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bananas

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Member since: Tue Nov 9, 2004, 11:55 PM
Number of posts: 23,814

Journal Archives

I would say more if I wasn't drunk

Being drunk, there are certain responsibilities I adhere to.

Happy New Year!

Space travel can accelerate Alzheimer’s: U.S. study

Source: Agence France-Presse

Long journeys into deep space, including a mission to Mars, could expose astronauts to levels of cosmic radiation harmful to the brain and accelerate Alzheimer’s disease, said US research Monday.

The NASA-funded study involved bombarding mice with varied radiation doses, including levels comparable to what voyagers would experience during a mission to Mars, and seeing how the animals managed to recall objects or locations.

Mice that were exposed to radiation were far more likely to fail those tasks — suggesting neurological impairment earlier than such symptoms typically appear.

“Galactic cosmic radiation poses a significant threat to future astronauts,” said Michael O’Banion, a professor at the University of Rochester Medical Center and senior author of the study published in scientific journal Plos One.

<snip>

Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/12/31/space-travel-can-accelerate-alzheimers-u-s-study/

Michael Benner is live on kpfk

www.kpfk.org
he used to have a show on klos

San Diego sailor angered over Japan radiation exposure

Source: KGTV

A San Diego sailor says she is suing Japan and the Tokyo Electric Power Company for radiation exposure.

Lindsay Cooper, 23, was stationed aboard the USS Ronald Reagan when it was sent to aid those in Japan affected by a devastating tsunami last year.

The world watched in awe as plumes from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant hung in the air last March. The same plumes which sent radioactive debris onto the Ronald Reagan, with roughly 5,500 sailors on board.

“The debris and the teddy bears and the pictures that you saw in the water, that was real,” Cooper told 10News. “The radiation … we couldn’t see that. We could only trust what our command was telling us.”

<snip>

Read more: http://www.10news.com/news/san-diego-sailor-angered-over-japan-radiation-exposure12292012



Video news story interviews Lindsey Cooper and Paul Garner.

Iran's Ahmadinejad sacks only female government minister

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022084719

Iran's Ahmadinejad sacks only female government minister
Reuters – Thu, Dec 27, 2012

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday dismissed his only female cabinet minister, Health Minister Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi, after she criticized her colleagues for failing to provide funds to import vital medicines.

<snip>

"Medicine is more essential than bread. I have heard that luxury cars have been imported with subsidized dollars but I don't know what happened to the dollars that were supposed to be allocated for importing medicine," she said on state television.

<snip>

Dastjerdi's dismissal was criticized in parliament, where Ahmadinejad has been accused of concentrating power in his own hands.

<snip>



http://www.ibtimes.com/sacking-marzieh-vahid-dastjerdi-state-opposition-iran-977744

The Sacking Of Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi And The State Of The Opposition In Iran

BY Maya Shwayder | December 28 2012 4:44 PM

The sacking of the only female minister in Iran's government announced Thursday represented a severe blow to anyone who was hoping to speak out against the country's establishment anytime soon.

<nsip>

Vahid Dastjerdi was Iran's only woman in the government. However, she was neither especially progressive nor particularly pro-woman as a lawmaker. Nonetheless, she was one of only three women nominated by Ahmadinejad for various positions after the controversial 2009 elections, and the only one of those three to be approved for her post.

Indeed, Vahid Dastjerdi has been known to be a social conservative, and thus in not very popular among women's-rights activists in Iran.

<snip>

"Her sacking is indicative of an Iranian government in disarray," Sanei said. "Since the 2009 elections, the government has really shown very little respect or acceptance of dissent in the country. ... here's been a widespread crackdown on dissent in the country. We've also seen internal fighting since then -- between Ahmadinejad's government and the conservatives on the religious bench, and within his own government."

<snip>


India claims problems with Russian-leased nuclear sub

http://indrus.in/articles/2012/12/26/india_claims_problems_with_russian-leased_nuclear_sub_21283.html

India claims problems with Russian-leased nuclear sub
26/12/2012 RIA Novosti

India has asked Russia to replace the faulty parts on the leased Nerpa nuclear-powered submarine as they affect its operational readiness, the Times of India reported.

<snip>

However, shortly after the start of sea trials in November 2008, an accident on board the submarine killed 20 sailors and technical due to a toxic gas leak when the automatic fire extinguishing system malfunctioned.

The Nerpa was finally handed over to India in January after prolonged and costly repairs.

<snip>

The vessel is armed with four 533-mm and four 650-mm torpedo tubes, although it cannot carry nuclear weapons under the lease provisions.

<snip>

San Diego's new mayor Bob Filner fires some parting shots at Congress

The 4-1/2 minute interview on KPCC-FM can be listened to here:
http://www.scpr.org/blogs/politics/2012/12/26/11700/san-diegos-new-mayor-bob-filner-fires-some-parting/

San Diego's new mayor Bob Filner fires some parting shots at Congress

Kitty Felde | December 26th, 2012, 9:00am

Former Democratic Congressman Bob Filner, a member of the House of Representatives for 10 terms, could have run for an eleventh. But when he saw a chance to run for mayor of San Diego, he jumped in the race – and won.

Why leave a comfortable life on Capitol Hill? It's simple, says Filner: "Congress is dysfunctional."

Filner, one of the most liberal Democrats on the Hill, points the finger at both parties. He says Congress began to change in 1994, when Republicans took back the House and Newt Gingrich became speaker.

<snip>

But Filner saves his harshest words for his own party: A President who gives away the store before sitting down to negotiate; Democrats who had run the House for 40 years didn’t understand you can’t legislate as a minority; leadership wasting its time in the weeds on the process of government rather than the politics of trying to win back the House.

