Floating nuclear plant? Russians are building – World Environment – MSNBC.com



Floating nuclear plant? Russians are building – World Environment – MSNBC.com

I’m not a fan of playing with the nuclear genie, and this is more dangerous than a land based nuclear plant as there is no containment structure.  A ship collision, aircraft strike, or attack could cause a release of nuclear material.  It’s not any more dangerous than a reactor on a ship or submarine, of which there are plenty in service (and a bunch in Servomorsk waiting to be buried, and a few at the bottom of the atlantic…), and the construction company knows what they are doing for the most part, but it’s still not worth the gamble.


My advice is the same as always-geothermal, solar, micro-hydro, or wind (wind would probably work well here).


Save NPR and PBS

NPR and PBS are the stations for the educated.  Do us all a favor and write a quick note to congress to thwart the right wing assault on everything intelligent americans hold dear!
PBS and NPR are valuable resources for the viewing and listening public.  The childrens’ programming has nurtured generations worldwide, promoted cross-cultural exchange, and peace initiatives.  NPR and PBS provide in-depth reporting on world events and local affiliate stations broadcast cultural events for all to see and hear.
An informed electorate is a prerequisite for effective democracy, and NPR and PBS deserve governmental support for being a major source of information for the public.

the hardest ride in the ivy league (to survive that is)


Self-mutilation rampant at 2 Ivy League schools – More Health News – MSNBC.com

It seems Cornell is getting a lot of bad press-first the Time Magazine expose of the send home the people in trouble policy: http://www.time.com/time/archive/preview/0,10987,1194020,00.html and now the issue of cutting.  Being a man in the know, I knew this is the real deal, and it’s good that it’s coming to light.  And obviously something must be done!

Recommendations for the administration:

  1. get the faculty in line.  Not everyone is as nice, approachable, or understanding as Brenda Bricker or Walter LaFeber.  Or as familiar with the psyche as Al.  So the professors who just don’t get it need some training in how to deal with people-not even people with significant psychopathology.  It’s just plain unacceptable for a professor (or TA) to say “go home and read the book–I’m not here to help the dumb kids”
  2. Change the mentality-Cornell was built on the premise that it’s hard.  but there’s a fine line between abuse and a good education.  I was motivated to do well in Uncle Walter’s class, and Jack’s classes, but Math 293 made me climb the walls, and half the classes in my major made me bitter and angry (and took valuable time and mental energy away from the useful classes)
  3. Expand the PE requirement.  Get people moving and out of the labs and libraries.  good for the waistline and good for the mind
  4. Expand Gannett.  the university health service is understaffed and overburdened, and the approach isn’t as effective as it could be–see (5)
  5. try to find the people in need of some support early.  freshman orientation week early.  This idea comes from Riley Sisson (an authority on the subject if there is any).  A lot of students need some sort of assistance (figuring out their philosophy, dealing with the specter of their mother…)

The answer isn’t always meds, ‘therapy’ and sometimes sending someone home is worse for them than keeping them around. The liability game is a tricky one for the university to play, but the important part is the person at the core of the issue.

Talking about Is there a human right to be superhuman? – Health Care – MSNBC.com



Is there a human right to be superhuman? – Health Care – MSNBC.com

This is a really interesting one, not just because it came up on Wikipedia and MSNBC at the same time.  This makes me wonder about what the future will hold from the legislative end–biology and technology will continue to evolve, and us with it.  so here are some of my predictions:

  1. with the rapid changes in the biosphere, technologies or evolutionary adaptations will allow some to survive while others die.  For example, people with a natural resistance to cancer will better survive exposure to carcinogens released by human activity.  that’s evolution in action and you’re part of it whether you like it or not.  Broadly defined, technology already makes some people more ‘fit’ than others–having a pencil and yellow pad makes me better able to remember things than most unassisted people. (a simplistic example I know).
  2. We’re already cheating nature-I had braces, now everyone who doesn’t know better thinks I have good genes.  I wish I had been given HgH and was taller (thus allowing me to attract a better mate and move up the genetic ladder).  So what is too much?  It’s going to be a slippery slope to the next stage of evolution, which will be technological, and fast
  3. now for the scary part:  the definition of normal may–and will–change.  as it stands now, you get into Cornell by being smart.  that’s biological, thank your parents and grandparents.  What happens when a technology comes along that makes people smarter?  would you take smarties if they were FDA approved safe and effective?  what if they were required?? this is the opposite of the Harrison Bergeron case

When I lived with Jimmy P senior year, we’d talk about this kind of stuff–the daily random questions.  how would you answer these?

  • would you date a mutant (X-men style)?
  • would you date a cyborg?
  • would you date an extraterrestrial (a good one)?
  • would you date an android (adequately functional in human ways, up to your interpretation)

I say i’d do all three, if she met the criteria applied to humans 😉

but I wouldn’t chop my arm off so fast, even if it meant stepping up to the next level of humanity.  I would have gladly taken HgH, and I suffered through braces, but I wouldn’t do EPO or adderol (insert snyde comment about my add here).


Please comment!