Demon core - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia -
On August 21, 1945, the plutonium core produced a burst of neutron radiation that led toHarry Daghlian's death. Daghlian, a physicist, made a mistake while working alone performingneutron reflection experiments on the core. The core was placed within a stack of neutron-reflective tungsten carbide bricks and the addition of each brick moved the assembly closer tocriticality. While attempting to stack another brick around the assembly, Daghlian accidentally dropped it onto the core and thereby caused the core to go critical, a self-sustaining chain reaction. Despite quick action in moving the brick off the assembly, Daghlian received a fatal dose of radiation. He died 25 days later from acute radiation poisoning.
Via a reading hole triggered by Noah Veltman’s Wikipedia list advent calendar.
Report: Obama's ethanol policy has ravaged the environment | Al Jazeera America -
the ethanol era has proved far more damaging to the environment than politicians said and much worse than the government admits today, an Associated Press investigation found. As farmers rushed to find new places to plant corn, they wiped out millions of acres of conserved land, destroyed habitats and polluted water supplies.
Five million acres of land — more than in Yellowstone, Everglades and Yosemite national parks combined — have been pulled from conservation on Obama’s watch, according to Agriculture Department figures.
What’s more, from 2005 to 2010, corn farmers increased their use of nitrogen fertilizer by more than 1 billion pounds. More recent data isn’t available from the Agriculture Department, but because of the huge increase in corn planting, even conservative projections by the AP suggest another billion-pound fertilizer increase on corn farms since then.
Worth reading the contrasting opinions on this one—it’ll be an ongoing debate for some time, no doubt.
Similarly, while we understand that the Church is a multinational organization that requires money to do God’s work on Earth and do not expect its administrators to live off of stale bread donated by the pious, we feel that your accounts receivable techniques, which consisted of priests literally raking in money for you, with actual, non-metaphorical rakes, to be, as they say today, bad optics. — Popes Who Didn’t Make the Cut to be Saints
Speaking 2 languages can help keep dementia at bay
People who spoke two languages developed dementia 4 1/2 years later than those who spoke just one — even in people who were illiterate, said scientists who reviewed the records of hundreds of dementia patients.
The study is the largest to date to document the delay ofdementia in bilingual people and the first to suggest that education level alone can’t explain the difference, the researchers said. The researchers also controlled their results for age, sex, occupation and rural versus urban living.
The researchers reviewed the case histories of 648 people with dementia; 391 of them were bilingual. The people lived in Hyderabad, India — interesting because much previous work in this area has been with immigrants, who bring a native language to a new culture. Most people in Hyderabad are at least bilingual. They are exposed to Telugu and Dakhini languages in informal contexts, such as home, and to Hindi and English in school and other formal contexts.
Full Story: LA Times
Bright Young Librarians: Will Hansen - The Fine Books Blog -
Willie being awesome, as usual.
Is leaking treason? Snowden, Manning, and Miranda are accused of terrorism and aiding the enemy. -
A what if scenario: What if Antarctica’s ice melted, what would the land mass look like?
IF ALL THE ICE MELTED
Aside from the Oceans, the biggest reservoir of water on Earth is tied up in ice; a whopping 20,840 million cubic kilometres of ice, to be exact.
However, as our climate changes, this number is steadily decreasing. Since the industrial revolution, enormous releases of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide have been bellowing into our atmosphere, primarily from the combustion of fossil fuels. As a result, we have watched, year on year, as the global mean temperature has risen at an unprecedented rate. Consequently, ice caps have been melting, glaciers have been retreating and this coupled with thermal expansion has resulted in a rise in sea levels.
If we continue adding carbon to the atmosphere it is probable that we will eventually have an ice free planet; the first time in 30 million years.
What would this look like?
Well, the world as we know it would be a very different place. For a start, the maps that we have all come so familiar with would have to be redrawn. If all the ice melted, global sea level would rise 65.8 metres (216 feet), creating new shorelines for our continents and inland seas.
To help you visualise this scenario, National Geographic have created this interactive map showing the effect of such a significant rise in sea level on the seven continents.
Take a gander and see how sea level rise would impact the world: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/09/rising-seas/if-ice-melted-map
Congo Siasa: Kabila's choice: reforms or survival?
What Is The Quantum of Proof Necessary for Police to Rape and Torture you in New Mexico? | Popehat -
Welcome to the Jumble | Wilson Quarterly -
Tom Vanderbilt on the evolution of the term “neighborhood”.
Whatever size neighborhood we live in, we are likely to further rearrange it in our own conception. The writer Jonathan Raban, reflecting a few decades after the publication of his influential 1974 book Soft City, which proposed the idea of the “city of illusion, myth, aspiration, nightmare,” talked about the liberating quality of the metropolis, where you were not “stuck” with your neighbors, as in suburbia, but could construct your own personal city. He wondered, as critics such as Mumford had done before, whether gentrification and increasing class segmentation were destroying that sense of possibility. Perhaps the Internet, where his daughter dwelt in an “elective community of exactly the kind I once sought in the big city,” was where the soft city now resided. Perhaps social networks and the like were the new neighborhoods, not of proximity, but interest.
But Raban’s whole supposition, of the freedom, essentially from one’s context, that could be found in the city, ignores one thing: For many urban residents, neighborhoods are more than fictive constructs. They are real, and they are the very stuff of life and death.
Jesse Livermore: The Greatest Trader Who Ever Lived Crossing Wall Street -
Again he hit the bucket shops, again accumulating a stake that allowed him to get back into the game. He returned to New York with what he termed a “fair-sized roll.” Then, on April 16, 1906, he was hit by a premonition. With no warning, he yielded to a strange urge to sell short a thousand shares of Union Pacific railroad—an urge even he admitted he didn’t understand. Two days later, the San Francisco Earthquakehit. Union Pacific was decimated; he’d made $250,000 literally overnight. Inexplicable, the sudden intuition, but just as inexplicable was what happened next: again trading in shares of Union Pacific, he violated two of his most cherished principles—never heed insider information, and always keep your own counsel—and sold short when a friend tipped him off that the stock was about to tank. It didn’t. His net loss: more than $40,000.
The arcs described by the pendulum continued to widen, the swings to grow ever more vertiginous. During thePanic of 1907, Livermore again shorted the market, earning $1 million in the course of a few days. He then proceeded to lose everything in an attempt to corner the cotton sector, declaring bankruptcy and running up debts of over $1 million by 1916. Once again, he amassed sufficient capital to recover, making first $3 million (in assorted commodities), then $10 million (in wheat). Then came his greatest moment: sensing the impending 1929 crash, he again shorted the market, emerging from the rubble of October 29 with a net profit of $100 million—well over a billion dollars in today’s money.
Five years later, he was bankrupt, his vast fortune completely wiped out, for reasons that remain mysterious even today.
The Secret History of CIA Women | Mother Jones
Page 2: Remembering 10-Cent Beer Night - ESPN Page 2 -
Any rumination on Cleveland’s fortunes in the ’70s must include the woeful state of the Cuyahoga River, which ran a winding course through downtown. In 1952, it caught fire for the ninth time. Years and years of absorbing liberal amounts of industrial waste had turned the Cuyahoga into something more than just a waterway. The fetid river burned with Stygian fury, destroying $1.5 million in property. Despite the significance of the incident, it didn’t attract much national news coverage. But in 1969, when the Cuyahoga caught fire again, flames reached five stories in height and burned for almost a half-hour. Still, they did little more than scorch a rail bridge, and the damage cost just $50,000 to repair. In Cleveland, this was viewed as improvement. Between ‘52 and ‘69, however, the national attitude toward flammable bodies of water had changed.