Updates from June, 2008 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Pat 4:19 pm on 30 June 2008 Permalink  

    CBC News headline: Nuclear explosions could be key to spotting fake paintings

    It turns out that you don’t have to set off a nuke in order to identify a fake painting. The headline refers to aboveground nuclear detonations that took place between 1945 and 1963. “Flax fields absorbed the isotopes from nuclear fallout, resulting in traces of the isotopes in natural oils used in paints.” Any painting that is supposed to date from before 1945 should be completely free of these isotopes. If it sets off the Geiger counter, it’s a recent forgery.

    So even radioactive fallout isn’t always a bad thing.

    While I was perusing CBC News, I also noticed this headline: Montreal artist crams disco into a box

    Excellent! Now make sure that box is nailed shut and bury it in a very deep hole. Do that and the Nobel Peace Prize is yours.

  • Hober Short 11:14 am on 30 June 2008 Permalink  

    Nintendo: you know that you’ve successfully reached outside the core gamer demographic when pensioners are giving Wiis to their adult children because the parents enjoyed their own Wii so much.

  • Hober Short 4:01 pm on 27 June 2008 Permalink  

    The mention of Three Mile Island reminds me of a recent anecdote from a nuclear engineer friend of mine. A PR meeting he and some fellow power company employees had with some anti-nuke activists involved a not-so-bright colleague of his informing the anti-nukers that, during a recent control rod change at the reactor where he works, he had been exposed to three times the dosage resulting from the Three Mile Island incident.

    They, naturally, recoiled in horror, surprised that this man was not melting into a radioactive blob in front of their eyes. Of course, as Jayne once said, “Ten percent of nothin’ is, let me do the math here… nothin’ and a nothin’, carry the nothin’… “

  • Hober Short 3:52 pm on 27 June 2008 Permalink  

    From the God article:

    Police say he sold the cocaine to undercover detectives in his neighborhood. When officers searched his home, they reported finding another 22 grams of cocaine and a scale.

    We’ve got many of those in our house, dad. Any chance we also have multiple grams of cocaine too?

    Cum hoc ergo propter hoc.

  • Pat 3:16 pm on 27 June 2008 Permalink  

    I am no fan of Karl Marx, and it pains me to say that he was right about anything. But he is the person who said “Religion is the opiate of the people”, and this headline suggests that he was correct: God accused of selling cocaine near church

  • Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr. 1:36 pm on 27 June 2008 Permalink  

    I’d be inclined to say that there is no single direct cause. The abandonment of building up our nuclear-power infrastructure is probably largely because of Three Mile Island and The China Syndrome, which were practically simultaneous, though both only served to encourage the “no nukes” mentality that was already prevalent.

    I’d say instead that both problems are long-term consequences of the general environmental idiocy that was born in the 1960s and matured in the 1970s.

  • Hober Short 10:08 am on 27 June 2008 Permalink  

    From Investor’s Business Daily:

    Building things is a good indication of the relative confidence of a society. But the last American gasoline refinery was built almost three decades ago. As “cowards of our conscience,” we’ve come up with countless mitigating reasons not to build a new one. Our inaction has meant that our nation’s gasoline facilities have grown old, out of date and dangerous.

    Maybe Americans can instead substitute plug-in, next-generation electric cars that can be charged at night on the nation’s grid powered by nuclear power plants? Wrong again. We haven’t issued a single new license that actually led to the building of a nuclear power plant in more than 30 years.

    I never made the chronological connection before, that both efforts were stymied around the same time. You guys were there: what happened? Is it related to this?

    Environmental Protection Agency
    Agency overview
    Formed December 2, 1970

  • Pat 3:38 pm on 26 June 2008 Permalink  

    There’s also the fact that every single amendment in the Bill of Rights explicitly limits the tools that elected officials can use to impose their will on us. That’s the whole point of the Bill of Rights.

  • Hober Short 12:29 pm on 26 June 2008 Permalink  

    The Supreme Court rules for the plaintiff DC v. Heller today, which is good news in and of itself. But what I think is particularly noteworthy is this:

    In a dissent he summarized from the bench, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that the majority “would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the Framers made a choice to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian uses of weapons.”

    He said such evidence “is nowhere to be found.”


    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    What am I missing here?

    Update: Dang, looks like Rachel scooped me on this.

  • Pat 3:17 pm on 24 June 2008 Permalink  

    Regarding the ridiculous “Everything Seemingly Is Spinning Out Of Control” article published by the AP, James Taranto points out how similar it is to this Onion article. The difference, of course, is that the Onion article was intended be ridiculous.

    I was particularly amused by the reference to the National Blame Allocation Council. How can I get a job working for them?

    UPDATE: This article also seems relevant somehow.

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