Over Easy: Monday Science

Dinochicken just does not seem like a good idea

Dinochicken just does not seem like a good idea


We really had a roasting weekend. Temps well into the 90’s and not dropping out of the 80’s over night. Fairly normal for this time of year, but uncomfortable. Even with a summer shave, the Great Pyrenees just lies on the kitchen floor sucking up the cold from the tile. It does not help that as soon as she lies down, a cat wants to snuggle up to her big furry belly. Or right under her chin.

Fukushima Update:

TEPCO would really like to limit those receiving compensation as much as possible. The Japanese Government agrees with this. These payments are really hurting the JG, as they must pretend that Fuku is not so bad and thus cannot raise revenue to cover it. The JG took on a lot of liabilities that should have stayed with TEPCO to avoid (or maybe only delay) a bankruptcy filing.

Counterpunch has a pretty good summary. They may be right about Fuku being the biggest coverup of the century, however one should not underestimate the desire of governments to cover up their own screwups and protect their contributors.

Now, here’s some spin for you. Headline reads: Japan to Allow Thousands to Return Home. What that REALLY means is that the JG, against the wishes of the Evacuees, is forcing people to return to contaminated areas by cutting off the assistance payments.

The JG has approved a cleanup plan. It has a 30 – 40 year time span and it delays the removal of the fuel rods from the #1-3 SFP’s by three years. No mention of the corium. No mention of the fact that the technology simply does not yet exist for a number of timelined operations.

They’re developing a flying drone that will try to operate inside the reactor buildings. They’ll need a lot of copies, as even with the best radiation hardening those drones will have a limited lifespan.

Low level radiation, like what the government currently assures is safe, is much more dangerous than realized. Check out the PDF link in this ENENEWS story. Quote from the story, emphasis mine: [Our analysis] gives 189 lung cancer deaths per year per million persons per rem. This is over 100 times the official estimates and completely changes the picture. To translate: If you expose 1M people to 1 rem, you get 189 cancers. 2 rems, you get 378. At the official level of 5 rems, you get 945!

The comet lander wakes! They had hopes that this would happen. It doesn’t have much power available, about 24 watts. But it can send data at 19w and it can collect data at about 10w, so we’re going to get some science from it. Per CNN, there about 8000 packets of data already stored and ready to transmit.

The New Horizon’s probe is one month away from it’s closest approach to Pluto. When it left earth, Pluto was still a planet.

If we want to find life, our best shot (and it’s a pretty good one) is Europa. NASA agrees and is planning several possible missions. While their public speculation is restrained, privately scientists are saying that life SHOULD be there based on the data we have.

They’re trying to turn a chicken into a dinosaur. I successfully turned a chicken into a potpie, which seems more practical.

Boxturtle (Imagine the drumstick!)

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The Roundup for June 14-15th, 2015




  1. Boxturtle
    June 15, 2015 at 7:51 am

    Good Morning All!

    Is it just me, or does it seem to you that the Discovery Institute, the major backer of the Intelligent design version of creationism, is frantically issuing press releases and stories?

    Googleing “intelligent design got me this:

    Wonder if it has anything to do with Jindal’s latest effort in Louisiana?

    Boxturtle (Or any of the other red state school boards?)

  2. oldhippiejan
    June 15, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Good morning BT and as always thanks. Are ALL governments evil and crooked, From all appearances, the JG is just as bad as the one we have here. Forcing people to live in contaminated areas is contemptible. The story on the dino-chicken was quite a jaw dropper. Am I missing something? What the hell is the point. Surely there must be a few other things more important. Out of curiosity, do you know if any government grant money is being used on this pig in a poke.
    Also a warm weekend here in beautiful IN, but don’t think we hit 90. Took two attempts to mow yard between rain showers. More rain on tap for today.

  3. Marion in Savannah
    June 15, 2015 at 8:30 am

    Good morning, pups. Today we have Blow and Krugman. In “Jeb Bush and Single Mothers” Mr. Blow points out that policies that fight poverty, provide sex education and encourage parental involvement would all help alleviate a crisis that needn’t be so severe. Prof. Krugman, in “Democrats Being Democrats,” says the Davos Democrats who argued against progressive policies have lost much of their political grip. Actually, the party lost its grip and its mind when they ran Howard Dean out of town.

    HERE they are, and

    HERE’s Krugman’s blog.

    The coffee and tea are ready, and the biscuits are out of the oven. It’s summer here too, but at least the temps get down into the 70s at night, and the humidity drops. I can see the lure of turning a chicken into a dinosaur, but I’m about to head out to the kitchen to turn a stewing hen into chicken salad. (An older hen makes MUCH better chicken salad, and the broth is heavenly. With younger birds the stewed meat tends to get mushy.) But before I do that I’m going out to water. We may get an afternoon storm, but I’m not going to count on it. Have a great day.

