Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘thorium

Tabdump #2

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* If you invested $100,000 on Jan. 1, 2000, in the Vanguard index fund that tracks the Standard & Poor’s 500, you would have ended up with $89,072 by mid-December of 2009. Adjust that for inflation by putting it in January 2000 dollars and you’re left with $69,114. Krugman says things have not yet turned around.

* In search of the world’s hardest language.

* Environmental refugees.

* Should we believe the thorium hype?

* Whole Foods CEO John Mackey is fixing for another boycott.

* Behold, the divorce gene. Via Eric Barker.

* And everyone is criticizing Brit Hume for suggesting on-air that Tiger Woods must become a Christian in order to be forgiven, but of course Hume was right: a well-publicized conversion experience would be a painless way for Woods to immediately rehabilitate his brand.

Promised Linkdump

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* Ryan has rightly demanded that these images of superheroes photoshopped into old war photographs be posted on this blog.

* Also via Ryan: David Harvey, “Organizing for the Anti-Capitalist Transition.”

* As promised, nuclear power will shortly save us all.

Weinberg and his men proved the efficacy of thorium reactors in hundreds of tests at Oak Ridge from the ’50s through the early ’70s. But thorium hit a dead end. Locked in a struggle with a nuclear- armed Soviet Union, the US government in the ’60s chose to build uranium-fueled reactors — in part because they produce plutonium that can be refined into weapons-grade material. The course of the nuclear industry was set for the next four decades, and thorium power became one of the great what-if technologies of the 20th century.

Today, however, Sorensen spearheads a cadre of outsiders dedicated to sparking a thorium revival. When he’s not at his day job as an aerospace engineer at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama — or wrapping up the master’s in nuclear engineering he is soon to earn from the University of Tennessee — he runs a popular blog called Energy From Thorium. A community of engineers, amateur nuclear power geeks, and researchers has gathered around the site’s forum, ardently discussing the future of thorium. The site even links to PDFs of the Oak Ridge archives, which Sorensen helped get scanned. Energy From Thorium has become a sort of open source project aimed at resurrecting long-lost energy technology using modern techniques.

Via MeFi.

* The way the White House has been trumpeting the “Passenger Bill of Rights” today suggests to me they may finally be getting the hang of the publicity end of things.

* Another round of MLA interview suggestions from ProfHacker.

* Ten ways to traverse deep space.

* Top ten cryptozoology stories of 2009. Via Boing Boing.

* The ten worst things about the Bush presidency.