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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 147192 times)
WingsofCrystal
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3285 on: Mar 12th, 2011, 11:52am »

on Mar 12th, 2011, 10:53am, Swamprat wrote:
Tsunami effect in Hawai'i

http://www.wimp.com/tsunamibackyard/


Good morning Swamp.

I was worried about Hawaii. One poor man in California was lost while taking photos. Thanks for this.

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3286 on: Mar 12th, 2011, 12:32pm »

I've been reading the Twitter posts to the BBC and many are saying that 6.0 after shocks about every two hours are still happening but the trains in Tokyo and other major cities are beginning to run again.
Geee's 6.0 after shocks. I've been in a 3.0 just once and that was quite enough for me!
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3287 on: Mar 12th, 2011, 12:32pm »

Tokyo towers swaying in quake March 2011




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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3288 on: Mar 12th, 2011, 12:42pm »

on Mar 12th, 2011, 12:32pm, LoneGunMan wrote:
I've been reading the Twitter posts to the BBC and many are saying that 6.0 after shocks about every two hours are still happening but the trains in Tokyo and other major cities are beginning to run again.
Geee's 6.0 after shocks. I've been in a 3.0 just once and that was quite enough for me!
Lone


I'm with you Lone! I felt a tiny shaker in San Francisco a long time ago and was scared! I get the USGS earthquake email updates. They have had a ton of big aftershocks. I fear that they will have more buildings come down if this keeps up.

Here's the USGS list of current quakes:

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/quakes_all.php


Update time = Sat Mar 12 18:39:24 UTC 2011


MAG UTC DATE-TIME
y/m/d h:m:s LAT
deg LON
deg DEPTH
km Region
MAP ? 2011/03/12 18:38:43 38.838 -122.831 2.4 NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
MAP 4.7 2011/03/12 17:54:19 25.456 -109.690 22.2 GULF OF CALIFORNIA
MAP 6.0 2011/03/12 17:19:24 36.573 142.645 4.3 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 5.2 2011/03/12 17:11:09 38.051 144.071 29.1 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 5.1 2011/03/12 17:01:22 37.701 143.353 38.5 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 4.8 2011/03/12 16:55:41 38.102 143.701 25.3 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 4.7 2011/03/12 16:48:14 37.822 141.935 26.6 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 5.0 2011/03/12 16:38:45 38.067 144.066 25.1 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 4.9 2011/03/12 16:36:41 38.123 143.860 24.9 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 5.0 2011/03/12 16:22:15 37.891 144.831 34.1 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 4.8 2011/03/12 16:19:05 38.426 143.940 25.0 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 4.7 2011/03/12 16:07:39 39.076 142.684 36.6 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 4.8 2011/03/12 16:03:56 37.259 142.116 25.0 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 4.9 2011/03/12 14:53:21 37.569 143.805 24.6 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 5.7 2011/03/12 14:43:09 39.471 142.406 21.5 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 5.6 2011/03/12 14:35:00 35.784 141.660 24.4 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 4.9 2011/03/12 14:14:56 35.768 140.560 24.7 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 5.3 2011/03/12 14:11:05 25.396 -109.652 12.1 GULF OF CALIFORNIA
MAP 5.8 2011/03/12 14:03:30 38.843 142.592 24.8 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 5.2 2011/03/12 13:57:12 36.439 141.926 24.2 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 5.3 2011/03/12 13:26:56 39.381 142.423 25.1 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 6.4 2011/03/12 13:15:42 37.261 141.175 37.5 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 5.8 2011/03/12 12:53:50 37.754 143.573 19.2 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 4.9 2011/03/12 12:50:28 37.834 143.856 24.7 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 4.9 2011/03/12 12:43:13 37.398 143.776 35.3 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 4.8 2011/03/12 12:27:17 39.721 144.505 25.1 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 4.9 2011/03/12 12:15:31 39.789 142.586 25.0 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 4.9 2011/03/12 12:06:57 40.058 141.980 25.2 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 4.4 2011/03/12 12:03:43 25.260 -109.964 10.1 GULF OF CALIFORNIA
MAP 5.7 2011/03/12 11:46:01 35.761 141.656 17.6 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 4.9 2011/03/12 11:39:05 37.626 142.805 24.7 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 4.9 2011/03/12 11:20:16 38.735 142.462 24.8 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 4.9 2011/03/12 11:05:00 37.913 143.740 25.0 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 6.1 2011/03/12 10:53:31 39.075 142.352 24.9 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 4.7 2011/03/12 10:49:24 37.483 143.225 25.0 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 5.0 2011/03/12 10:39:12 36.749 141.799 31.3 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 5.3 2011/03/12 10:34:49 37.846 144.377 25.0 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 5.5 2011/03/12 10:20:22 37.197 143.483 25.5 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 4.4 2011/03/12 10:17:09 18.899 -107.111 33.5 OFF THE COAST OF JALISCO, MEXICO
MAP 4.9 2011/03/12 10:06:12 37.185 143.481 25.1 OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 5.0 2011/03/12 10:00:26 35.984 141.794 25.0 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
MAP 5.2 2011/03/12 09:51:35 -3.790 151.443 10.0 NEW IRELAND REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA


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« Reply #3289 on: Mar 12th, 2011, 4:57pm »



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« Reply #3290 on: Mar 12th, 2011, 7:28pm »

New York Times

March 12, 2011
Japan Floods Nuclear Reactor Crippled by Quake in Effort to Avert Meltdown
By MICHAEL WINES and MATTHEW L. WALD

TOKYO — Japanese officials took the extraordinary step on Saturday of flooding a crippled nuclear reactor with seawater in a last-ditch effort to avoid a nuclear meltdown, as the nation grappled simultaneously with its worst nuclear accident and the aftermath of its largest recorded earthquake.

