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Current Topic: Science

A Hydrogen Economy Is a Bad Idea
Topic: Science 3:27 pm EST, Mar 27, 2003

] Hydrogen is the most abundant element on the planet.
] But it cannot be harvested directly. It must be extracted
] from another material. There is an upside to this and a
] downside. The upside is that a wide variety of materials
] contain hydrogen, which is one reason it has attracted
] such widespread support. Everyone has a dog in this
] fight.
] Renewable energy is a very little dog. Environmentalists
] envision an energy economy where hydrogen comes from
] water, and the energy used to accomplish this comes from
] wind. Big dogs like the nuclear industry also foresee a
] water-based hydrogen economy, but with nuclear as the
] power source that electrolyzes water. Nucleonics Week
] boasts that nuclear power "is the only way to produce
] hydrogen on a large scale without contributing to
] greenhouse gas emissions."
] For the fossil fuel industry, not surprisingly,
] hydrocarbons will provide most of our future hydrogen.
] They already have a significant head start. Almost 50
] percent of the world's commercial hydrogen now comes from
] natural gas. Another 20 percent is derived from coal.
] The automobile and oil companies are betting that
] petroleum will be the hydrogen source of the future. It
] was General Motors, after all, that coined the phrase
] "the hydrogen economy".

A Hydrogen Economy Is a Bad Idea

The Real Reasons for the Upcoming War in Iraq: A Macroeconomic and Geostrategic Analysis of the Unspoken Truth, by W. Clark, 1/26/03
Topic: Science 2:24 pm EST, Mar 17, 2003

] summary
] Although completely suppressed by the U.S. media and
] government, the answer to the Iraq enigma is simple yet
] shocking -- it is an oil currency war. The real reason
] for this upcoming war is this administration's goal of
] preventing further Organization of the Petroleum
] Exporting Countries (OPEC) momentum towards the euro as
] an oil transaction currency standard. However, in order
] to pre-empt OPEC, they need to gain geo-strategic control
] of Iraq along with its 2nd largest proven oil reserves.
] This essay will discuss the macroeconomics of the
] `petro-dollar' and the unpublicized but real threat to
] U.S. economic hegemony from the euro as an alternative
] oil transaction currency. The author advocates reform of
] the global monetary system including a dollar/euro
] currency `trading band' with reserve status parity, and a
] dual OPEC oil transaction standard. These reforms could
] potentially reduce future oil currency warfare.

The Real Reasons for the Upcoming War in Iraq: A Macroeconomic and Geostrategic Analysis of the Unspoken Truth, by W. Clark, 1/26/03

real time PCR
Topic: Science 9:20 pm EST, Feb 26, 2003

Interesting application of PCR.

real time PCR

Topic: Science 4:02 pm EST, Feb 24, 2003

A vested interest in bacteriophage research
w/ history, discussion, links and MORE


The super-bugs have arrived!
Topic: Science 7:21 pm EST, Feb 12, 2003

] A bacterial infection that overpowers most antibiotics
] has escaped the confines of hospitals and is showing up
] in alarming numbers among the general public in
] California, according to health officials.

For a long time now, this has been one of my pet issues.

Just in case you have not heard the line yet, unless you need them, I mean really need them, do not take antibiotics. You will be doing your fellow man a great disservice if you over use them. Also, (easy one) do not spend any more time in hospitals then is necessary. Remember, those germ things evolve faster then you do.

I didn't like the "Gay Men" slant of this article.. Left a bad taste in my mouth in reguard to how AIDS wasn't taken seriously till it started killing people enmass who were not gay.

Superbugs. Get used to that phrase.. You will have trouble finding someone skilled in the medical field who dosen't think we will see more of them..

The super-bugs have arrived!