<snip>


His criticism of Democrats is getting more attention than his criticism of Republicans:
http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Mayor-Filner-Sounds-Off-on-President-Leading-Dems-184987571.html

Mayor Filner Sounds Off on President, Leading Dems
By Gene Cubbison | Thursday, Dec 27, 2012 | Updated 9:46 PM PST

San Diego's mayor is now back in the news in Washington, D.C. -- making headlines for critical comments about President Obama and his former Democratic colleagues on Capitol Hill.

The fun started with a phone interview that former Congressman Bob Filner gave KPCC-FM, a public radio station in Los Angeles, and wound up in Politico, a leading national news outlet for political junkies.

The focus of the radio interview?

Why Filner left Washington to run for mayor.

<snip>

Restricting nuclear power has little effect on the cost of climate policies

In fighting against the Republican War on Science, some of the talking points you hear:
1. Global warming isn't real.
2. It would be too expensive to stop anyway.
3. It can't be stopped without nuclear energy.
4. It would be too expensive to stop without nuclear energy.

None of those are true, and a recent paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences addresses that last item.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-10/pifc-rnp092812.php

Public release date: 1-Oct-2012
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)

Restricting nuclear power has little effect on the cost of climate policies

Incremental costs due to policy options restricting the use of nuclear power do not significantly increase the cost of even stringent greenhouse-gas emissions reductions

"Questions have been raised if restricting nuclear energy – an option considered by some countries after the accident in Fukushima, Japan – combined with climate policies might get extremely expensive. Our study is a first assessment of the consequences of a broad range of combinations of climate and nuclear policies," lead author Nico Bauer says. Restrictions on nuclear power could be political decisions, but also regulations imposed by safety authorities. Power generation capacities would have to be replaced, but fossil fuels would become costly due to a price on CO2 emissions, this in sum is the main concern.

<snip>

For their study, the scientists looked into different nuclear power policies. These cover a range of scenarios from "Renaissance", with a full utilization of existing power plants, a possible refurbishment for a lifetime expansion and investments in new nuclear power capacities, to "Full exit", with a decommissioning of existing power plants and no new investments. They contrasted each scenario with climate policies implemented via an inter-temporal global carbon budget which puts a price on carbon emissions. For the budget, the cumulative CO2 emissions from the global energy sector were limited to 300 gigatons of carbon from 2005 until the end of the century. This represents a climate mitigation policy consistent with the target of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.

"A surprising result of our study is the rather little difference between a 'Renaissance' or a 'Full exit' of nuclear power in combination with a carbon budget when it comes to GDP losses," Bauer says. While the 'no policy case' with a nuclear phase-out and no carbon budget has only negligible effect on global GDP, the imposition of a carbon budget with no restrictions on nuclear policy implies a reduction of GDP that reaches 2.1 percent in 2050. The additional phase-out of nuclear power increases this loss by about 0.2 percent in 2050 and hence has only little additional impact on the economy, because the contribution of nuclear power to the electricity generation can be substituted relatively easy by alternative technology options, including the earlier deployment of renewables.

###

Article: Bauer, N., Brecha, R.J., Luderer, G. (2012): Economics of nuclear power and climate change mitigation policies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Early Edition)


The paper is paywalled at http://www.pnas.org/content/109/42/16805.abstract

The lead author has made the paper freely available, plus a critique and rebuttal,
on his webpage at http://www.pik-potsdam.de/members/nicolasb/

US sailors sue Japan's TEPCO for post-quake radiation exposure

Source: NBC News

A group of U.S. Navy personnel involved in the humanitarian effort after Japan's March 2011 earthquake and tsunami have filed a lawsuit against the Tokyo Electric Power Co. for more than $200 million in compensation, punitive damages and future medical costs for exposure to radiation that leaked from the damaged Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant at the time.

The plaintiffs include eight troops serving on the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier — one of whom was pregnant at the time of the alleged exposure — and her daughter.

They charge that the utility, known as TEPCO, "knowingly and negligently caused, permitted and allowed misleading information concerning the true condition of the (plant) to be disseminated to the public, including the U.S. Navy Department," according to the complaint filed on Dec. 21 in a U.S. federal court in San Diego.

The plaintiffs are suffering a variety of symptoms that attorney Paul Garner says were caused by the exposure, including rectal bleeding, thyroid problems and persistent migraine headaches, and all face an increased chance of developing cancer and requiring expensive medical procedures.

<snip>

Read more: http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/27/16197507-us-sailors-sue-japans-tepco-for-post-quake-radiation-exposure?lite



The nuclear industry spin-machine will go into high gear over this.

This is a major story being covered by the Wall Street Journal, BBC, Japan Times, etc.

Be prepared for an onslaught of anti-science pro-nuclear PR.

Obesity killing three times as many as malnutrition

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9742960/Obesity-killing-three-times-as-many-as-malnutrition.html

Obesity killing three times as many as malnutrition

Obesity is now killing triple the number of people who die from malnutrition as it claims more than three million lives a year worldwide, according to a landmark study.

By Stephen Adams, Medical Correspondent

5:00PM GMT 13 Dec 2012

With the exception of sub-Saharan Africa, eating too much is now a more serious risk to the health of populations than eating poorly, found the Global Burden of Disease study, published in a special edition of The Lancet.

Across the world, there has been significant success in tackling malnutrition, with deaths down two-thirds since 1990 to less than a million by 2010.

But increasing prosperity has led to expanding waistlines in countries from Colombia to Kazakhstan, as people eat more and get less everyday exercise.

<snip>

Between 1990 and 2010 overall global life expectancy at birth rose by about five years. The ‘average’ boy born in 2010 can expect expect to live to 67.5 and the ‘average’ girl to 73.3.

<snip>

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