A radiation leak and explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station on Saturday prompted the government to expand an evacuation order to affect 170,000 people in the plant’s vicinity. And the plant’s operator issued an emergency notice early Sunday morning that a second reactor at the same aging plant was also experiencing critical failures of its cooling system, and that a way to inject water into the reactor to cool it was urgently being sought.

The government said that radiation emanating from the first reactor appeared to be decreasing after the blast on Saturday afternoon destroyed part of the facility, and they said that they had filled it with seawater to prevent full meltdown of the nuclear fuel. That step would be taken only in extreme circumstances because ocean water is likely to permanently disable the reactor.

The Japanese Nuclear and Industrial safety agency said as many as 160 people may have been exposed to radiation around the plant, and Japanese news media said three workers at the facility were suffering from full-on radiation sickness.

The handling of the crisis and the vulnerability of Japan’s extensive nuclear facilities to earthquakes and tsunamis will also add to long-simmering grass-roots resistance against nuclear power within Japan, where people have learned to doubt the industry’s reliability as well as anodyne official statements about safety.

Even if Japan manages to avoid large, uncontrolled releases of radiation that would result from a meltdown, the problems at the Fukushima facility already amounted to the worst nuclear accident in Japan’s history and perhaps the biggest accident at a nuclear plant since the Chernobyl disaster 25 years ago, the worst ever.

Even before the explosion on Saturday, officials said they had detected radioactive cesium, which is created when uranium fuel is split, an indication that some of the nuclear fuel in the reactor was already damaged — a situation sometimes referred to as a partial meltdown. How much damage the fuel suffered remained uncertain, though safety officials insisted repeatedly through the day that radiation leaks outside the plant remained small and did not pose a major health risk.

However, they also told the International Atomic Energy Agency that they were making preparations to distribute iodine, which helps protect the thyroid gland from radiation exposure, to people living near the Daiichi (or No. 1) plant and a second nuclear plant that suffered damage in the quake, Daini (or No. 2), about 10 miles away.

Worries about the safety of the two plants worsened on Saturday because government officials and executives of the company that runs them, Tokyo Electric Power, gave confusing accounts of the causes of the dramatic midday explosion and the damage it caused. Late Saturday night, officials said that the explosion at Daiichi occurred in a structure housing turbines near its No. 1 reactor at the plant, rather than inside the reactor itself.

They said that the blast — apparently caused by a sharp buildup of hydrogen when the reactor’s cooling system failed after the quake — destroyed the concrete structure surrounding the reactor but did not collapse the critical steel container inside. They said that raised the chances that they could continue cooling the core, and thereby prevent the release of large amounts of radioactive material and a full core meltdown.

“We’ve confirmed that the reactor container was not damaged,” Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, Yukio Edano, said in a news conference on Saturday night. “The explosion didn’t occur inside the reactor container. As such there was no large amount of radiation leakage outside. At this point, there has been no major change to the level of radiation leakage outside, so we’d like everyone to respond calmly.”

Mr. Edano said that, in addition to filling the reactor with seawater, Tokyo Electric Power workers also added boric acid to the containment vessel on Saturday night to interrupt the nuclear chain reaction. Mr. Edano said that the operation could “prevent criticality.”

He said that radioactive materials had leaked outside the plant before the explosion, but that the blast did not worsen the leak and, in fact, measured levels of radioactive emission had been decreasing. He did not specify the levels of radiation involved.

On Sunday morning, an official with Tokyo Electric Power said that the emergency cooling system at the No. 3 reactor at Daiichi had stopped working. The official, Atsushi Sugiyama, said that urgent efforts were being made to cool the reactor with water, and that, as with the first reactor, there would be a release of vapor containing trace amounts of radiation to relieve a buildup of pressure.

Japanese nuclear safety officials and international experts said that because of crucial design differences, the release of radiation at Daiichi would most likely be much smaller than at Chernobyl even if the plant had a complete core meltdown, which they said it had not.

But the vulnerability of nuclear plants to earthquakes was underscored by the continuing problems with the cooling systems of reactors at the Daini plant, which prompted a evacuation of 30,000 from surrounding communities. Together, the authorities sought to move about 200,000 people around the two plants, an enormous logistical task at a time when rescue workers also sought to help people trapped or injured in the earthquake.

After a full day of worries about the radiation leaking at Daiichi, Tokyo Electric Power said an explosion occurred “near” the No. 1 reactor at Daiichi around 3:40 p.m. Japan time on Saturday. It said four of its workers were injured in the blast.

The decision to flood the reactor core with corrosive seawater, experts said, was an indication that Tokyo Electric Power and Japanese authorities had probably decided to scrap the plant. “This plant is almost 40 years old, and now it’s over for that place,” said Olli Heinonen, the former chief inspector for the I.A.E.A., and now a visiting scholar at Harvard.

Mr. Heinonen lived in Japan in the 1980s, monitoring its nuclear industry, and visited the stricken plant many times. Based on the reports he was seeing, he said he believed that the explosion was caused by a hydrogen formation, which could have begun inside the reactor core. “Now, every hour they gain in keeping the reactor cooling down is crucial,” he said.

