Daily Archive: 03/13/2011

Mar 13 2011

from firefly-dreaming 13.3.11

Regular Daily Features:

Late Night Karaoke has The Knack, mishima DJs

Gha!

Six Brilliant Articles! from Six Different Places!! on Six Different Topics!!!

                Six Days a Week!!!    at Six in the Morning!!!!

Essays Featured Sunday, March 13th:

Sunday Open Thoughts from Alma are all about the baby

patric juillet graces us with two wonderful pieces:

The Garlic Wars and Dead Water News

In Sunday Bread Bill Egnor tells how to make Tiramisu

Our thoughts for Diane & Jake are expressed in for Mike  

join the conversation! come firefly-dreaming with me….

Mar 13 2011

Obama Adopts Nixon’s Tactic

Barack now not only owns two wars, a failing economic policy but torture policy as well. After saying that the treatment of Pfc. Bradley Manning was “ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid”, State Department Spokesperson, P.J. Crowley, was forced to reign early this morning. Some may not remember Richard M. Nixon’s firing of Special Prosecutor Archibald Coxand the resignations of Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus on October 20, 1973 during the Watergate scandal but it precipitated a firestorm in Congress and the eventual resignation of Nixon from office. I doubt that either the Republicans or the Democrats are that principled these days, this does, however speak volumes about Barack and his loyal supporters who have the audacity to call themselves progressive and liberals.

Glen Greenwald also reminds of the Bush administration “firings” and what Barack had asked us to do:

Remember when the Bush administration punished Gen. Eric Shinseki for his public (and prescient) dissent on the Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz plan for Iraq, and all good Democrats thought that was so awful, such a terrible sign of the administration’s refusal to tolerate any open debate? And then there was that time when Bush fired his White House economic adviser, Lawrence Lindsey, for publicly suggesting that the Iraq War might cost $100 billion, prompting similar cries of outrage from Democrats about how the GOP crushes internal debate and dissent. Obama’s conduct seems quite far from the time during the campaign when Obama-fawning journalists like Time‘s Joe Klein were hailing him for wanting a “team of rivals”, and Obama was saying things like this: “I don’t want to have people who just agree with me. I want people who are continually pushing me out of my comfort zone.”

He further makes the point that Barack has now embraced the policies of of those who instituted world wide torture and illegal eavesdropping. He has refused to prosecute them and given them cover of full presidential immunity and given cover to Manning’s abusers. Yet from the apologists, we get lockstep support of the very same policies that they said they would not tolerate and tell those of us who dare call out Barack, to STFU because he’s a Democrat.

Besides embracing Reagan and his economic, anti-worker policies, he’s now taken a page from Nixon’s playbook. Where is Barack’s sense of justice? His sense of morality? His support of the law and the Constitution? Nixon would be proud.

Mar 13 2011

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

With 52 Top Stories.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Japan battles nuclear emergency after deadly quake

by Kelly Macnamara, AFP

1 hr 7 mins ago

FUKUSHIMA, Japan (AFP) – Japan battled a feared meltdown of two reactors at a quake-hit nuclear plant Sunday, as the full horror began emerging of the disaster on the ravaged northeast coast where more than 10,000 were feared dead.

An explosion at the ageing Fukushima No. 1 atomic plant blew apart the building housing one of its reactors Saturday, a day after the biggest quake ever recorded in Japan unleashed a monster tsunami.

The atomic emergency escalated Sunday as crews struggled to prevent overheating at a second reactor where the cooling system has also failed, and the government warned that it too could be hit with a blast.

Mar 13 2011

On This Day in History March 13

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

March 13 is the 72nd day of the year (73rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 293 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1881. Czar Alexander II, the ruler of Russia since 1855, is killed in the streets of St. Petersburg by a bomb thrown by a member of the revolutionary “People’s Will” group. The People’s Will, organized in 1879, employed terrorism and assassination in their attempt to overthrow Russia’s czarist autocracy. They murdered officials and made several attempts on the czar’s life before finally assassinating him on March 13, 1881.