  4. Alice X
    June 15, 2015 at 8:40 am

    Morning all – not ready to look into any hard facts just yet.

    Meanwhile here’s a NASA infomercial brought to you probably by Apple Computer since they had so many clear product placements of their laptops.

    Coffee first, then thought…

  5. Boxturtle
    June 15, 2015 at 8:46 am

    People want to recreate dinosaurs. But the real point of this research is the ability to splice and dice genes prior to birth. In a good world, this would be used to cure genetic diseases.

    Boxturtle (In the real world, it will be used for larger breasts and bigger muscles)

  6. Boxturtle
    June 15, 2015 at 8:50 am

    Am I the only one who smelt hypocrisy when Hillary cheered for fast track defeat?

    My Grandmother used to say that about chickens as well. She HATED store bought chickens, would send me down the street to “get an old bird from that old bird”.

    Boxturtle (I was required to address the Old Bird as “Mrs. Ferguson”)

  7. oldhippiejan
    June 15, 2015 at 8:53 am

    We have growth hormones for that, or is that not big enough?
    Curing genetic diseases would indeed be admirable, but we both know doing admirable things are not what we’re about.

  8. oldhippiejan
    June 15, 2015 at 9:00 am

    Couldn’t agree more about Howard Dean. He had a brilliant 50 state plan in place which helped elect the disaster we have now. Then he was quickly dispatched out of any cabinet post or position of Democratic party leadership.
    (I wish he would stop whoring himself out on Morning Joe on behalf of the Democratic party.)

  9. Beverly Lawson
    June 15, 2015 at 9:16 am

    Good Morning Box and All, Thanks for the post and getting us started.

  10. Beverly Lawson
    June 15, 2015 at 10:00 am

    Where are all our friends this morning? Here we are under a flash flood watch until Thursday….sounds pretty dicey. Weird summer weather…..

  11. Boxturtle
    June 15, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Dunno. Some days, real life interferes with cyber life.

    Boxturtle (There’s gotta be an app for that)

  12. Marion in Savannah
    June 15, 2015 at 10:14 am

    I think we lost a bunch of people during the “down time.” (Which was frustrating.)

  13. June 15, 2015 at 10:38 am

    good morning.

    Was there a down time? When I booted the computer this morning, I did not have the Internet, for about 2 minutes, then it came on.

  14. karenjj2
    June 15, 2015 at 10:38 am

    so THAT’S where Howard Dean went.
    yes, I knew we were headed for disaster when his 50-state strategy was trashed, website became Obomba’s day after election and Dean was thrown under the bus which backed over him a few times for evil measure.

  15. June 15, 2015 at 10:39 am

    Only 10 comments when I first looked. Almost as short as my blog!

  16. karenjj2
    June 15, 2015 at 10:47 am

    then again, some of us are wrapped up in your post and reading links ?
    good morning, bt and firepups

  17. Marion in Savannah
    June 15, 2015 at 10:48 am

    I’m talking about when the site was down for days, or only up intermittently. It was a few weeks ago, but I think a number of people just gave up.

  18. June 15, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Ah so. BT usually has a bigger group than now 15 or so. I thought maybe there was a down time on the net.

  19. June 15, 2015 at 10:58 am

    The abbreviations for words like application done so cavalierly drives me nuts. Back in analog days, color film was called ‘chromes, Hasseblads, ‘blads, etc.

    The worst of all is veggies. Ah, who can’t love a veggie? Trivializes the word as well as the object. Can’t be bothered with being complete can we?
    (end of rant)

  20. June 15, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Picked up a book called “Tasty: The Art and Science of What We Eat.”

    I was totally startled by this statement in Ch 1:

    “Flavor embodies the basic savagery of being an animal, devouring the flesh of other animals and plant in order to stay alive- and loving it!”

    That’s only one excerpt!

    I must say that similar thoughts have flitted my mind at times, but adding “and loving it” was the attention catcher!

  21. Molly
    June 15, 2015 at 11:11 am

    You aren’t the only one. I haven’t even read/watched Hillary’s speech yet (although Rachel kindly posted it yesterday). We’ll see just how much her new progressive talk proves true.

    And I wonder if the government’s 5 REM is actually 15 or 20, so we aren’t as “safe” (scare quotes intentional) as we’re told we are. I am not a scientist but everything we’re told about Fuku and radiation fills me with both doubt and dread.

  22. Molly
    June 15, 2015 at 11:12 am

    Yep, that is true for me these days.

  23. Boxturtle
    June 15, 2015 at 11:15 am

    I usually aim for about 500 words and when I get there I stop. I guess I was a little wordy today.