But he was also concerned about the presence of spent nuclear fuel in a pool inside the same reactor building. The pool, too, needs to remain full of water to suppress gamma radiation and prevent the old fuel from melting. If the spent fuel is also exposed — and so far there are only sketchy reports about the condition of that building — it could also pose a significant risk to the workers trying to prevent a meltdown.

Both Daiichi and Daini were shut down by Friday’s earthquake, but the loss of power in the area and damage to the plants’ generators from the ensuing tsunami crippled the cooling systems. Those are crucial after a shutdown to cool down the nuclear fuel rods.

The malfunctions allowed pressure to build up beyond the design capacity of the reactors. Early Saturday, officials had said that small amounts of radioactive vapor were expected to be released into the atmosphere to prevent damage to the containment systems and that they were evacuating people in the area as a precaution.

Those releases apparently did not prevent the buildup of hydrogen inside the plant, which ignited and exploded Saturday afternoon, government officials said. They said the explosion itself did not increase the amount of radioactive material being released into the atmosphere. However, safety officials urged people who were not evacuating but still lived relatively nearby to cover their mouths and stay indoors.

David Lochbaum, who worked at three reactors in the United States with designs similar to Daiichi, and who was later hired by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to teach its personnel about that technology, said that judging by photographs of the stricken plant, the explosion appeared to have occurred in the turbine hall, not the reactor vessel or the containment that surrounds the vessel.

The Daiichi reactor is a boiling-water reactor. Inside the containment, the reactor sends its steam out to a turbine. The turbine converts the steam’s energy into rotary motion, which turns a generator and makes electricity.

But as the water goes through the reactor, some water molecules break up into hydrogen and oxygen. A system in the turbine hall usually scrubs out those gases. Hydrogen is also used in the turbine hall to cool the electric generator. Hydrogen from both sources has sometimes escaped and exploded, Mr. Lochbaum said, but in this case, there is an additional source of hydrogen: interaction of steam with the metal of the fuel rods. Operators may have vented that hydrogen into the turbine hall.

Earlier Saturday, before the explosion, a Japanese nuclear safety panel said the radiation levels were 1,000 times above normal in a reactor control room at Daiichi. Some radioactive material had also seeped outside, with radiation levels near the main gate measured at eight times normal levels, NHK, Japan’s public broadcaster, quoted nuclear safety officials as saying.

more after the jump
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/13/world/asia/13nuclear.html?_r=1&hp

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« Reply #3291 on: Mar 12th, 2011, 7:33pm »

Reuters

Quake-hit Japan nuclear plant faces fresh threat

By Chris Meyers and Kim Kyung-hoon
Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:18pm EST

SENDAI, Japan (Reuters) - Thousands of people fled the vicinity of an earthquake-crippled Japanese nuclear plant after a radiation leak and authorities faced a fresh threat on Sunday with the failure of the cooling system in a second reactor.

Operator TEPCO said it was preparing to vent some steam to relieve pressure in the No.3 reactor at the plant 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo -- which would release a small amount of radiation -- following an explosion and leak on Saturday from the facility's No. 1 reactor.

As strong aftershocks continued to shake Japan's main island, the desperate search for survivors from Friday massive earthquake and tsunami pressed on and the death toll was expected to rise.

Thousands spent another freezing night huddled over heaters in emergency shelters along the northeastern coast, a scene of devastation after the 8.9 magnitude quake sent a 10-meter (33-foot) wave surging through towns and cities.

Kyodo news agency said the number of dead or unaccounted was expected to exceed 1,800. It also reported there had been no contact with around 10,000 people in one small town, more than half its population.

The government insisted radiation levels were low following Saturday's explosion, saying the blast had not affected the reactor core container, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it had been told by Japan that levels "have been observed to lessen in recent hours".

But Japan's nuclear safety agency said the number of people exposed to radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi plant could reach 160. Workers in protective clothing were scanning people arriving at evacuation centers for radioactive exposure.

Intense efforts were underway to eliminate the threat of widespread contamination.

"They are working on relieving pressure and pumping in water into the No. 3 reactor," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told a news briefing.

"This will result in some radiation leakage, although at a level that won't affect peoples' health. It will help stabilize the situation."

Officials ordered the evacuation of a 20-km (12-mile) radius zone around the plant and 10 km (6 miles) around another nuclear facility close by. Around 140,000 people had left the area, the IAEA said, while authorities prepared to distribute iodine to protect people from radioactive exposure.

"There is radiation leaking out, and since the possibility (of being exposed) is high, it's quite scary," said Masanori Ono, 17, standing in line on Saturday to be scanned for radiation at an evacuation center in Fukushima prefecture.

In Europe, environmentalists seized upon the accident to press demands for an end to the use of nuclear power.

Up to 60,000 protesters formed a 45-km (27-mile) human chain in Germany to denounce Chancellor Angela Merkel's policy of extending the life of nuclear plants.

Merkel said plants in Germany were safe, though experts were watching developments in Japan closely.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/13/us-japan-quake-idUSTRE72A0SS20110313

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« Reply #3292 on: Mar 12th, 2011, 7:54pm »

Wired

Duncan Jones Dodges Sophomore Slump With Source Code’s Softer Sci-Fi
By Terrence Russell
March 12, 2011 | 11:40 am
Categories: events, movies, sci-fi


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Source Code director Duncan Jones battles nerves before his movie's premiere at SXSW.


AUSTIN, Texas — Duncan Jones is more than a little antsy. The charmingly disheveled 38-year-old director is roughly an hour away from the world premier of his new film, Source Code, and it’s starting to show.