Alexander II succeeded to the throne upon the death of his father in 1855. The first year of his reign was devoted to the prosecution of the Crimean War and, after the fall of Sevastopol, to negotiations for peace, led by his trusted counsellor Prince Gorchakov. The country had been exhausted and humiliated by the war. Bribe-taking, theft and corruption were everywhere. Encouraged by public opinion he began a period of radical reforms, including an attempt to not to depend on a landed aristocracy controlling the poor, a move to developing Russia’s natural resources and to thoroughly reform all branches of the administration.

Emancipation of the serfs

In spite of his obstinacy in playing the Russian autocrat, Alexander II acted willfully for several years, somewhat like a constitutional sovereign of the continental type. Soon after the conclusion of peace, important changes were made in legislation concerning industry and commerce, and the new freedom thus afforded produced a large number of limited liability companies. Plans were formed for building a great network of railways-partly for the purpose of developing the natural resources of the country, and partly for the purpose of increasing its power for defence and attack.

The existence of serfdom was tackled boldly, taking advantage of a petition presented by the Polish landed proprietors of the Lithuanian provinces and, hoping that their relations with the serfs might be regulated in a more satisfactory way (meaning in a way more satisfactory for the proprietors), he authorised the formation of committees “for ameliorating the condition of the peasants”, and laid down the principles on which the amelioration was to be effected.

This step was followed by one still more significant. Without consulting his ordinary advisers, Alexander ordered the Minister of the Interior to send a circular to the provincial governors of European Russia, containing a copy of the instructions forwarded to the governor-general of Lithuania, praising the supposed generous, patriotic intentions of the Lithuanian landed proprietors, and suggesting that perhaps the landed proprietors of other provinces might express a similar desire. The hint was taken: in all provinces where serfdom existed, emancipation committees were formed.

But the emancipation was not merely a humanitarian question capable of being solved instantaneously by imperial ukase. It contained very complicated problems, deeply affecting the economic, social and political future of the nation.

Alexander had to choose between the different measures recommended to him. Should the serfs become agricultural labourers dependent economically and administratively on the landlords, or should they be transformed into a class of independent communal proprietors?

The emperor gave his support to the latter project, and the Russian peasantry became one of the last groups of peasants in Europe to shake off serfdom.

The architects of the emancipation manifesto were Alexander’s brother Konstantin, Yakov Rostovtsev, and Nikolay Milyutin.

On 3 March 1861, 6 years after his accession, the emancipation law was signed and published.

Mar 13 2011

The Next Deepwater Horizon

Remember all those safe, clean, cheap nuclear energy ads from the 50s, 60s and 70s?

Here’s one from Westinghouse circa 2007 ——>

Connecticut has 2 active units, Millstone 3 happens to be a Westinghouse reactor.  It’s licensed to operate until 2045.

Makes me feel warm and fuzzy all over.

Partial Meltdowns Presumed at Crippled Reactors

By HIROKO TABUCHI and MATTHEW L. WALD, The New York Times

Published: March 13, 2011

TOKYO – Japanese officials struggled on Sunday to contain a widening nuclear crisis in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake and tsunami, saying they presumed that partial meltdowns had occurred at two crippled reactors and that they were bracing for a second explosion, even as they faced serious cooling problems at four more reactors.



On Saturday, Japanese officials took the extraordinary step of flooding the crippled No. 1 reactor at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, 170 miles north of Tokyo, with seawater in a last-ditch effort to avoid a nuclear meltdown. That came after an explosion caused by hydrogen that tore the outer wall and roof off the building housing the reactor, although the steel containment of the reactor remained in place.

Then on Sunday, cooling failed at a second reactor – No. 3 – and core melting was presumed at both, said the top government spokesman, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano. An explosion could also rock the No. 3 reactor, Mr. Edano warned, because of a buildup of hydrogen within the reactor.



Officials also said they would release steam and inject water into a third reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant after temperatures rose and water levels fell around the fuel rods.

