Saturday, March 10, 2012

Bits and Pieces - March 10, 2012

Seeds from plants that survived the Hiroshima atomic bomb will be planted in the Irkutsk University Botanical Garden. Keep us posted on their progress, Viktor Kuzevanov!

I'm wondering, as does Frank Munger, whether these atom-bomb shelters were intended for short-term use only. I was in the Silmet plant's shelter in Estonia, and it was quite spacious, with rollaway cots, ventilators that could be hand-powered if necessary, and other necessities. Much nicer than the one pictured here.

Here are pictures of what the cores of the Fukushima reactors probably look like. The "corium" mentioned in the text refers to the melted mixture of fuel element, cladding, and whatever else was in the way as it melted and dropped.

Elaine Blair recently wrote a review of Michael Houellebecq's latest book, which got her thinking about American male authors who write about, um, men and their insecurities. She posts her thoughts on that. I've been unable to read most modern fiction for some time now, just not interesting to me. What Blair writes about is certainly part of it. And it ties in with the recent count of reviewers and authors in the leading magazines: not much change from last year, my estimate pretty much 75% male across the board. Guys, we're not interested. But it gets published anyway because it's guys publishing it.

And here's a guy who seems to think a lot about sex but must be thinking about money too: Rick Santorum.

Added later: Ezra Klein assembles the studies that show that Daylight Saving Time is mostly a scam. My personal interest in this is that I'm a morning person, and just about the time it starts to be light when I wake up, they set that back another month or so. :-P Plus, how can we "save" daylight, when we don't even have twelve hours of it a day yet?

For a change: some good news. Global poverty in 2010 was at half its 1990 levels.

More on Murdoch: in Russia, yet!

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