“I’m definitely nervous, but I’m also pretty excited,” Jones told Wired.com at a pre-screening mixer here Friday night. “Quite a few people that I respect have seen the film and seem to really like it, so I’m just now starting to feel a little more relaxed than I did a few weeks ago.”

The origin story of Jones’ time-travel techno-thriller about an Afghanistan war vet trying to stop a Chicago terror attack serves as the perfect schematic to his current nervousness. After the critical and commercial success of 2009 indie sci-fi hit Moon, the uncannily modest director was approached by eventual Source Code star, Jake Gyllenhaal, to helm the film.

For Jones, this was a tricky proposition: A lot of Moon’s success stemmed from his homegrown vision and the extra creative control that comes with a relatively small-scale production. Though he was intrigued by screenwriter Ben Ripley’s deliciously mind-bending script for Source Code, Jones would effectively become the dreaded “Hollywood director for hire.”

As it turns out, Jones didn’t have too much to worry about. After making the rounds at the mixer, Jones and Source Code cast members were whisked away to the Paramount Theatre for the jam-packed premiere, which opened the South by Southwest film festival.

The scene was a stark contrast to Jones’ self-doubt: Enthusiastic fans crowded the entryway and spilled into the streets, a few paparazzi were on hand to flashbulb the A-listers, and SXSW’s trademark serpentine queue of badge-holders waited patiently around the block. Director for hire or otherwise, filmgoers were happy to see Jones and clearly excited to check out his second film, two years after Moon built its indie buzz in Austin.

“First, I just want to say how delighted we are to bring the film here and premiere it at South by Southwest,” Jones told the raucously cheering crowd prior to the start of the film.

Not too surprisingly, he seemed much more at home in front of the packed theater of fans than at the mixer’s VIP-only rooftop bar. While finishing his pre-show thank yous from the Paramount stage, he gave a cheeky shout-out to an audience member dressed as a Lunar Industries employee from Moon.

Overall, the film itself was mostly what one would expect, given the circumstances. Source Code doesn’t pack the hard sci-fi punch of Moon, as Jones told Wired.com earlier, and Ripley’s script isn’t nearly as deliberate as the one for Jones’ first film.

Source Code’s pairing of a constant state of peril with a brisk, 94-minute runtime pushes it closer to a traditional thriller. Despite this, Jones delivers some stunning imagery and elicits strong performances from Gyllenhaal and co-stars Michelle Monaghan and Vera Farmiga.

A number of exquisitely composed establishing shots of the Chicago skyline add to the visual splendor. And Jones plays with the movie’s central element — Gyllenhaal’s hunt for a train bomber in a series of eight-minute time loops — enough to keep each installment of the repetitive mission fresh.

Even though the story has its share of red herrings and twists, the mostly good-natured audience responded more to the subtle situational humor brought about by the Groundhog Day-sian circumstances. A few snickers were heard in response to some dubious snippets of dialog (like when a self-serious Jeffrey Wright, playing the scientist behind the military operation, matter-of-factly states, “Source Code isn’t time travel. It’s time reassessment”), but the crowd was clearly having fun.

Jones, Ripley and cast members took the stage for a strangely off-kilter Q&A session after the screening.

“You’ve got eight minutes and 140 characters to review this film,” said Twitter freak Jones, to big laughs. “That was terrifying.”

At this point, Jones was at his most animate and mirthful, Gyllenhaal an even mixture of good-natured and exhausted (after a bizarre bathroom scuffle), and everyone else awkward and/or mute.

To be fair, the audience questions were largely of the non-question variety (“I thought you guys did a good job on the shots of the skyline”) and somewhat difficult to answer in any sort of rational way. By the end of the session everyone — especially Jones — looked incredibly relieved.

With the first of many screenings behind him, Jones says he’s ready to explore a little more of Austin and do some SXSW-style networking before he takes off early next week to continue Source Code’s press tour.

“I’m going to try to stop off at the Museum of the Weird, and I’ve heard that Simon Pegg and the guys from Paul are floating around,” said Jones during the pre-screening event. “We’ve been friends over the internet for a while now but it’d be nice to finally meet.”

http://www.wired.com/underwire/2011/03/source-code-sxsw/

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« Reply #3293 on: Mar 12th, 2011, 8:10pm »





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Video of CH-46E Sea Knight helicopters with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 265, Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, prepare to depart Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa bound for Naval Air Facility Atsugi on mainland Japan to provide assistance in the wake of the earthquakes and tsunami that struck Japan. The helicopters will carry rescue equipment more than 1,000 miles and be configured for the full spectrum of rescue operations to include rescue ashore, patient transfer, casualty transfer, internal and external cargo transport and personnel transport. The squadron deployed half its assets to support relief efforts within four hours of being tasked. The rest of the squadron is also scheduled to depart for the mainland. Soundbite from Lt. Col. Damien M. Marsh. Produced by Matheus Hernandez.
If you like this video take a look at some of the over 2400+ other videos with 13 million views on this channel!. You can also find us on FaceBook at "military videos" and Twitter at "3rdID8487".

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« Reply #3294 on: Mar 12th, 2011, 8:28pm »

Agence France-Presse


'Partial melt' of fuel rod at stricken reactor – Japan envoy

Agence France-Presse
First Posted 10:22:00 03/13/2011
Filed Under: Nuclear accident, Safety of Citizens


WASHINGTON - Japan's US envoy insisted Saturday there was no evidence a stricken nuclear reactor had gone into full meltdown but acknowledged there had been a "partial melt" of a fuel rod at the quake-hit plant.

