Friday, August 06, 2010

Friday Odds and Ends

My collection of bloggable stuff is getting to be very large, and if I don't flush empty it out once in a while, the topics lose their currency, or I forget why they caught my attention in the first place (the latter being a common symptom of advancing age). Anyhow, here are a few odds and ends from my Blog Fodder file for a warm and sticky Friday morning...

A story from CNN the other day featured the list of 100 Worst (Economic) Stimulus Projects (titled, strangely, "Summertime Blues") as compiled by the Senate Republicans. The list makes interesting reading, but not particularly surprising if you've spent years watching all the bizarre things that senators of both parties routinely earmark public funds for. My observation is just this: great list. Good job of poking a stick in the eye of the other party. So now tell me: what is YOUR economic stimulus idea? How are YOU going to get people back to work and the economy back on its feet? We already know that the Republicans don't want to put forward their own ideas too soon, because then they'd have to explain and defend them, which is harder than just saying the Democrat's plans are dumb (I blogged about this buffoonery here). It just goes to show that both parties are more interested in scoring points than fixing problems.

If you love words as much as I do, you may find this article interesting: Secret Vault of Words Rejected by the Oxford English Dictionary Uncovered. If you suffer from xenolexica, do the polkadodge, or start wibbling when reading stories about Republican and Democratic silliness, you will enjoy this article.

Are you tired of all the empty words and buffoonery on both sides of the illegal immigration argument? Read this fascinating article by George Friedman of STRATFOR - Arizona, Borderlands, and US-Mexican Relations. It describes the history of the tortured relationship between the US and Mexico, offers brilliant historical insights into why we have an illegal immigration problem, and suggests what we really need to do to solve it.

The gift that keeps on giving - radioactivity from the 1986 nuclear disaster at Chernobyl. According to this article from the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel, while the population of wild boars in Germany has mushroomed over the years, so too has the percentage of that population that must be destroyed because they are too radioactive to safely eat. According to the article, wild boar are particularly susceptible to radioactive contamination because they eat large amounts of mushrooms and truffles, which are especially efficient at absorbing radioactivity. It's been nearly 25 years since the Chernobyl reactor exploded. Aren't you glad that nuclear power is such a safe and environmentally-friendly source of energy?

Just a few odds and ends to wrap up your week and get you ready for Cartoon Saturday. It just can't come soon enough...

Have a good day. More thoughts coming.



Anonymous said...

Oh, Bilbo, I must remonstrate on your boar conclusion. Think of this: France is has multiple nuclear power plants that supply the bulk of its electrical power. These plants are designed by French engineers, the same people that brought you the Renault, the Peugeot, and the Bic pen (Motto: guaranteed to write or bleed all over your white shirt).

Yet France has never had a nuclear accident. Chernobyl was uniquely Russian. On a whim, essentially, with no preparation, the engineers decided to test how long the plant could run without internal power. They soon found out it was for a very short time, and there WAS NO WAY TO RECOVER!!!!

Don't blame nuclear power for Chernobyl; blame communism. Blaming nuclear power Chernobyl is like blaming the Ford factory for your fender bender.

Eminence Grise

KathyA said...

Wild boar are frightening enough, but radioactive wild boar is just too frightening to fathom. You might have sometime with the mushrooms, though -- why can't they start mushroom farms in the area...?

Bilbo said...

Eminence - I'm not really blaming either nuclear power or communism for Chernobyl, but I am making the point that it is inherently dangerous over the long term. Nobody has ever decided what to do with radioactive waste that will be deadly for tens of thousands of years. Nobody even wants to put it in Yucca Mountain, which is probably as safe a place as any on the planet.

Kathy - I think the point is not to start new mushroom farms, but to import the mushrooms from someplace safer. Wild boar meat is excellent...I hope it all gets sorted out before my next trip to Germany!

Mike said...

BACOOOOOO..... wait, WHAT?