Chernobyl II

Zone Near Fukushima Daiichi May Be Off Limits for Decades: “Broad areas around the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant could soon be declared uninhabitable, perhaps for decades, after a government survey found radioactive contamination that far exceeded safe levels, several major media outlets said Monday.

The formal announcement, expected from the government in coming days, would be the first official recognition that the March accident could force the long-term depopulation of communities near the plant, an eventuality that scientists and some officials have been warning about for months.” (via NYTimes).

Higgs signal sinks from view

Large Hadron Collider
Image by John McNab via Flickr

“The Higgs boson, the most sought-after particle in all of physics, is proving tougher to find than physicists had hoped. 

Last month, a flurry of ‘excess events’ hinted that the Higgs could be popping up inside the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s most powerful particle accelerator located at CERN, Europe’s high-energy physics lab near Geneva, Switzerland. But new data presented today at the Lepton Photon conference in Mumbai, India, show the signal fading. It means that “this excess is probably just a statistical fluctuation”, says Adam Falkowski, a theorist at the University of Paris-South in Orsay, France.” (via Nature News).

Street View goes to the Amazon

“We’ll pedal the Street View trike along the narrow dirt paths of the Amazon villages and maneuver it up close to where civilization meets the rainforest. We’ll also mount it onto a boat to take photographs as the boat floats down the river. The tripod—which is the same system we use to capture imagery of business interiors—will also be used to give you a sense of what it’s like to live and work in places such as an Amazonian community center and school.” (via Official Google Blog).

The Kids Are Not Alright

Photograph of Joel Bakan, American lawyer and ...
Image via Wikipedia

‘ As Nelson Mandela has said, “there can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” By that measure, our current failure to provide stronger protection of children in the face of corporate-caused harm reveals a sickness in our societal soul. ‘  —  Joel Bakan (via NYTimes op-ed).

National Parks Aren’t Theme Parks

An example of a roller coaster, one of the sta...
Image via Wikipedia

“More than ever, an urban nation plagued by obesity, sloth and a surfeit of digital entertainment should encourage people to experience the wild — but does that mean nature has to be tame and lawyer-vetted?

My experience, purely anecdotal, is that the more rangers try to bring the nanny state to public lands, the more careless, and dependent, people become. There will always be steep cliffs, deep water, and ornery and unpredictable animals in that messy part of the national habitat not crossed by climate-controlled malls and processed-food emporiums. If people expect a grizzly bear to be benign, or think a glacier is just another variant of a theme park slide, it’s not the fault of the government when something goes fatally wrong.”  — Timothy Egan (via NYTimes op-ed).