Radiation was detected leaking from the Fukushima plant after Friday's massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami, and an explosion there Saturday sent authorities scrambling to avert a major meltdown.

But a somber Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki said: "We do not see evidence of that at this time. What our government has announced is, that it was a blow-up of the outer building," he told CNN.

"There was a partial melt of a fuel rod, melting of fuel rod. There was a part of that... but it was nothing like a whole reactor melting down," said Fujisaki, adding that he was being briefed hourly on the situation.

An explosion blew off the roof and walls of the structure around the reactor at Fukushima No. 1 atomic plant, about 250 kilometers (160 miles) northeast of Tokyo after a killer earthquake and tsunami flattened the region.

The fear has been that evaporating cooling liquid would expose the fuel rods to air, triggering a nuclear meltdown and major radiation leak.

Authorities say the blast did not rupture the container surrounding the reactor and that radiation levels had fallen afterwards.

With tensions soaring over the nuclear crisis, the ambassador tried to put a brave face on the trying times in Japan, expressing gratitude for the aid offered by more than 50 nations during "one of the biggest challenges in our history."

"We are working every minute, every second, in order to have the situation under control," he said.
Fujisaki said the number of households without power had dropped from more than six million on Friday to 2.5 million late Saturday.

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/world/view/20110313-325159/Partial-melt-of-fuel-rod-at-stricken-reactor--Japan-envoy

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« Reply #3295 on: Mar 13th, 2011, 09:02am »

New York Times

March 13, 2011
Partial Meltdowns Presumed
By HIROKO TABUCHI and MATTHEW L. WALD

TOKYO — Japanese officials struggled on Sunday to contain a widening nuclear crisis in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake and tsunami, saying they presumed that partial meltdowns had occurred at two crippled reactors and that they were bracing for a second explosion, even as they faced serious cooling problems at four more reactors.

The emergency appeared to be the worst involving a nuclear plant since the Chernobyl disaster 25 years ago. The developments at two separate nuclear plants prompted the evacuation of more than 200,000 people. Japanese officials said they had also ordered up the largest mobilization of their Self-Defense Forces since World War II to assist in the relief effort.

On Saturday, Japanese officials took the extraordinary step of flooding the crippled No. 1 reactor at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, 170 miles north of Tokyo, with seawater in a last-ditch effort to avoid a nuclear meltdown. That came after an explosion caused by hydrogen that tore the outer wall and roof off the building housing the reactor, although the steel containment of the reactor remained in place.

Then on Sunday, cooling failed at a second reactor — No. 3 — and core melting was presumed at both, said the top government spokesman, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano. An explosion could also rock the No. 3 reactor, Mr. Edano warned, because of a buildup of hydrogen within the reactor.

“The possibility that hydrogen is building up in the upper parts of the reactor building cannot be denied. There is a possibility of a hydrogen explosion,” Mr. Edano said. He stressed that as in the No. 1 unit, the reactor’s steel containment would withstand the explosion.

“It is designed to withstand shocks,” he said.

Officials also said they would release steam and inject water into a third reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant after temperatures rose and water levels fell around the fuel rods.

Cooling had failed at three reactors at a nuclear complex nearby, Fukushima Daini, although he said conditions there were considered less dire for now.

With high pressure inside the reactors at Daiichi hampering efforts to pump in cooling water, plant operators had to release radioactive vapor into the atmosphere. Radiation levels outside the plant, which had retreated overnight, shot up to 1,204 microsieverts per hour, or over twice Japan’s legal limit, Mr. Edano said.

NHK, Japan’s public broadcaster, flashed instructions to evacuees: close doors and windows; place a wet towel over the nose and mouth; cover up as much as possible. At a news conference, Mr. Edano called for calm. “If measures can be taken, we will be able to ensure the safety of the reactor,” he said.

Even before Mr. Edano’s statement on Sunday, it was clear from the radioactive materials turning up in trace amounts outside the reactors that fuel damage had occurred. The existence or extent of melting might not be clear until workers can open the reactors and examine the fuel, which could be months from now.

The Japanese Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said that as many as 160 people may have been exposed to radiation around the plant, and Japanese news media said that three workers at the facility were suffering from full-on radiation sickness.

Even before the explosion on Saturday, officials said they had detected radioactive cesium, which is created when uranium fuel is split, an indication that some of the nuclear fuel in the reactor was already damaged.

How much damage the fuel suffered remained uncertain, though safety officials insisted repeatedly through the day that radiation leaks outside the plant remained small and did not pose a major health risk.

However, they also told the International Atomic Energy Agency that they were making preparations to distribute iodine, which helps protect the thyroid gland from radiation exposure, to people living near Daiichi and Daini.

Worries about the safety of the two plants worsened on Saturday because executives of the company that runs them, Tokyo Electric Power, and government officials gave confusing accounts of the location and causes of the dramatic midday explosion and the damage it caused.

Late Saturday night, officials said that the explosion at Daiichi occurred in a structure housing turbines near its No. 1 reactor at the plant, rather than inside the reactor itself. But photographs of the damage did not make clear that this was the case.

They said that the blast, which may have been caused by a sharp buildup of hydrogen when the reactor’s cooling system failed, destroyed the concrete structure surrounding the reactor but did not collapse the critical steel container inside. This pattern of damage cast doubt on the idea that the explosion was in the turbine building.

