Illudium PU-36

(via APS – What’s New by Bob Park – April 16, 2004)

HAFNIUM-178: JUST WHEN YOU THINK LIFE CAN’T GET ANY SILLIER.

The cover of Popular Mechanics for May proclaims the dawn of the age of atomic airplanes powered by miniature nuclear reactors. These are not old-fashioned fission reactors. These are the new “quantum nucleonic reactors,” a.k.a. hafnium-178 isomer reactors. The problem with fission reactors was that they required too much shielding. The problem with the hafnium-178 reactor is that it doesn’t exist. Carl Collins at U. of Texas, Dallas, claimed to be able to trigger decay of the hafnium-178 nuclear isomer with x-rays. That would be a miracle, but several other groups found it just doesn’t happen. That detail was left out of the Popular Mechanics story, which contains nothing beyond the New Scientist story a year ago (WN 15 Aug 03). The hafnium-178 isomer avalanche now seems destined to join hydrinos, zero-point energy, gravity shields, cold fusion and all the other free-energy fantasies that only work for believers. In the paranormal world this is known as “the investigator effect.”


Pre 9-11: All about missile defense

(via Daily Kos)

On Sept. 11, 2001, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice was scheduled to outline a Bush administration policy that would address “the threats and problems of today and the day after, not the world of yesterday” — but the focus was largely on missile defense, not terrorism from Islamic radicals.

The speech provides telling insight into the administration’s thinking on the very day that the United States suffered the most devastating attack since the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor. The address was designed to promote missile defense as the cornerstone of a new national security strategy, and contained no mention of al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden or Islamic extremist groups, according to former U.S. officials who have seen the text […]

The text also implicitly challenged the Clinton administration’s policy, saying it did not do enough about the real threat — long-range missiles.

Or even after 9-11:
I remember Todd Akin on the radio a day or two after 9-11 saying the attacks clearly demonstrated the need for missile defense.

Bush is no “Mr. Smith”

(via Musings of a Philosophical Scrivener)

Hearing President Bush these days constantly complain about “the politicians” and John Kerry being part of a “Washington mind-set,” and saying things like “I got news for the Washington crowd” is like hearing Courtney Love bitch about junkies. “Washington insider” is by definition a function of one’s proximity to the president. That’s you, Mr. Bush. You’re ground zero. Ever wonder, sir, why everyone stands and they play music when you enter a room? When you’re given check-writing privileges by the Federal Reserve, you just might be a Washington insider.

Lemme try to explain it to you in a different way: You’re not “Mr. Smith goes to Washington” — you’re the Washington part. We need a Mr. Smith to mess with you. You’re not on a mission you reluctantly accepted, like the old farts in “Space Cowboys.” You campaigned for this job, and now you’re doing it again. And having been the Grand Poobah for three years, it’s a little late to be selling yourself as some fish-out-of-water cowboy visiting the big city on assignment.
–Bill Maher

God Hates Shrimp

(via Eschaton)

God Hates Shrimp:

Shrimp, crab, lobster, clams, mussels, all these are an abomination before the Lord, just as gays are an abomination. Why stop at protesting gay marriage? Bring all of God’s law unto the heathens and the sodomites. We call upon all Christians to join the crusade against Long John Silver’s and Red Lobster. Yea, even Popeye’s shall be cleansed. The name of Bubba shall be anathema. We must stop the unbelievers from destroying the sanctity of our restaurants.

Too funny!

An Example of Poor Planning

Man treated after attempting to nail himself to cross:

HARTLAND – A Hartland man was treated at a Pittsfield hospital after he nailed himself to a cross. The 23-year-old man apparently was trying to commit suicide Thursday evening in his living room, the Bangor Daily News reported.

Somerset County Sheriff Barry DeLong said Monday that no charges will be filed. “There is no crime here,” he said.

Police said the man appeared delusional and told them he had been “seeing pictures of God on the computer.” He told them he had not seen the hit movie “The Passion of the Christ,” which depicts the Crucifixion of Jesus.

Lt. Pierre Boucher said the man took two pieces of wood, nailed them together in the form of a cross and placed them on the floor.

Makes sense, tough I question whether simply nailing the two pieces of wood is sufficient for the task.

He attached a suicide sign to the wood and then proceeded to nail one of his hands to the makeshift cross using a 14-penny nail and a hammer.

OUCH! The more mechanically inclined people reading this probably see the problem with this guy’s plan.

“When he realized that he was unable to nail his other hand to the board, he called 911,” Boucher said.

It was unclear whether the man was seeking assistance for his injury or help in nailing down his other hand.

Hartland Fire Department members responded, said Boucher, and cut off the wood while it was still attached to the man’s hand. The wood and the victim were taken to Sebasticook Valley Hospital, where the nail was removed.

Boucher said he did not know whether the man received further treatment.


John Carroll University Blue Streaks are on their way to the Final Four!

OK – It’s NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball

About the Road To The Final Four:

The John Carroll men’s basketball team made school history on the night of Saturday, March 13, in Wooster, Ohio. By virtue of its 70-64 victory over Wooster in the sectional final of the 2004 NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship, JCU is advancing to its first Final Four.

While the Blue Streaks had enjoyed success at home all season, they had to prove an ability to win on the road if they wished to reach Salem, Virginia. Following a win at home over Calvin (88-77) in the opening round, John Carroll defeated Wittenberg (84-65) on the road on March 6, Maryville (76-74) on a neutral court this past Friday, and Wooster (70-64) on the Fighting Scots’ home floor Saturday.

John Carroll hopes to build upon its school-record 26 wins this season with a successful appearance in the Final Four. Standing in the way will be three top ten teams according to the latest d3hoops.com poll.