June 1, 2011 archive

Today on The Stars Hollow Gazette

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Wednesday is mishima’s well deserved day of rest

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The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is an Open Thread

Fukushima Could Kill 920 Million People


Just in case you ever wonder about the worst-case scenario at Fukushima…

If all the plutonium at Fukushima burns and disperses into the atmosphere, a LOW ESTIMATE of the death-toll adds up to about 920,000,000 people, and that’s applying the nuclear industry’s own “myth-busting” refutation of Ralph Nader’s “alarmist” arithmetic.

A commonly cited quote by Ralph Nader, states that a pound of plutonium dust spread into the atmosphere would be enough to kill 8 billion people. However, the math shows that one pound of plutonium could kill no more than 2 million people by inhalation. This makes the toxicity of plutonium roughly equivalent with that of nerve gas.

And isn’t that soothing!

Plutonium is almost the same as oatmeal!

It’s only as toxic as nerve gas!

But there’s a heck of a lot of that plutonium-oatmeal stored at Fukushima!

The 1,458 tons of plutonium held as “Unirradiated new fuel at reactor sites etc.” includes 210 kg at Fukushima I-3 (TEPCO).

210 kilograms is about 460 pounds, and even if we accept the low-ball estimate of 2,000,000 fatalities per pound, that’s still an awful lot of people!

460 X 2000000 = 920,000,000 people.


CNN Makes Its Debut

Adapted from On This Day In History from The Stars Hollow Gazette

On this day in 1980, CNN (Cable News Network), the world’s first 24-hour television news network, makes its debut. The network signed on at 6 p.m. EST from its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, with a lead story about the attempted assassination of civil rights leader Vernon Jordan. CNN went on to change the notion that news could only be reported at fixed times throughout the day. At the time of CNN’s launch, TV news was dominated by three major networks–ABC, CBS and NBC–and their nightly 30-minute broadcasts. Initially available in less than two million U.S. homes, today CNN is seen in more than 89 million American households and over 160 million homes internationally.

CNN was the brainchild of Robert “Ted” Turner, a colorful, outspoken businessman dubbed the “Mouth of the South.” Turner was born on November 19, 1938, in Cincinnati, Ohio, and as a child moved with his family to Georgia, where his father ran a successful billboard advertising company. After his father committed suicide in 1963, Turner took over the business and expanded it. In 1970, he bought a failing Atlanta TV station that broadcast old movies and network reruns and within a few years Turner had transformed it into a “superstation,” a concept he pioneered, in which the station was beamed by satellite into homes across the country. Turner later bought the Atlanta Braves baseball team and the Atlanta Hawks basketball team and aired their games on his network, TBS (Turner Broadcasting System). In 1977, Turner gained international fame when he sailed his yacht to victory in the prestigious America’s Cup race.

Early history

The Cable News Network was launched at 5:00 p.m. EST on Sunday June 1, 1980. After an introduction by Ted Turner, the husband and wife team of David Walker and Lois Hart anchored the first newscast. Burt Reinhardt, the then executive vice president of CNN, hired most of CNN’s first 200 employees, including the network’s first news anchor, Bernard Shaw.

Since its debut, CNN has expanded its reach to a number of cable and satellite television companies, several web sites, specialized closed-circuit channels (such as CNN Airport Network), and a radio network. The company has 36 bureaus (10 domestic, 26 international), more than 900 affiliated local stations, and several regional and foreign-language networks around the world. The channel’s success made a bona-fide mogul of founder Ted Turner and set the stage for the Time Warner conglomerate’s eventual acquisition of Turner Broadcasting.

A companion channel, CNN2, was launched on January 1, 1982 and featured a continuous 24-hour cycle of 30-minute news broadcasts. A year later, it changed its name to “CNN Headline News”, and eventually it was simply called “Headline News”. (In 2005, Headline News would break from its original format with the addition of Headline Prime, a prime-time programming block that features news commentary; and in 2008 the channel changed its name again, to “HLN”.)

In Case You Missed It

Not everyone was up at 2:35 yesterday morning.

Official NASA Video.

The Next Meltdown

Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette


(T)he ECB keeps saying that restructuring is unthinkable. Yet austerity programs are not working; the prospect of a return to normal financing is receding rather than approaching.

If you ask me, the water level has now dropped so far that the fuel rods are exposed. We really are in meltdown territory.

How is that austerity thing working out for you?