“We’ve confirmed that the reactor container was not damaged,” Mr. Edano said in a news conference on Saturday night. “The explosion didn’t occur inside the reactor container. As such there was no large amount of radiation leakage outside. At this point, there has been no major change to the level of radiation leakage outside, so we’d like everyone to respond calmly.”

On Sunday morning, an official with Tokyo Electric Power said that the emergency cooling system at the No. 3 reactor at Daiichi had stopped working. The official, Atsushi Sugiyama, said that urgent efforts were being made to cool the reactor with water, and that, as with the first reactor, there would be a release of vapor containing trace amounts of radiation to relieve a buildup of pressure.

Japanese nuclear safety officials and international experts said that because of crucial design differences, the release of radiation at Daiichi would most likely be much smaller than at Chernobyl even if the plant had a complete core meltdown, which they said it had not.

After a full day of worries about the radiation leaking at Daiichi, Tokyo Electric Power said an explosion occurred “near” the No. 1 reactor at Daiichi around 3:40 p.m. Japan time on Saturday. It said four of its workers were injured in the blast.

The decision to flood the reactor core with corrosive seawater, experts said, was an indication that Tokyo Electric Power and Japanese authorities had probably decided to scrap the plant. “This plant is almost 40 years old, and now it’s over for that place,” said Olli Heinonen, the former chief inspector for the I.A.E.A., and now a visiting scholar at Harvard.

Mr. Heinonen lived in Japan in the 1980s, monitoring its nuclear industry, and visited the stricken plant many times. Based on the reports he was seeing, he said he believed that the explosion was caused by a hydrogen formation, which could have begun inside the reactor core. “Now, every hour they gain in keeping the reactor cooling down is crucial,” he said.

But he was also concerned about the presence of spent nuclear fuel in a pool inside the same reactor building. The pool, too, needs to remain full of water to suppress gamma radiation and prevent the old fuel from melting. If the spent fuel is also exposed — and so far there are only sketchy reports about the condition of that building — it could also pose a significant risk to the workers trying to prevent a meltdown.

Both Daiichi and Daini were shut down by Friday’s earthquake, but the loss of power in the area and damage to the plants’ generators from the ensuing tsunami crippled the cooling systems. Those are crucial after a shutdown to cool down the nuclear fuel rods.

The malfunctions allowed pressure to build up beyond the design capacity of the reactors. Early Saturday, officials had said that small amounts of radioactive vapor were expected to be released into the atmosphere to prevent damage to the containment systems and that they were evacuating people in the area as a precaution.

Those releases apparently did not prevent the buildup of hydrogen inside the plant, which ignited and exploded Saturday afternoon, government officials said. They said the explosion itself did not increase the amount of radioactive material being released into the atmosphere. However, safety officials urged people who were not evacuating but still lived relatively nearby to cover their mouths and stay indoors.

David Lochbaum, who worked at three reactors in the United States with designs similar to Daiichi, and who was later hired by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to teach its personnel about that technology, said that judging by photographs of the stricken plant, the explosion appeared to have occurred in the turbine hall, not the reactor vessel or the containment that surrounds the vessel.

The Daiichi reactor is a boiling-water reactor. Inside the containment, the reactor sends its steam out to a turbine. The turbine converts the steam’s energy into rotary motion, which turns a generator and makes electricity.

But as the water goes through the reactor, some water molecules break up into hydrogen and oxygen. A system in the turbine hall usually scrubs out those gases. Hydrogen is also used in the turbine hall to cool the electric generator. Hydrogen from both sources has sometimes escaped and exploded, Mr. Lochbaum said, but in this case, there is an additional source of hydrogen: interaction of steam with the metal of the fuel rods. Operators may have vented that hydrogen into the turbine hall.

Earlier Saturday, before the explosion, a Japanese nuclear safety panel said the radiation levels were 1,000 times above normal in a reactor control room at Daiichi. Some radioactive material had also seeped outside, with radiation levels near the main gate measured at eight times normal levels, NHK quoted nuclear safety officials as saying.

more after the jump
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/14/world/asia/14nuclear.html?_r=1&hp

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3296 on: Mar 13th, 2011, 09:06am »

New York Times

March 12, 2011
Keeping Tabs on the Infrastructure, Wirelessly
By ANNE EISENBERG

ENGINEERS routinely inspect bridges and other structures for cracks and corrosion. But because they can’t always be there in person, one highly intelligent bridge knows what to do when trouble arises: send them an e-mail.

The long spans and slender cables of the Jindo Bridge in South Korea are dotted with a small army of electronic sentinels — tiny wireless sensors and microprocessors that monitor the bridge’s structural health. The network constantly analyzes factors like vibration, wind and humidity, and promptly reports anomalies to a computer that then passes along the news. (As of last week, the bridge said it was just fine.)

Wireless systems like the Jindo Bridge network, a prototype now in its third year of testing, won’t replace human monitoring. But the data collected by the network can help bridge owners make informed decisions, said John W. Wallace, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles, and director of the structural/earthquake engineering research lab there.

Traditionally, most systems that monitor structures’ responses to earthquakes or strong winds have been wired ones. But wireless alerts may one day be an alternative.

“Wired monitoring systems are expensive,” said Dr. Jerome P. Lynch, director of the Laboratory for Intelligent Structural Technology and an associate professor at the University of Michigan. “You have to route kilometers of wire for power and data.”

The wireless systems may also be attractive because of their sophisticated power-management software, which improves battery performance, he said. Sensors can also extend battery life by harvesting power from the sun and the wind — and even from vibrations.