Cooling had failed at three reactors at a nuclear complex nearby, Fukushima Daini, although he said conditions there were considered less dire for now.

Crisis Underscores Fears About Safety of Nuclear Energy

By NORIMITSU ONISHI, HENRY FOUNTAIN and TOM ZELLER Jr., The New York Times

Published: March 12, 2011

Critics of nuclear energy have long questioned the viability of nuclear power in earthquake-prone regions like Japan. Reactors have been designed with such concerns in mind, but preliminary assessments of the Fukushima Daiichi accidents suggested that too little attention was paid to the threat of tsunami. It appeared that the reactors withstood the powerful earthquake, but the ocean waves damaged generators and backup systems, harming the ability to cool the reactors.

It was not until Sunday that the increasingly dangerous nature of the problems at Daiichi became clear. But even on Saturday, with Reactor No. 1 there having suffered a radiation leak and an explosion, James M. Acton of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said the nuclear industry would be shaken. While Japan may try to point to the safety of its newer facilities, concerns may run too deep, he said. Decades ago, after the Chernobyl and Three Mile Island accidents, Mr. Acton said, the nuclear industry tried to argue that newer reactors incorporated much better safety features. “That made very little difference to the public,” he said.



Over the years, Japanese plant operators, along with friendly government officials, have sometimes hidden episodes at plants from a public increasingly uneasy with nuclear power.

In 2007, an earthquake in northwestern Japan caused a fire and minor radiation leaks at the world’s largest nuclear plant, in Kashiwazaki City. An ensuing investigation found that the operator – Tokyo Electric – had unknowingly built the facility directly on top of an active seismic fault. A series of fires inside the plant after the earthquake deepened the public’s fear. But Tokyo Electric said it upgraded the facility to withstand stronger tremors and reopened in 2009.

Last year, another reactor with a troubled history was allowed to reopen, 14 years after a fire shut it down. The operator of that plant, the Monju Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor, located along the coast about 220 miles west of Tokyo, tried to cover up the extent of the fire by releasing altered video after the accident in 1995.

Mar 13 2011

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with Christiane Amanpour: Ms. Amanpour will be reporting live from Japan.

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Mr. Schieffer’s guests are Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Chairman, Homeland Security Committee and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Homeland Security Committee.

The Chris Matthews Show: This week’s guests are Katty Kay, BBC Washington Correspondent, David Ignatius, The Washington Post

Columnist, David Brooks, The New York Times Columnist and Kelly O’Donnell, NBC News Capitol Hill Correspondent who will discuss these questions:

Can Any GOP Candidate Beat President Obama At His Own Game of Hope?

Will Republicans Successfully Cut Off Funds For PBS and NPR?

Meet the Press with David Gregory: Mike Todd, NBC’s White House correspondent will be hosting for Mr. Gregory this week. The guests will be Japan’s Ambassador to the US, Ichiro  Fujisaki to discuss the disaster in Japan, also, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniel and Sen Chuck Schumer, (D-NY).

At the roundtable the panel will be: Political reporter for The Washington Post, Dan Balz, and host of NPR’s “All Things Considered,” Michele Norris who will be joined by nuclear reactor expert, Michael Norris

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) will discuss the break down a budget battle that seems no closer to resolution than it did at the last deadline two weeks ago with up dates on the Japan disaster.

Fareed Zakaris:GPS: According to Fareed’s Tweets, there will be discussion about the situation in Libya with experts on the region

 

Mar 13 2011

Six In The Morning

Japanese nuclear plants’ operator scrambles to avert meltdowns



By Steven Mufson

Washington Post Staff Writer

Sunday, March 13, 2011; 12:29 AM


Japanese authorities said Sunday that efforts to restart the cooling system at one of the reactors damaged by Friday’s earthquake had failed, a major setback in the struggle to contain what has become the most serious nuclear power crisis in a quarter century.

