Daily Archives: September 20, 2011

Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan (and beyond) is worse than reported

From Robert Cringely on Cringely.com:

Note — I have written previously about other aspects of this subject hereherehere, and here.  I am not by nature an alarmist about nuclear power or even particularly anti-nuclear. But sometimes truth just has to be told.

Photo of Japanese baby being monitored via"I Cringely"

Nobody died following the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island in 1979. I should know because I was there. But this fact can’t be attributed to any wisdom of the U.S. nuclear industry, but simply to dumb luck.  The two TMI reactors were (and still are) the only such devices ever built deliberately on the approach path to a U.S. Air Force base, now Harrisburg International Airport. An extra 18 inches of reinforced concrete was added to the TMI containment buildings to protect them if hit by a fully laden B-52. No other reactors in the USA had (or have) such thick containment vessels. Had Unit 2 been built to the standards of all its sister reactors like Rancho Seco in California, hydrogen explosions would have breached the containment just as they have in Japan and many people would have died just as they will in Japan. Continue reading

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Four days of cheese at Slow Food event

“Like everyone who traveled to get to the event in Bra, Italy, I came with an empty bag, which was stuffed with heavy blocks of cheese when I left.”

Good people, good cheese... Slow Food in Italy. Photo via The Atlantic

From Corby Kummer at The Atlantic, via 3 Wheeled Cheese blog:

“Last week, while the rest of the food world was speculating over who should replace the great Sam Sifton as he ascends inexorably to editor-ship of the New York Times, the trajectory I’ve long considered appropriate for former food critics (I’ve got my own favorite for his successor, but I’m hoping, not telling), I was on a semi-annual gig teaching writing at Slow Food’s University of Gastronomic Science’s master’s program. I also got to stay on for two days to sample the endless varieties of cheese at Slow Food’s event called, simply,Cheese, which for four days every two years turns the center of its founding city, Bra, into a day-and-night festival that brings back not just former university students but the world’s big-cheese cheeses (surely I’m the first to think of that). If you’re anywhere near Turin, Italy, today, head over! The revelry went on past midnight during the two days I got to be there. Writing and cheese, naturally, were on my mind — and in my bags coming home. Continue reading

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What’s behind those breakfast cereals?

You know, the stuff people eat in the morning, with their pasteurized milk. 

From vbarrington on Civil Eats: 

“While sleepily shaking your cereal flakes into a bowl, and absently pouring the milk over them, have you ever stopped to think, just before taking a big, slurpy bite, “How is this stuff made?”

If you went ahead and took the time to find out, you’d be surprised to learn that no matter how healthy and natural the advertising on the packages makes those crunchy bits of wheat, oats, and corn seem, they are actually a highly processed food whose nutrient value is questionable. Continue reading

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