Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant near Athens, Alabama, once the world's largest, suffered a setback today (5/24/2007) after its Unit 1 reactor was shutdown due to a hydraulic fluid leak. All three of the units at Browns-Ferry were shut down in 1985 after one of the nation's worst nuclear accidents in history. The Tennessee Valley Authority, which owns the plant, spent six years refurbishing one reactor under strict scrutiny from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and reopened a second in 1995; Unit 1 was approved for restart on May 15, 2007 by the NRC.
The restart of Unit 1 has been hailed as a triumph... Read More
According to the LiveScience website today (5/23/2007), professor Mark Brosnan has concluded that students with longer index-fingers-than-ring-fingers can expect to score higher on the verbal/reading/writing portions of the SAT than on the verbal/reading/writing portions, and children with longer ring fingers than index fingers will likely score higher on the math sections of the exam. Professor Brosnan teaches psychology at the University of Bath; that begs the question what was he doing when he decided such a topic deserved study.
It is not particularly news that the difference in length between... Read More
I have a chart on the mirror in my bathroom to motivate me to exercise. The chart is a list of reasons to exercise. Sometimes it works and I go out running or walking and sometimes I try to avoid eye to paper contact.
Iâ€™m actually fortunate. Iâ€™m lean even if I donâ€™t exercise. Notice I said â€œleanâ€ and I didnâ€™t say â€œhealthyâ€. Because Iâ€™m not overweight, I can convince myself that I donâ€™t need to exercise, well, unless I focus on the backside jiggling.
According to the latest research, however, I could be fat on the inside. Doctors are now taking a look at internal fat around... Read More
At 32 feet across, 109 feet deep and completed in 1888, the world's largest hand dug well can be found in my home state of Kansas. Unfortunately, the little town which used that well as its water supply is almost completely gone -- except for the local pub.
The town of Greensburg, Kansas had little else to draw attention to it except for the well. It was a nice little tourist stopover left from the days before Interstate 70 connected Kansas City with Denver. The well was so large, that a system of stairs were built inside to allow people to walk down to the water level, fill their buckets... Read More
A couple of months ago I was the victim of a very nasty little computer bug that all but destroyed my computer. The virus was so insidious that it killed my CD-DVD drive, my hard drive, and it somehow severed the connection between the motherboard and the RAM memory. Even after I would delete everything and restore my computer to its factory specifications the virus would somehow remain in the registry and continue its nefarious activities.
I tried everything. Finally, I had to pony up and fork over nearly $400 to completely replace parts and literally burn my hard drive clean. So now that... Read More
In a recent poll taken on April 17th of 2007, 100% of those surveyed said they preferred a larger sized screen when it came to their computers. While this data was achieved not by the most scieftific of terms, it is nonetheless a compelling reflection on the way our American society is going: Big, Big, Big!
We need the big screen TV, the big bedroom with the big bed, the big living room (if we can afford one of those), the big closet to fit our big wardrobe... We even pride ourselves in developing technology to make things smaller- and then make them bigger again! Last month I received a new... Read More
Every year, in Monterey California, a 'group of remarkable people gather to exchange ideas of incalculable value'. This conference called TED (Technology Entertainment Design) covers a broad variety of topics including science, technology, economics, arts and many more. The very exclusive event ($6000 to attend the annual conference and receive a couple of DVDs) recently released some videos of the talks held during the conference. The amazing talk below (video) was given by Hans Rosling, professor of international health at Sweden's world-renowned Karolinska Institute, and founder of Gapminder,... Read More