Officials said utility workers released “air containing radioactive materials” in an effort to relieve pressure inside the reactor, even as they raced to bring several other imperiled reactors under control.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said officials were acting on the assumption that a meltdown could be underway at that reactor, Fukushima Daiichi’s unit 3, and that it was “highly possible” that a meltdown was underway at Fukushima Daiichi’s unit 1 reactor, where an explosion destroyed a building a day earlier.

Mar 13 2011

Meltdowns: From Bad to Nightmare

After an earthquake that has now been upgraded by Japanese officials to a magnitude 9.0, with a tsunami that has devastated the northeastern region of the main island of Japan, it is now becoming evident that there are two nuclear reactors that may be in meltdown which would be a nuclear disaster on an unimaginable scale. The Japanese government has ordered the evacuation of nearly a quarter of a million people from the area and state of emergency has been declared for the area because of the damage to five nuclear reactors after two of the units lost cooling ability.

Japanese Scramble to Avert Meltdowns as Nuclear Crisis Deepens After Quake

TOKYO – Japanese officials struggled on Sunday to contain a widening nuclear crisis in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake and tsunami, saying they presumed that partial meltdowns had occurred at two crippled reactors and that they were facing serious cooling problems at three more.

The emergency appeared to be the worst involving a nuclear plant since the Chernobyl disaster 25 years ago. The developments at two separate nuclear plants prompted the evacuation of more than 200,000 people. Japanese officials said they had also ordered up the largest mobilization of their Self-Defense Forces since World War II to assist in the relief effort.

On Saturday, Japanese officials took the extraordinary step of flooding the crippled No. 1 reactor at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, 170 miles north of Tokyo, with seawater in a last-ditch effort to avoid a nuclear meltdown.

Then on Sunday, cooling failed at a second reactor – No. 3 – and core melting was presumed at both, said the top government spokesman, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano. Cooling had failed at three reactors at a nuclear complex nearby, Fukushima Daini, although he said conditions there were considered less dire for now.

Japanese authorities rush to save lives, avert nuclear crisis

Sendai, Japan (CNN) — Japanese authorities are operating on the presumption that possible meltdowns are under way at two nuclear reactors, two days after a massive earthquake, a government official said Sunday.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano added, however, that there have been no indications yet of hazardous emissions of radioactive material into the atmosphere.

The attempts to avert a possible nuclear crisis, centered on the Fukushima Daiichi facility in northeast Japan, came as rescuers frantically scrambled to find survivors following the country’s strongest-ever earthquake and a devastating tsunami that, minutes later, brought crushing walls of water that wiped out nearly everything in their paths.

Edano told reporters there is a “possibility” of a meltdown at the plant’s No. 1 reactor, adding, “It is inside the reactor. We can’t see.” He then said authorities are also “assuming the possibility of a meltdown” at the facility’s No. 3 reactor.

How the Japan Earthquake Shortened Days on Earth

The massive earthquake that struck northeast Japan Friday (March 11) has shortened the length Earth’s day by a fraction and shifted how the planet’s mass is distributed.

A new analysis of the 8.9-magnitude earthquake in Japan has found that the intense temblor has accelerated Earth’s spin, shortening the length of the 24-hour day by 1.8 microseconds, according to geophysicist Richard Gross at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

Gross refined his estimates of the Japan quake’s impact – which previously suggested a 1.6-microsecond shortening of the day – based on new data on how much the fault that triggered the earthquake slipped to redistribute the planet’s mass. A microsecond is a millionth of a second.

“By changing the distribution of the Earth’s mass, the Japanese earthquake should have caused the Earth to rotate a bit faster, shortening the length of the day by about 1.8 microseconds,” Gross told SPACE.com in an e-mail. More refinements are possible as new information on the earthquake comes to light, he added.  

Japan Earthquake Alters Coast Line, Changes Earth’s Axis

Geophysicist Kenneth Hudnut, who works for the U.S. Geological Survey, told CNN that the quake moved part of Japan’s land mass by nearly 2.5 meters.

Experts say that the huge shake, caused by a shift in the tectonic plates deep underwater, also threw the earth off its axis point by at least 8 centimeters.