Dioxins from PCP Treated Cotton.
Topic: Science 1:14 am EST, Feb  8, 2003

According to a study published earlier this year, German
scientists have found that cotton clothing containing high
levels of dioxins may be a significant source of both human
exposure and environmental contamination. The use of the
organochlorine pentachlorophenol (PCP) during the transport
of cotton may be a primary source of the dioxins. The
scientists feel that textile contamination accounts for the
presence of dioxins and furans in domestic sewage sludge, dry
cleaning residues and household dust, and also explains how
certain dioxins not found in the food supply accumulate in
Scientists also found that when RcleanS t-shirts were washed
with contaminated ones, 7% of the dioxin and furan content
was transferred to the clean shirts and 16% washed out into
the sewage system. The researchers measured dioxin levels in
household laundry runoff and estimated that they contributed
between 27-94% of total dioxin and furan inputs to a local
sewage treatment plant that handles primarily domestic
sewage. Shower and bath water was also found to contain
dioxins of textile origin washed from the skin, adding to
contamination of the runoff.
most treated cloth comes
countries where there are fewer restrictions on the use of

Ever notice that everything you're wearing was made in China?

Dioxins from PCP Treated Cotton.

Let's Weaponize Space
Topic: Science 11:07 pm EST, Feb  7, 2003

OOOOps, not Ad Astra, where did I get that idea? THESE guys....

Let's Weaponize Space

AlterNet: U.S. Launching Lethal Plutonium Into Space
Topic: Science 10:58 pm EST, Feb  7, 2003

This is an old article, but with a lot of in-depth information that keeps it relevant. It's also in reply to Rattle, (see thread RE: BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Nasa to go nuclear)
but I want to put this link up big in lights.
If everone involved were honestly trying to use nuclear material in a safe way for astere scientific purposes, maybe they would succeed. Unfortunately, the actual people in charge of the process care mostly about the short term bottom line, and/or long term strategic objectives. In fact, coming up next -- a link to Ad Astra, a very pro-nukes in space organization. These guys love nukes! Nukes are hot!
I am sorry these guys run the show. I love space exploration, and wish the research would go ahead in a conscientious direction, not this quick and dirty way that seems to be more about developing space based nuclear-powered weapons.

AlterNet: U.S. Launching Lethal Plutonium Into Space

RE: BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Nasa to go nuclear
Topic: Science 2:33 pm EST, Jan 24, 2003

Decius wrote:
] Rattle wrote:
] ] ] President Bush is set to endorse using nuclear power to
] ] ] explore Mars and open up the outer Solar System.
] The fact is that we simply can't get deeper into space without
] moving this direction, and NASA has been planning this for
] quite some time. By putting his name on it, Bush takes credit
] for something was in the works long before he showed up, for
] better or for worse...
] I expect this issue to be really annoying. People will jump to
] protest it without understanding what the risks actually are.
] Even the analysis will be biased. You can bet the left wing
] organizations will have data showing that its dangerous. You
] can bet NASA will have data showing that its not. You can bet
] no one on either side will really be interested in listening
] to anything they don't want to hear.
] Cloning issue, round two, fight!

The way I understand it, booster rockets blow up on takeoff sometimes, with on the order of 1 in a hundred frequency (how many shuttle flights preceeded Challenger?). Plutonium is their fuel of choice, tens of kilograms per vehicle. Plutonium dust is fatal in very small doses, micrograms. So that's conservatively a billion lethal doses per vehicle. Atmospheric dynamics have been shown to efficiently distribute small particles globally.
I don't want to catch a lungfull of that stuff when somebody forgets to convert their units, or asks "what's that button do?".

RE: BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Nasa to go nuclear Technology | How mushrooms will save the world
Topic: Science 1:21 pm EST, Dec 10, 2002

How mushrooms will save the world
Cleaning up toxic spills, stopping poison-gas attacks, and curing deadly diseases: Fungus king Paul Stamets says there's no limit to what his spores can do...

"Diesel oil had contaminated the site, which the mycoremediation team inoculated with strains of oyster mycelia that Stamets had collected from old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest. Two other bioremediation teams, one using bacteria, the other using engineered bacteria, were also given sections of the contaminated soil to test.
Lo and behold. After four weeks, oyster mushrooms up to 12 inches in diameter had formed on the mycoremediated soil. After eight weeks, 95 percent of the hydrocarbons had broken down, and the soil was deemed nontoxic and suitable for use in WSDOT highway landscaping.
By contrast, neither of the bioremediated sites showed significant changes. "It's only hearsay," says Bill Hyde, Stamets' patent attorney, "but the bacterial remediation folks were crying because the [mycoremediation] worked so fast." " Technology | How mushrooms will save the world

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