The Jindo Bridge network has 663 wireless sensors, each providing a channel of information at an installation cost of about $100, far less than the thousands of dollars typically needed to install each wired channel, said Dr. B.F. Spencer Jr., a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Spencer directs the American-based arm of the bridge project, which also includes the University of Tokyo and the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. Batteries on the bridge network are expected to last about three years before they need replacement.

Mark Sinclair, an engineer at Degenkolb Engineers in San Francisco who has worked on several wired monitoring systems in buildings, said the wireless systems could find some use after an earthquake, for example, to confirm a lack of damage to a structure.

But Mr. Sinclair is skeptical of their general deployment for alerts. Unlike their wired counterparts, “wireless systems don’t have a proven track record yet,” he said.

“I don’t know about your wireless signal,” he said, referring to telephone service, “but mine is chronically unreliable.”

The Jindo network has built-in features to provide backup, Dr. Spencer said. “We’ve developed reliable algorithms to make sure we get the data we need from the sensors,” he said. “We store the data locally. If wireless data is interrupted, we can resend it.”

Dr. Jennifer A Rice, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Texas Tech in Lubbock, worked on the Jindo project when she was a doctoral student under Dr. Spencer. She and her group devised much of the software that conserves power on the network. Instead of having the radios constantly beaming information and using power, the software wakes up sensors for a few minutes so they can collect and analyze data, then switches on the radio to transmit it.

In the future, sensing technologies may add to the scope of wireless monitoring of the infrastructure. At Princeton University, Dr. Sigurd Wagner, a professor of electrical engineering, has developed a sensing skin made of rippled rubber that can be stretched like a membrane across a steel plate. The skin is covered with a coating that, depending on the initial wavelength of the wavy grating, might emit orange light when an ultraviolet laser shines on it. But when a crack develops — even one that’s imperceptible to the eye — the coating stretches, and the color of the light it emits changes to red. That signals trouble.

OTHER researchers are also working on structural skins so that engineers can help track the health of buildings. Professor Lynch is developing a sensor skin of carbon nanotubes and polymer that can be used as a coating to help map strain or, with a slightly different chemistry, to measure corrosion in pipelines, aircraft or a whole host of structures, he said.

Professor Wallace of U.C.L.A. says sensors like these skins will have a place in future networks.

“It’s difficult to ascertain if damage at a single point is important,” he said, “but if you can look at a larger area, you can make a better judgment.”

Noting the aging of the nation’s infrastructure, Professor Wallace said, “If we have thousands of bridges and money to repair only 10 of them, sensors and wireless networks can provide needed data.”


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/13/business/13novel.html?ref=technology

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3297 on: Mar 13th, 2011, 09:14am »

Hollywood Reporter

Rock Band Caught in Japan, New Zealand Earthquakes
5:48 PM 3/12/2011
by Annie Yuan

The Melvins experienced both natural disasters since kicking off their tour Feb. 20.

Los Angeles rock band The Melvins are 2-for-2 when it comes to natural disasters.

Not only were they in Tokyo when the disastrous 8.9 earthquake hit Japan Friday, they also experienced the 6.3 earthquake that shook up Christchurch, New Zealand less than a month ago.

"Another big earthquake in Tokyo! Melvins' members and crew are fine," the Melvins posted on Facebook early Friday morning.

According to frontman Buzz Osborne, the band was also at the airport in Christchurch when the first wave of the New Zealand quake hit.

"As soon as that one was over, we grabbed all of our bags and passports and ran for the door," he told Spinner.com in February. "I'm a serious quake coward. [This one] was plenty big, as were the aftershocks. I stayed outside for the next five hours."

A spokesperson for the band sent the LA Times a statement from Osborne on Saturday saying, "What are the odds of us being in TWO major earthquakes on TWO continents in about TWO weeks? In the billions?"

The Melvins had travelled to Japan to perform with San Francisco band High on Fire for the final leg of their tour, which began in New Zealand. The Japan earthquake struck shortly before their last show in Tokyo.

Although Osborne, an L.A. native, is familiar with living in earthquake-prone territory, he admitted he never gets used to the experience.

"I don't like earthquakes, or fires, or floods, or tornadoes, or hurricanes, or any natural disaster whatsoever," he told Spinner.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/melvins-japan-new-zealand-earthquake-167076

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3298 on: Mar 13th, 2011, 09:18am »

Science Daily

Keys to Long Life? Not What You Might Expect

ScienceDaily (Mar. 12, 2011) —

Cheer up. Stop worrying. Don’t work so hard. Good advice for a long life? As it turns out, no. In a groundbreaking study of personality as a predictor of longevity, University of California, Riverside researchers found just the opposite.

"It's surprising just how often common assumptions -- by both scientists and the media -- are wrong," said Howard S. Friedman, distinguished professor of psychology who led the 20-year study.

Friedman and Leslie R. Martin , a 1996 UCR alumna (Ph.D.) and staff researchers, have published those findings in "The Longevity Project: Surprising Discoveries for Health and Long Life from the Landmark Eight-Decade Study" (Hudson Street Press, March 2011).

Friedman and Martin examined, refined and supplemented data gathered by the late Stanford University psychologist Louis Terman and subsequent researchers on more than 1,500 bright children who were about 10 years old when they were first studied in 1921. "Probably our most amazing finding was that personality characteristics and social relations from childhood can predict one's risk of dying decades later," Friedman concluded.

