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flapjax at midnite (2)

Nuclear Semiotics: Conveying Danger Across Eons (Possibly Via Cats)

26 miles east of Carlsbad, New Mexico and 2,150 feet underground, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) brings new meaning to the phrase "built to last". The world's third deep geological nuclear waste repository, WIPP was designed to house radioactive material for 10,000 years. The primary challenge (keeping hazardous waste IN) was tackled by engineers. But for the secondary challenge - keeping living creatures OUT - the goverment recruited a team of geologists, linguists, astrophysicists, architects, artists, and writers. The job description included the words "the knowledge necessary to develop a marker system that will remain in operation during the performance period of the site - 10,000 years". Stymied by inevitable linguistic and orthographic drift, the group has discussed a wide array of ideas, some more fabulously demented than others (artificial moons, a nuclear containment-centric priesthood, a landscape of massive granite thorns). They intend to submit their final plan by 2028. [more inside]
posted by julthumbscrew on May 23, 2014 - 87 comments

The cosmos is also within us, we're made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos, to know itself.

Cosmos: A Personal Voyage is a thirteen-part television series of one hour shows written by Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan, and Steven Soter, that was aired at the tail end of 1980 and was - at the time - the most widely watched series in the history of American public television. It is best introduced by an audio excerpt of one of his books, The Pale Blue Dot. Inside is a complete annotated collection of the series. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Nov 3, 2012 - 46 comments

The butterflies of Fukushima

"This study is important and overwhelming in its implications for both the human and biological communities living in Fukushima." . . . "These observations of mutations and morphological abnormalities can only be explained as having resulted from exposure to radioactive contaminants." Severe abnormalities found in Fukushima butterflies. Full report here.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Aug 16, 2012 - 76 comments

"I have an exceedingly large collection of Historically-minded Radioactive Items..."

The Boy who Played with Fusion. At age four, [Taylor Wilson] donned a fluorescent orange vest and hard hat and stood in front of the house, directing traffic. For his fifth birthday, he said, he wanted a crane. But when his parents brought him to a toy store, the boy saw it as an act of provocation. “No,” he yelled, stomping his foot. “I want a real one.” [more inside]
posted by obscurator on Feb 21, 2012 - 18 comments

a world without humans...

Chernobyl's Radioactive Wolves
posted by flapjax at midnite on Oct 25, 2011 - 34 comments

I don't know if they play any Kraftwerk covers

The Radioactive Orchestra consists of 3175 radioactive isotopes. You can listen and make music with most of them.
posted by Dr Dracator on Aug 7, 2011 - 18 comments

Don't eat the magic blue glitter

In 1971, a clinic in Brazil bought a radiation therapy machine. Fourteen years later, the practice closed and was abandoned. On September 13th, 1987, two men sold the inner canister of the machine for scrap. Upon breaking it open, a scrapyard employee found sparkling, glowing blue powder. It was distributed to family and friends, who used for decorative and magical purposes. Sixteen days later, 112,000 people were in Olympic stadium, being tested for radiation poisoning. [more inside]
posted by nevercalm on Mar 31, 2011 - 123 comments

What is green and goes burp in the night?

The Hanford Site in SoutheastWashington (located on the Columbia River) is considered the dirtiest place on earth. 177 Underground storage tanks hold over 50 million gallons of radioactive and toxic waste. And they are leaking. [more inside]
posted by mrzarquon on Mar 25, 2008 - 46 comments

That beautiful blue glow...

Three Mile Island - a study in bad human interface design. Chernobyl in text, pictures (posted previously), and eyewitness accounts. Those are two of the most famous incidents involving mishaps with radioactive material. There have been many more (see also) including suicides, homicides, assaults, and motives forever unknown. But US citizens need not worry - the NRC is on it. What do you know about radiation poisoning? Take the test.
posted by aberrant on Jan 31, 2006 - 55 comments

Speaking of gassing one's own people

Speaking of gassing one's own people: US Government admits it tested nerve gas (sarin and VX) on its own sailors (Project SHAD). This is in addition to the testing of LSD on civilians (MK Ultra), syphilis on 399 black Alabama men (Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment), radioactivity on American GI's (Operation Crossroads), and the secret testing of germ warfare tactics on American cities. It's really no surprise the US government rejected an international ban on biological weapons, and yet we personalize this imminent war with Iraq and claim the justification as the forced disarming of dangerous 'Weapons of Mass Destruction'? I love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning.
posted by letterneversent on Mar 17, 2003 - 53 comments

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