Thursday, July 25, 2013

Knots don't always weaken a fiber

If it's a carbon fiber, knots can actually make it stronger.

Obamacare questions get answered

Americans for Prosperity spent $1 million to buy ads that raise some questions about Obamacare.  The implication is that the answers to the questions are ones you may not like.  However, just the opposite is true.  You will probably like these answers.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Republicans Pass Bloated Socialist Monstrosity

If there is any question about Republican hypocrisy, this act should remove all doubt. 
It’s no longer novel that conservative Republicans have positioned themselves to Obama’s left on domestic spending that benefits their own constituencies. We have seen three years of Republicans attacking Obama for robbing Grandma’s Medicare. But at least Medicare is a justifiable program. The existence of farm subsidies is insane, and the fact that a party that hates government so much it engages in a continuous guerilla war of shutdowns, manufactured currency crises, and outright sabotage can’t eliminate it may be the most telling indicator of the GOP’s venality. They only hate necessary government spending. Totally unjustifiable spending is fine with them.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Fukushima 2.25 -- The Humanitarian Crisis

Here's another article that compares the radiological damage of the Fukushima meltdown to the humanitarian damage done by the response to it.  The latter is far worse than the former.  The fear is causing more problems than anything having to do with the nuclear effects.  Fukushima is nowhere close to the scale for Chernobyl despite the many attempts to put them together.

That the region was rapidly evacuated and everyone told not to eat anything from that area (for two months as I-131 decayed away), was all that was needed to reduce any threat of thyroid effects and all other cancers from most of the affected areas. Japan did this. The Soviets did not.  That is why comparisons between Fukushima and Chernobyl fail. That plus Chernobyl released ten times as much radiation into the atmosphere and was a weapons reactor.

Getting the carbon out of emissions

Here's a new technique that provides a cheap and easy way to remove CO2 from industrial emissions.  Good news for fossil fuel plants and other generators of CO2.

Crabby Conservatism

There is a class of people who are quick to be critical of others.  Perhaps they have been targets of excessive criticism in te past and they live a life fraught with insecurities. Unfortunately, this sometimes comes out in supermarket checkout lines.  Yes, food stamp fraud exists.  But, typically, it occurs when a disreputable establishment exchanges an amount of cash for a higher amount of food stamps.  When you see a person paying with food stamps, you can be pretty sure that they are indeed poor and are doing the best they can.

From someone who has been there,
"When you get that money, you feel like you can breathe," she said. "I can understand why people would buy things that people think are outrageous. When it comes, you feel like I can buy whatever food I want right now. You never can buy whatever you want. My clothes are hand-me-down, furniture second-hand. The food is new and mine."

Yes We Can - Dispose Of Nuclear Waste

Beyond just a way to find an acceptable way of disposing of nuclear waste, the Nuclear Waste Administration Act of 2013 lays out a new model of how to construct legislation on difficult issues.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Big, Not Cute

According to Bill Gates, real energy solutions need to be massive and industrial, not experimental and small-scale.  Most green energy advocates don't seem to have an appreciation of the scale of energy that is needed to run a developed country such as ours.  It's one thing to be able to power a few households, but it's another to power an aluminum smelter or a large server farm.

DOE loan guarantees fueled utility-scale renewables boom

Despite all the unwarranted publicity the Solyndra story evoked, loan guarantees generated a renewables boom.
Independent investigator Herb Allison, a former national finance chair for U.S. Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign, found little to criticize in the "utility-linked" loan segment, which included 20 clean energy generation projects with $14 billion in total principal, compared to the eight "nonutility-linked" loans of $2 billion, which included solar manufacturers and automotive manufactures in a program established by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, under Bush. Allison also reviewed $7.3 billion in loans to Ford Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.

After Tesla Motors Inc. repaid its remaining balance of $465 million on its DOE loan with interest nine years early May 22, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said the $34 billion portfolio has had losses of roughly 2%, none from the clean energy power plants.

U.S. Runs Out Of Nuclear Fuel From Russian Warheads

Now that the supply of down-blended weapons uranium has come to its end, what can we expect for the prospects of expanded mining operations.  With the growth of demand to come from the East (China), we shouldn't expect uranium prices to decline.