Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Plutonium at Fukushima?

Oh gee, let's leap to an unspeakable conclusion, shall we?

Bearing in mind Japan's militaristic past and blazing hot technological economy, plus the Macarthur constitution and Old Nippon's extraordinary willingness to adopt nuclear power despite being A-bombed into submission at Hiroshima (the U.S. version of history is very self-flattering), doesn't it make sense to speculate that Japan (or more likely Mitsubishi) has conducted a few science experiments over the years with its own self-preservation in mind, rhetorical question mark?

See, plutonium doesn't naturally occur in Nature. (The nastiest isotopes of the stuff in the air come from nuclear weapons testing in the 1960's; or possibly, in Japan, a special case, from Pu-239 weapons use in 1945, Nagasaki.) You need a breeder reactor and the will to go where no one should go, not to mention the tenacity to learn how to make the stuff.

I'd give dimes to doughnuts that one or more of the zaibatsus either have The Bomb or the wherewithal to make one quickly. Japan, as a sovereign independent nation, almost certainly “does not.” But the zaibatsus are the Seven Jewels of the Imperial throne, and will remain demurely out of sight until and unless they're needed.

Plutonium at Fukushima? I dunno. "Intent" depends on which isotopes were found in Fukushima's soil. Plutonium has "industrial" uses, but only Pu-239 is weapons-grade; still, the Seven Sisters Hypothesis might make a good world holocaust prevention flick. (Not starring Angelina Jolie this time, please. How about Dakota Fanning instead?)


Monday, March 28, 2011

Future Loomings

What's the word? Prescient foresight? Obvious stupidity?

So. Obama speechifies about LIB-yah tonight. Meanwhile UN and UK psyops are warning GUH-daffy's frenzied hangers-on to drop off and scuttle away, because Something Is Going To Happen. Did I mention, Obama the World Community Organizer will be speechifyin' 'bout LIB-yah tonight?

We're filling in the big blank screen with Mythbuster's-style C4 and gasoline hellstrom, but that's only speculation at this point, and not the main point. The main point is this:

A billion world Muslims, most of them peaceful as apple fandowdy, are going to be watching this, wondering whatever might be any difference between tomorrow's history and yesterday's Crusades.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Neat things about being a Taoist

I get to live, sometimes, in a real world I imagine.



Projectile vomiting, intestinal cramps, diarrhea... Ugh. It only lasts a day or two, but lawks. Yes, I'd wish it on my worst enemy. All thinks in mudderation, y'know.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Purple Ice

She delivered all her lines with the finality and panache of a second year high school Spanish student — "siempre como culebra" — like Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2. Her most embarassing role was not Cleopatra, but Catherine Holly in Suddenly, Last Summer. She was every Hollywood film maker's icon of steamy female libido, the Freudess who drove every cocktail conversation of the Fifties; she was Lolita, fifteen years too late, and Tennessee Williams' soulmate, forever uncast (her role lost to Ava Gardner) in Night of the Iguana, had either of them only known. As she confessed, frequently and at length, her passions were "too intense" — and amazingly inarticulate. She deliberately associated herself with brilliant writers — Tennessee Williams, Edward Albee — to deliver their prose in agonies, in paroxysms of frump maternity. She never outlived National Velvet, nor would rise above her level, nor could. She thought she was at the prom, and gave herself to her audiences like an aging porno queen, softly sarcastic, used and forgotten by morning.

In real life, probably just a gecko.
Always bearing in mind she was 15 minutes late to her own funeral ;-)

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Secret of Kells

We watched the DVD last night, on the first evening of Spring.  Ten stars.

Vernal Equinox: etym.Steam Punk, substantive — A green, low-octane horse.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Boron Glass as a Nuclear Quencher?

So, neighbors being as neighbors does (especially the family feud types with long memories and not a forgiving bone in their obstinate skulls), Korea is dragging its heels about supplying Japan with enough boric acid to shut down those four nuclear reactors damaged by the Sendai temblor.

Makes sense, in a strictly technical way.  It takes millions of dollars to refine uranium to the point it can be used in a reactor.  So if the reactor core gets out of control, what you do is unrefine it.

I don't know what they used at Chernoble, but in Japan they'd like to use 5B, boron, a neutron quencher one spot left of 6C, carbon, which was Fermi's control rod in the first sustained nuclear pile ever (Stagg Stadium, University of Chicago, 1942).

How do you deliver something like that to a hot nuclear core in Japan?  I'd recommend 20-Mule Team Borax, tons of the stuff, maybe melted into a couple hundred tons of potmetal, tin and pewter. Once the reaction is diluted to the cooling point, what you got left is a chunk of high-quality uranium ore.

And, as any potter with experience mixing glazes can tell you, you don't want pure elements in your glaze anyway, you want the pre-mixed kind, the fully-adulterated mixtures provided by aeons of geological weathering.

Just a thought....

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Monday, March 14, 2011


Please, no more history!  Been there.  Done that.

Lady GaGa is urging her Little Monsters to buy Pray for Japan bracelets, that's one good thing I guess. All proceeds go to Japan earthquake relief.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sony PSP 3000 file structure for movies, system software version 3.67

Videos are revealed in USB Connect mode.

Each movie in VIDEO is matched by an almost identically-named decryption bundle in MLN_ROOT/LICENSE.

Thus /VIDEO/UV0010-NPVA09789_CN-29192.MNV is an encrypted MP4 movie; its matching decryption bundle is   /MLN_ROOT/LICENSE/UV0010-NPVA09789_CN-29192.MNL — this happens to be an official Playstation Store download for the film Zardoz, produced and directed by John Boorman (1974).

Most information about copying DVDs to PSP elsewhere on the net is seriously out of date or misleading, and is probably not even remotely possible in the current version, at least not without carnal knowledge of the encryption codecs employed.

Decryption bundles appear to be simple XML textfiles, but their internals are arcane. They appear to contain all the information needed to decrypt an MP4 movie without "calling home" on the 'net. This is speculation, or as they say in French Kiss, "boolsheet, it is like breathing."

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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Moving On

Finished Final Fantasy IX just in time for Lent.  Does that count as "giving something up?"

Seems likely.  This was my second time through a very long game, and there are still features I haven't found, or haven't explored.

Zidane was Level 75 this time, which makes the endgame less aggravating, although I still couldn't open the store in Quina's ocean, not to mention no Blue Chocobo and no Dead Peppers yet.  And I had undelivered Mognet mail for Atla, the shopmoogle in Burmecia's Vault, who was the game's only source for Needle Forks.

I was playing this version on the PSP, and the sound quality held up pretty well until the last few cutscenes after Necron.  That memory stick I mentioned a few days ago really did keep this game playable.


Monday, March 07, 2011

Japanese exchange students at Washington HS

Nana and Minori, exchange students from Okinawa, spent a couple of weekends with us this month.  Kireii nee...


Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Ipsen's Castle

It's fun to see Cerberus again when your respective levels are finally rising near 50. Final Fantasy IX's version of this recurring beastie has three mouths, stacked vertically, instead of three heads.