proof of their ill intentions, but I disagree with that. The thorium fuel cycle is a great idea, but a lot of the engineering has not been done. We know, mostly, how to make it work; but the thorium cycle right now is about where the uranium cycle was in the 1950s.

If you're starting with no infrastructure, and you have to work in a desert with less than optimal funding, you go with the well-known process even if your intentions are as pure as the wind-driven snow. We know a hell of a lot more about the uranium cycle than we do about the thorium cycle; and while Iran's got tons of money they do not have enough to spend on doing all the developmental work that the thorium cycle still needs.

But Iran isn't interested in the peaceful uses of nuclear power. Denninger correctly points out that you enrich to 5% U-235 for nuclear power (if that; commercial plants in the US run about 3%) and once you get past about 20%, further enrichment is trivial.

Look: when you mine and smelt uranium, 0.7% of the stuff is U-235. So if you smelt a ton of uranium metal from (I don't even know how much) ore, exactly 14 lbs of it will be U-235.

Fourteen pounds. Out of a ton.

And you can't run to the chem lab to separate that U-235 from all the U-238 around it, because the U-235 is chemically identical to the U-238. You have to do a bunch of complicated and time-consuming things to take out some of the U-238, and only the U-238. Iran is using centrifuges; there are a lot of tubes whirling away at thousands of RPM to separate the heavier uranium isotopes from the lighter ones.

Okay: in the 1940s the Manhattan Project built Oak Ridge, Tennesee--the whole town--to enrich uranium. They built two huge buildings to house the machines which enriched uranium; one building was full of scores of particle accelerators--mass spectrometers--which separated the two isotopes quite literally one atom at a time. The other was the K-25 gaseous diffusion plant, which used sintered porous barriers to filter uranium hexafluoride such that the U-235 could be collected.

Big, complicated, expensive, and labor-intensive...and they had enough U-235 in 1945 to build one bomb with it. The imposion bombs used plutonium, which was much easier to extract from spent fuel, since it was chemically different from uranium. Yeah. They had to invent implosion and get a lot of extremely finicky details right in order to make it work, but that was easier than enriching uranium.

But the hard part is getting past about 10% enriched. If you've got a ton of uranium metal that's been enriched to 10% U-235, there's 200 lbs of U-235 in that mass...compared to the 14 lbs in a ton of unenriched uranium. Instead of having to pick one atom out of every 143, at 10% enrichment, you only need to pick one atom out of every ten.

At 27% enrichment, you only need pick one atom out of every four.

Try it. Get out your penny jar, and count out 142 pennies. Go grab a "wheatie" penny and toss it into that jar; mix well. Now time how long it takes you to find the wheatie.

Now count out 75 pennies, and put them with twenty-five "wheaties" in the jar, mix well. Time how long it takes you to find 23 of them.

It takes around 25 lbs of U-235 to make a "Little Boy"-style gun bomb. So you start with two tons of unenriched uranium, you get enough 100% U-235 to make one bomb once you've gotten rid of all the U-238...and in fact you don't need to get rid of all of it. 90% enriched is enough U-235 to make a big bang with all the nuclear special effects, like EMP bursts and such.

Iran needs dealing with. Soon.

* * *

Everyone should be bar-coded at birth. What? "Freedom"? Outmoded! Archaic!

You know what this evokes, of course. Remember how the Nazis tattooed serial numbers on Jews? They weren't doing that in order to let them live free and peaceful lives. Any government which has to apply permanent identifying marks to the bodies of its serfs is not a legitimate government.

I just have to ask: will this woman demand that the bar codes be put on the left hand or the forehead?


* * *

My original plan for the day had been to drive the Jeep out to Tinley Park to get it smogged. I've decided to put that task off, though; tomorrow I've got to drive northward to attend my niece's high school graduation, and I want to wash the Jeep so it doesn't look as if I just dug it out of a field or something.

It's got on it a coat of that grungy sap/dirt combo that has afflicted all my vehicles. My washing the thing will make it rain, of course, but water spots hardly compare to the grunginess it displays now.

...and yeah, it's primarily a vanity thing. I'm going to be hanging around rich people and don't want to look excessively skeevy. My poor beat-up Jeep having to park with Lexus and BMW faux-trucks--dang.

Part of me says, "Hell with it! Just mail her a card!" But it's one of those things. *sigh*

That truck needs cleaning anyway.

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