    Boxturtle (And hitting all that Discovery Insitute propaganda was depressing)

  24. June 15, 2015 at 11:32 am

    I just read the link to low level radiation. Thanks for that. I spent a big part of Saturday going over data concerning Radon in water, as now, with enclosed tanks instead of aerated reservoirs, the summer dose of radon in Portland is going to jump when the city supplements surface water from Bull Run with water from the Columbia Well fields along the south shore of the Columbia. The hitch was the allowable dose levels, in some cases claiming 4000 pCi/L to be ok! Yet, the spec for ground radon entering the home is 4pCi/L. Under the present levels at the well head and considering the amount of radon escaping in showers and washing machines (50% and higher) the dose level can be as high as 25pCi/L at 10% dilution of Bull Run with Columbia well fields.

    City blandly denies any problems.

  25. Marion in Savannah
    June 15, 2015 at 11:50 am

    That sounds like a book I’ve got to read! Thanks for the tip.

  26. Alice X
    June 15, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    So I’m back after watching/listening to a talk on the TTIP which I linked on Brandon’s Roundup – terrifying.

    I perhaps gave short shrift to the Nasa Pluto flyby link below. I found it worthwhile. It is the first and the last visit to Pluto in our lifetime.

  27. Boxturtle
    June 15, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    The people who bother me are the ones who go around verbing nouns.

    Boxturtle (I got some small relief when the spellchecker highlighted “verbing”)

  28. Boxturtle
    June 15, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    It’s not just Radon. The city doesn’t check for alpha emitters other than Radon and they don’t check for decay products. And they treat all sources of radiation equally, even though Plutonium is persistent in the body and radon generally is not.

    Offering elected officials a glass of water with the allowable dose on unnamed radioactivity is always effective. To date, nobody has dared to drink what they tell everybody else is safe.

    Boxturtle (And it’s funny to see their faces when they refuse)

  29. Boxturtle
    June 15, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    I’ve need waiting for that probe ever since it was first announced in the 1960’s. I had a wall poster of all the planned space probes. The original launch date of 1989 slipped and the mission underwent several rebirths.

    Pluto is probably just a rock, but it could be a very interesting rock. It might well be leftover material from the formation of the solar system, rather than a formed minor planet.

    Boxturtle (There was a time when I worried I’d be dead before I saw any data)

  30. Beverly Lawson
    June 15, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Yes, Some who never accepted the new Disq. as well…..Lots of frustration for some.

  31. Alice X
    June 15, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Hang in there BT – July 14/15 is the fly by. The first encounter with the first denizen of the Kuiper belt.

    Fascinating that Europa has more water than Earth, quite a bit more.

    It is mostly water there. Did the Mercury sized object that hit the Earth knocking away the moon take all that water and drop it off by Jupiter?

    Hmmmm – it is cosmic conspiracy!

  32. Boxturtle
    June 15, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    We don’t really know. Our data about radiation exposure is limited and largely classified. The data those researchers worked from was classified until recently. The data on the USS Reagan is classified. The data on TMI was fudged in a lot of places and I don’t trust it. And so on.

    But don’t worry. You and I are both old enough that something will certainly get us before Fuku radiation does.

    Boxturtle (Or are you one of those Nervous Nellies who worries about future generations?)

  33. Boxturtle
    June 15, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Odds are that IF the impact theory is correct, the impact occurred before much water existed on the earth.

    And if the impact theory is correct, then another theory must be used to determine how Europa formed, as the amount of energy to bust something lose from Jupiter’s gravity would require another Jupiter sized body.

    When I was a kid, the formed from molten earth theory was popular. And the assumption was that the moons formed about the same way and time as the planets.

    Boxturtle (The person whose theory proves out will win a Nobel)

  34. Alice X
    June 15, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    It was subversive humor…

  35. Molly
    June 15, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    Yes, since I have two kids and 8 grandkids to worry about. At 72, a lot of things are gonna kill me before radiation does.

    A friend who is a couple of years older than I am said her doc told her she doesn’t need to have any more colonoscopies, because any tumors (cancerous polyps) found now are so slow growing that something else would kill her first anyway. I think I had my last colonoscopy a few weeks ago, and when it comes up again I will just say no.

  36. June 15, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    Maybe they don’t but I do. (Theoretical check. I have no instrumentation.)

    So far as decay (daughter) products, that’s a given. The next two are also alpha emitters but very short half lives, until you reach a lead isotope. So far as the Columbia itself, it has Hanford stuff as well as residuals from an aluminum plant, no longer in existence but it’s leftovers, yes.

    I also would like to hand them a glass of water right from the pumps.