The Longevity Project, as the study became known, followed the children through their lives, collecting information that included family histories and relationships, teacher and parent ratings of personality, hobbies, pet ownership, job success, education levels, military service and numerous other details.

"When we started, we were frustrated with the state of research about individual differences, stress, health and longevity," Friedman recalled. "It was clear that some people were more prone to disease, took longer to recover, or died sooner, while others of the same age were able to thrive. All sorts of explanations were being proposed -- anxiety, lack of exercise, nerve-racking careers, risk-taking, lack of religion, unsociability, disintegrating social groups, pessimism, poor access to medical care, and Type A behavior patterns." But none were well-studied over the long term. That is, none followed people step-by-step throughout their lives.

When Friedman and Martin began their research in 1991, they planned to spend six months examining predictors of health and longevity among the Terman participants.

But the project continued over the next two decades -- funded in part by the National Institute on Aging -- and the team eventually involved more than 100 graduate and undergraduate students who tracked down death certificates, evaluated interviews, and analyzed tens of thousands of pages of information about the Terman participants through the years.

"We came to a new understanding about happiness and health," said Martin, now a psychology professor at La Sierra University in Riverside. "One of the findings that really astounds people, including us, is that the Longevity Project participants who were the most cheerful and had the best sense of humor as kids lived shorter lives, on average, than those who were less cheerful and joking. It was the most prudent and persistent individuals who stayed healthiest and lived the longest."

Part of the explanation lies in health behaviors -- the cheerful, happy-go-lucky kids tended to take more risks with their health across the years, Friedman noted. While an optimistic approach can be helpful in a crisis, "we found that as a general life-orientation, too much of a sense that 'everything will be just fine' can be dangerous because it can lead one to be careless about things that are important to health and long life. Prudence and persistence, however, led to a lot of important benefits for many years. It turns out that happiness is not a root cause of good health. Instead, happiness and health go together because they have common roots."

Many of the UCR findings fly in the face of conventional wisdom. For example:

•Marriage may be good for men's health, but doesn't really matter for women. Steadily married men -- those who remained in long-term marriages -- were likely to live to age 70 and beyond; fewer than one-third of divorced men were likely to live to 70; and men who never married outlived those who remarried and significantly outlived those who divorced -- but they did not live as long as married men.

•Being divorced is much less harmful to women's health. Women who divorced and did not remarry lived nearly as long as those who were steadily married.

•"Don't work too hard, don't stress," doesn't work as advice for good health and long life. Terman subjects who were the most involved and committed to their jobs did the best. Continually productive men and women lived much longer than their more laid-back comrades.

•Starting formal schooling too early -- being in first grade before age 6 -- is a risk factor for earlier mortality. Having sufficient playtime and being able to relate to classmates is very important for children.

•Playing with pets is not associated with longer life. Pets may sometimes improve well-being, but they are not a substitute for friends.

•Combat veterans are less likely to live long lives, but surprisingly the psychological stress of war itself is not necessarily a major health threat. Rather, it is a cascade of unhealthy patterns that sometimes follows. Those who find meaning in a traumatic experience and are able to reestablish a sense of security about the world are usually the ones who return to a healthy pathway.

•People who feel loved and cared for report a better sense of well-being, but it doesn't help them live longer. The clearest health benefit of social relationships comes from being involved with and helping others. The groups you associate with often determine the type of person you become -- healthy or unhealthy.

It's never too late to choose a healthier path, Friedman and Martin said. The first step is to throw away the lists and stop worrying about worrying.

"Some of the minutiae of what people think will help us lead long, healthy lives, such as worrying about the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in the foods we eat, actually are red herrings, distracting us from the major pathways," Friedman said. "When we recognize the long-term healthy and unhealthy patterns in ourselves, we can begin to maximize the healthy patterns."

"Thinking of making changes as taking 'steps' is a great strategy," Martin advised. "You can't change major things about yourself overnight. But making small changes, and repeating those steps, can eventually create that path to longer life."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110311153541.htm

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3299 on: Mar 13th, 2011, 09:23am »

Geek Tyrant

TRON 3 Teaser Video: TRON: THE NEXT DAY - FLYNN LIVES REVEALED

12 March 2011
by Venkman

Hey gang! If you enjoyed TRON: Legacy you've got to watch this great 10-minute epilogue to Tron Legacy titled TRON: The Next Day - Flynn Lives Revealed. This was suposed to show up on the upcoming TRON: Legacy DVD & Blu-ray, but it leaked out online a little early.

According to antovolk on YouTube this is "the first of the 2 fabled TR3N (TRON 3) teaser videos. This one is titled "The Next Day", and is an official exclusive extra from the TRON: Legacy Blu-Ray. It explains the origins of the Flynn Lives organisation (who ran the ARG) and who was in charge of it, and what happens after Sam decides to take over ENCOM at the end of TRON: Legacy! Featuring the fabled scene with Dan Shor as Ram and Bruce Boxleitner as Alan Bradley. The second TRON 3 teaser is reportedly a hidden Easter Egg in the DVD/Blu-Ray and will reportedly feature Olivia Wilde as Quorra and Cillian Murphy as Ed Dillinger Jr."

Yes, these videos will give us a look at where the story and characters will be going in the next Tron movie. I guess you could say it contains spoilers. I really enjoyed TRON: Legacy despite its faults, and I'm very excited to see the story continue.





http://geektyrant.com/news/2011/3/12/tron-3-teaser-video-tron-the-next-day-flynn-lives-revealed.html

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