This is may well be worse than Chernobyl by magnitudes.

Mar 13 2011

Meltdowns: From Bad to Nightmare

After an earthquake that has now been upgraded by Japanese officials to a magnitude 9.0, with a tsunami that has devastated the northeastern region of the main island of Japan, it is now becoming evident that there are two nuclear reactors that may be in meltdown which would be a nuclear disaster on an unimaginable scale. The Japanese government has ordered the evacuation of nearly a quarter of a million people from the area and state of emergency has been declared for the area because of the damage to five nuclear reactors after two of the units lost cooling ability.

Japanese Scramble to Avert Meltdowns as Nuclear Crisis Deepens After Quake

TOKYO – Japanese officials struggled on Sunday to contain a widening nuclear crisis in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake and tsunami, saying they presumed that partial meltdowns had occurred at two crippled reactors and that they were facing serious cooling problems at three more.

The emergency appeared to be the worst involving a nuclear plant since the Chernobyl disaster 25 years ago. The developments at two separate nuclear plants prompted the evacuation of more than 200,000 people. Japanese officials said they had also ordered up the largest mobilization of their Self-Defense Forces since World War II to assist in the relief effort.

On Saturday, Japanese officials took the extraordinary step of flooding the crippled No. 1 reactor at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, 170 miles north of Tokyo, with seawater in a last-ditch effort to avoid a nuclear meltdown.

Then on Sunday, cooling failed at a second reactor – No. 3 – and core melting was presumed at both, said the top government spokesman, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano. Cooling had failed at three reactors at a nuclear complex nearby, Fukushima Daini, although he said conditions there were considered less dire for now.

Japanese authorities rush to save lives, avert nuclear crisis

Sendai, Japan (CNN) — Japanese authorities are operating on the presumption that possible meltdowns are under way at two nuclear reactors, two days after a massive earthquake, a government official said Sunday.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano added, however, that there have been no indications yet of hazardous emissions of radioactive material into the atmosphere.

The attempts to avert a possible nuclear crisis, centered on the Fukushima Daiichi facility in northeast Japan, came as rescuers frantically scrambled to find survivors following the country’s strongest-ever earthquake and a devastating tsunami that, minutes later, brought crushing walls of water that wiped out nearly everything in their paths.

Edano told reporters there is a “possibility” of a meltdown at the plant’s No. 1 reactor, adding, “It is inside the reactor. We can’t see.” He then said authorities are also “assuming the possibility of a meltdown” at the facility’s No. 3 reactor.

How the Japan Earthquake Shortened Days on Earth

The massive earthquake that struck northeast Japan Friday (March 11) has shortened the length Earth’s day by a fraction and shifted how the planet’s mass is distributed.

A new analysis of the 8.9-magnitude earthquake in Japan has found that the intense temblor has accelerated Earth’s spin, shortening the length of the 24-hour day by 1.8 microseconds, according to geophysicist Richard Gross at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

Gross refined his estimates of the Japan quake’s impact – which previously suggested a 1.6-microsecond shortening of the day – based on new data on how much the fault that triggered the earthquake slipped to redistribute the planet’s mass. A microsecond is a millionth of a second.

“By changing the distribution of the Earth’s mass, the Japanese earthquake should have caused the Earth to rotate a bit faster, shortening the length of the day by about 1.8 microseconds,” Gross told SPACE.com in an e-mail. More refinements are possible as new information on the earthquake comes to light, he added.  

Japan Earthquake Alters Coast Line, Changes Earth’s Axis

Geophysicist Kenneth Hudnut, who works for the U.S. Geological Survey, told CNN that the quake moved part of Japan’s land mass by nearly 2.5 meters.

Experts say that the huge shake, caused by a shift in the tectonic plates deep underwater, also threw the earth off its axis point by at least 8 centimeters.

This is may well be worse than Chernobyl by magnitudes.

Mar 13 2011

DocuDharma Digest

Regular Features-

Featured Essays for March 12, 2011-

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