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Over Easy: Monday Science


Well, I’ve mostly recovered from the flu I got despite taking the shot. Mostly. The CDC may have got the wrong mix this year, that happens on occasion. However, the reports indicating that the vaccine doesn’t work this year are greatly exaggerated. Remember, the mix of virii that will be used in the vaccine are guessed based upon known tracking indicators. It’s an educated guess, but still a guess.

Fukushima Update:

You may recall a couple weeks ago I wondered whatever happened to the idea of the Muon detector to find the corium.  They are now saying they hope to begin the scans in February. As long as the corium is within the scanners, this should work. Be prepared to be very scared…

Meanwhile, the Japanese nuke plant operators are simply refusing to dry cask fuel for storage. They insist the reprocessing plant the government hasn’t built yet process the fuel first, thus reducing the amount of fuel they must drycask. It cost about $1m for each dry cask, and probably several hundred thousand more to fill it.

TEPCO being cheap lead to the spread of radioactive dusk in 2013, it is reveled. No fines or criminal charges planned. I guess in this case, no fines is fine because it would amount to the government fining itself. TEPCO is effectively bankrupt.

The JG still wants to restart reactors. Some community leaders, despite citizen opposition, have agreed to support this. But not all.

The current “consensus”  prediction is that Fuku radiation will peak off the US west coast sometime this year. The predicted levels of contamination are well below what the US and Canadian governments deem unsafe. Given that Fuku is still leaking and we’re seeing data that says the contamination is not moving exactly as predicted, I’d take this with a grain or two of salt.

One of the first things congress will do this year is actually useful: A bill to study the effects of low level radiation.  We know very little about how long term low dose radiation effects us. The bill is bipartisan and the Nuke industry supports it, which makes me wonder….

The Vermont Yankee Nuke plant was shut down permanently Dec 29. Good.

Would you believe smelling something revolting enough can make you more conservative for awhile? This study says there’s a relationship.  My first thought was Rover, in a cropduster, spraying Ohio on election day.

The same person can have completely opposite reactions to the same statement, depending on which political party made the statement. This may explain why when Fox says something, it’s good but when MsNBC says something it’s bad. And vice versa.

Somebody is going to try to eat giant squid. Don’t think it will go well, that thing has enough ammonia in it to scrub kitchen floors. However, people eat this willingly and giant squid can’t be much worse. Hakarl was described by Anthony Bourdain as “the single worst, most disgusting and terrible tasting thing I’ve ever eaten”.

Boxturtle (And he’s eaten bugs stuffed with maggots and liked it)

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