Atom Wave: February 2007

Atom Wave

Thursday, February 22, 2007

North Korea 1: USA 0

Five months ago North Korea exploded its first fission bomb. While the several kiloton test yield was disappointing, the International outrage approached biblical scale. Much to the bitterness of some mental anorexics, I dismissed the test as saber rattling engineered to extort international concessions.
Never to be one to make a mistake, Washington is moving to offer Pyongyang 50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil plus another 950,000 tons if they scrap their nuclear program. Pyongyang would receive the added perks of a peace treaty ending its long war with the south, a cut in U.S troops, and removal from the State Department’s terror list.
All that is required of North Korea is the shut down of its main reactor and submission to inspection. While that may help you sleep through the night, remember that their speculated four to six bombs will remain intact somewhere. Why is it that the one at the end of the party is always stuck with the check? Kim Jong-il must be laughing all the way to the bank!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Fighting The System Part 2

Last January I advocated for a tax boycott on Hennepin County after the state legislator decided to force the county’s taxpayers to pay for an unwanted new stadium for the Twins. To call the stadium unwanted would not be an understatement, given that our political traitors refused to give the public the option to vote on it. Now that the new-year has arrived, efforts have been in full swing by the government to acquire the land for the construction to begin.
The plan is advancing better than I could have expected. Local heroes, investors representing Land Partners 2 have refused to sell the property to the state. They say that the state took them for a ride by assuming their corporation and offering only a pathetic $13.35 million for the site. With the state unwilling to go any higher on account of budget limitations, a struggle has been unleashed since Land Partners wants $50 million at least.
Needless to say, at this rate the new stadium will not be opening in the spring of 2010. The county is floating the idea of building on the Brookdale Mall site, but the Twins didn’t bite.
In a final act of desperation, the state may still pursue condemnation of the site. A risky move for them since the court may still value it at a price higher than they are willing to pay. In the meantime, angry taxpayers can sit back and enjoy the colorful metaphorical implosion of the Twins Stadium.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Thank You

For Smoking is a superb movie about how you and I need to keep smoking. It is a completely healthy habit with no negative side affects, as the Public Relations man Nick said. Now I smoke like a wildfire, spreading clouds far and wide. It is hip and rich in a rainbow of chemicals sure to keep anything living away from you. With everything from hydrazine, lead, vinyl chloride, formaldehyde, and everything in between you will feel like a chemical plant by the time you take your last puff. Plus you get radioactive polonium that is sure to make your body slightly hot by the time you die. That is something to brag about! With it being the same element that dropped Mr. Litvinenko in Europe last year.
Now I know that the nonsmokers would say that tobacco smoke is poison. Sure it is, which makes it a marvelous tool towards breeding a mutant version of the human species resistant to poison and living.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Junk Cascades

Orbiting Junk, Once a Nuisance, Is Now a Threat

On January 11 of this year, China successfully destroyed one of their old weather satellites in a test. While the test itself was unremarkable, its consequences may not be. The explosion of the satellite spread over a thousand of its parts and pieces across the sky into a ring that now threatens many near earth satellites including the International Space Station.
The threat of space debris is not a new innovation, and has been in development since the launch of the space program. With zero incentive to maintain hygiene, governments and corporations have long chosen to abandon everything from spent rocket stages to dead satellites in orbit. Since many more of these objects are sent aloft than ever return, the problem has only accumulated.
Since 1978, Dr. Kessler and Burtan Cour-Palais have been saying that an orbital cascade is inevitable. While the results have so far been disappointing, the Chinese test may change that! Once the debris achieves critical density, it will runaway in a chain reaction of destruction that will amount to the end of spaceflight. Space is already a shooting gallery as it is, and satellites must already be increasingly armored to survive it as it is.
While no practical solution exists to molest existing junk, prevention is the sure method towards thwarting that cool cascade just above the horizon. All that governments and corporations need to do is take efforts to bring down old satellites and rockets before they become a hazard.