If you've ever wanted to dress up as your favorite Ghostbuster, then look no further.Read More
Or Spider-Man. Probably.
"Hey, there's radioactive water coming to your shores," only sounds like good news if you're looking for a really bizarre new origin story for Aquaman. Luckily, it's not terrible news, either. At least in the case of the water from the Fukushima nuclear plant mishap, it's not, because it looks like the water is within safety standards.Read More
A team of researchers is making the best of a bad situation and trying to use the lasting effects of radiation at Japan's Fukushima nuclear reactor to help environmental conservation efforts. In the years since the meltdown, marine biologists have found traces of radiation from the meltdown in bluefin tuna as far afield as California. That radiation, though, could help marine biologists map the ill-understood migration routes of the tuna. That better understanding of the life cycle and habits of the bluefin could be brought to bear in efforts to protect the valuable food fish from overfishing, a growing concern for pretty much every tuna species.Read More
After the damage caused by the Fukushima disaster, it only makes sense that Japan turn its resources to trying to find another efficient form of clean energy besides nuclear. Research into wind turbine development may have lead to a solution with stunning potential. Wind lenses, brims that go around the outside of a turbine's blades, can double or even triple the turbine's power output, bringing wind farms in line with the efficiency and output of nuclear power, without the danger of a meltdown.
The wind lens was developed at Kyushu University, where prototypes are already in use. The wind lense works by creating a pocket of low pressure in front of the turbine. As a result, air rushes to the low pressure point, conveniently enough, right through the turbine, increasing the speed of the turbine and ultimately, the amount of power that is put out.Read More
Potassium iodide (KI) is recommended during nuclear emergencies because it floods the radioactivity-sensitive thyroid glands with "good" iodine, blocking contaminated iodine from entry. As troubles continue at Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant, it has had a curious effect on the price of potassium iodide tablets everywhere: Normally $10 for a packet of 14 pills, they've been bid up as high as $540 a packet due to fears of nuclear contamination. Huliq:
With 127 million people in the country of Japan, which is smaller in area than the state of California, there is not enough of the iodine pills to go around. The suppliers of these pills report that getting the shipments of iodine to the area is hampered by the condition of the roads, railways, and airports. One major supplier, Anbex, is out of stock and will not have more of these pills manufactured and ready for shipment until April 18th. This is not a pill most pharmacies and hospitals keep in stock and it is an over the counter drug, according to The Wall Street Journal. It is not only Japan were the rush is on to obtain iodine pills, other countries, such as Russia, is seeing residents buying up the iodine pills. This morning the CBC is reporting that “British Columbians spooked by ongoing explosions at Japan’s power plants has prompted a run on pharmacies, in hopes of boosting immunity to any potential radiation drift.” The government and health officials are encouraging people to stand down from stock piling the potassium iodide, saying no health risks exist.Though the $540/packet figure is definitely on the high end, David Tufte calculates what that means in terms of inflation:
That is a 5,300% increase in the space of 5 days. Annualized, that is 3 x 10126%. Yes, that’s scientific notation. Here’s the rate written out: 2, 915, 710, 944, 820, 310, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000%. Is this the highest inflation rate ever? ‡ Believe it or not, it is only the penultimate inflation rate. It’s more digestible to convert this into a daily inflation rate, which would be 122%. That rate is higher than that in Zimbabwe a few years ago, but it still falls short of Hungary in 1946.(Huliq via Marginal Revolution.) Read More