Unity, Faith, and the Body of America

While riding on the bus here in DC recently, I’ve noticed another in a series of ad campaigns by atheist, agnostic, and non-theist groups.  The Freedom From Religion Foundation has been particularly persistent and prominent.  Their basic advertising technique displays a quotation advancing an anti-religious view from a series of important Americans throughout time.  They seek to best advance a basic message that religion and government have no part.  While I agree that a strict separation or wall between the two is necessary, I would not agree to remove moral teachings with a religious focus altogether from the process.  Real religion and spirituality, not its watered-down, adulterated, self-serving imitation is never plentiful.

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Health and Fitness weekly diary which is cross-posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette. It is open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here and on the right hand side of the Front Page.

Proper Uses for Quinoa


Note to chefs: Quinoa doesn’t work as a risotto. It doesn’t have enough starch for the broth, which is what makes a good risotto creamy. Quinoa also has a grassy flavor and a texture that ranges from fluffy – too fluffy for risotto – to granular.

Quinoa is perfect, however, for a salad. It can be the main ingredient, or it can play alongside lettuces and other greens. Quinoa works very well as a pilaf, but think about adding vegetables that will complement its grassy flavor. Many of you may have been disturbed by the news that quinoa’s popularity abroad is making it unaffordable in Bolivia, where it has long been a staple. The good news is that several companies are committed to paying farmers fair market value for their produce.

Rainbow Quinoa Tabbouleh

Quinoa lends itself to lemony salads, and the rainbow mix is particularly nice because each type of quinoa has a slightly different texture.

Quinoa and Beet Pilaf

his beautiful pink pilaf, made with pearl white quinoa, uses both roasted beets and their greens.

Quinoa, Lentil Sprout and Arugula Salad

Use lentil or sunflower sprouts, which have a peppery flavor, in this well-textured salad.

Quinoa and Chard Cakes

These delightful “burgers” can be served as a main dish or side, and made with spinach in place of chard.

Quinoa Pancakes

The addition of cooked quinoa to regular buttermilk pancake batter results in a thick, moist pancake that’s hefty but not heavy.


Hare Trigger

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

Time for a break from poetry…in order to create some art.

I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”

–Bruce Lee

Basket 4

Late Night Karaoke

Today May 31 is my second granddaughter’s first birthday

A year ago her birth appeared normal.  Then about two months later the doctor recognized her head was not growing normally and her left ear was protruding and appeared to lack normal cartilage.  A couple months later after genetics testing, we got the bad news — she has a chromosome defect.  A  defect called a 6q 25-terminal deletion.  In layman’s terms that means that the longer chromosome of her 6th chromosome pair is missing a section at the end.

Her primary problem is a malformed brain.  She has a condition called holoprosencephaly which means that her forebrain did not properly divide into hemispheres.

At age about six months we were told by the neurologist that she might never talk, never walk and never be potty trained.

Today at her yearly exam my daughter was told the same thing by her pediatric neurosurgeon who is scheduled to do cosmetic surgery on her head.  Quite a disappointing first birthday.

Neither my daughter or her husband have any chromosome abnormalities — my granddaughter’s condition is a very rare defect.  We only know of about forty reported cases.  It is so rare that the National Organization of Rare Diseases (NORD) does not mention it.

There is a facebook group started for children with this defect and the good news is that nearly all walk and some can sign.  All are very developmentally delayed.

She is cute as a bug even though her head is a bit lopsided and her left ear protrudes.  Blond hair and blue eyes — no one in my family has those traits.

Anyway we shall carry on.

Assad The Sadist w/video

A Syrian child has been barbarically tortured and murdered by Assad’s security forces. He’s now a symbol of Syrian resistance. With a thousand civilians killed, ten thousand arrested, and many tortured, Assad and his merry murderous band of Alawites must go!

CAIRO – Hamza Ali al-Khateeb, a round-faced 13-year-old boy, was arrested at a protest in Jiza, a southern Syrian village near Dara’a, on April 29. Nothing was known of him for a month before his mutilated corpse was returned to his family on the condition, according to activists, that they never speak of his brutal end.

But the remains themselves testify all too clearly to ghastly torture. Video posted online shows his battered, purple face. His skin is scrawled with cuts, gashes, deep burns and bullet wounds that would probably have injured but not killed. His jaw and kneecaps are shattered, according to an unidentified narrator, and his penis chopped off.

“These are the reforms of the treacherous Bashar,” the narrator says. “Where are human rights? Where are the international criminal tribunals?”

In Syria and beyond, the youth’s battered body has cast into shocking relief the terrors wielded by the Syrian state against its people.

Circulating in various versions, the video has injected new life into a six-week uprising against President Bashar al-Assad that has appeared to settle into a bloody stalemate of protests and violent government responses. In the days since news of the death spread, more than 58,000 people have visited and expressed support for a Facebook page memorializing the boy, Hamza Ali al-Khateeb, as a “child martyr.”

Where are human rights?