Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Nuclear Power, Folks

I've been meaning to post this for months but I keep forgetting to. It's a series of blog posts by an environmentalist who is not exactly supporting nuclear power, but has changed his position from knee-jerk anti, to cautious acceptance. Even in the face of the Fukushima nuclear disaster following the Japanese tsunami, George Monbiot pits nuclear against one of the only realistic alternatives, coal; and finds coal to be quite a bit crappier:

Coal, the most carbon-dense of fossil fuels, is the primary driver of human-caused climate change. If its combustion is not curtailed, it could kill millions of times more people than nuclear power plants have done so far. Yes, I really do mean millions. The Chernobyl meltdown was hideous and traumatic. The official death toll so far appears to be 43 – 28 workers in the initial few months then a further 15 civilians by 2005. Totally unacceptable, of course; but a tiny fraction of the deaths for which climate change is likely to be responsible, through its damage to the food supply, its contribution to the spread of infectious diseases and its degradation of the quality of life for many of the world's poorest people.

Monbiot still feels that low-carbon, alternative solutions would be superior to both coal and nuclear, but the question is, how much time do we have to develop these solutions? According to Fugu's dad (a geologist of some prominence), not much time at all.

Nuclear Power scares a lot of people, but you have to wonder: If the Earth can throw an 8.9 earthquake and a tsunami at an aging nuclear power plant, and this is all that happens; then maybe our stupid fears are little misplaced, especially given the dangers of extracting and using fossil fuels.

Here's the post.

Anyone in the Market for a Two-Handed Great Sword?

WARNING: Some scenes of butchery may be too intense for squeamish viewers. This video is frickin' long, but you can always jump to the final pitch at the end if the scenes of things being cut in half over and over and over get too overwhelmingly awesome for you.

via Jon Matza

Saturday, June 18, 2011

James does another crazy thing

James Bowthorp's 24 hour (NON-STOP) Pedalling  HE'S A NUTTER! HE'S MENTAL! HE'S GINGER!

My friend James Bowthorpe cycled for 24 hours on a stationary bike in the window of a cafe on Old Street on Wednesday and Thursday. He went more than 400 miles without getting anywhere!

It's part of his fundraising for the Parkinson's clinic where he volunteers.

James Bowthorpe cycling in the window of Look Mum No Hands in the Morning
James in the morning, about half way through.

James Bowthorpe cycling in the window of Look Mum No Hands in the Evening
James in the evening, about a half an hour from the end.

It looked exhausting. He's doing the Race Across America a year from now, when he'll have to do the same thing ten times in a row with an hour of sleep between each one. That sounds horrible!

Friday, June 3, 2011

the story of stuff

Star Wars vs. Lego Awesomeness

I wish I could live in a world where everything was made out of Lego.

Be sure to click on this guy's Flickr gallery of the Sandcrawler from the link.