The Cry Baby is on sabbatical ....

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Very, very cool infographic showing every Mars mission

Chart: Deaths per energy source - nukes look pretty good

There's still much to worry about with nuclear energy and the plants are in dire  need of more robust design, but when it comes to actual deaths from nuclear energy,  nuclear power compares very well to other sources.
This chart was prepared by Dr. Mark J. Perry, a professor of economics and finance in the School of Management at the Flint campus of the University of Michigan.

Global warming linked to Cry Baby's bowel movements

Just reading the headline on the right makes me cringe. The words are from Clean Technica, and the article following the headline attempts to make a dubious link between global warming and earthquakes. It puts forward the idea that there has been a  recent increase in earthquake activity and hints that scientists are well on their way to establishing a link between global warming and and this perceived earthquake increase:
"At last year’s American Geophysical Union meeting geologists were already questioning whether there was a climate change link underlying the increasing frequency of unusually large earthquakes, according to  Mathew McDermott at Treehugger. The Haiti earthquake was then just the latest example."
Where to start! In the first place, where is the statistical evidence that there is any increase in the  frequency or severity of earthquakes? We live on a planet with shifting tectonic plates and earthquakes have been here since Earth was a planet. I have seen no statistical data showing any significant increase, and to take a couple anecdotal examples and call them scientific evidence is ludicrous.

Beyond this obvious flaw in the argument, we are dealing with two incredibly complex and unpredictable areas: Climate change and seismology.The vast number variables and lack of accurate forecast models alone, are reason enough not to try and invoke relationships between these incredibly intricate systems.

1906 San Francisco earthquake: pre-global warming paranoia
All this said, The Cry Baby does have a theory. My bowel movements and climate change are somehow related. Not quite sure how, but if we get enough scientists working on it, I'm sure we can find a relationship.

Ann Coulter: Radiation is good for you!

Ann Coulter explains to Fox News' Bill O'Reilly why radiation above the government's stated safe levels is good for you. She was promoting her latest column on her website, "A Glowing Report on Radiation." There is a bit of science behind this. The phenomenon is called hormesis and basically says what doesn't kill you will make you stronger. Perhaps, but I'd rather not put it to the test. Whack on Ann!

Map: Earthquake risks to humans worldwide throughout history

This map, from University of Sheffield, is a visulization of the risks of earthquakes on humanity using records from the past 4,000 years. A The map uses data ffrom database containing information on earthquakes from 2150 BC to the present day that meet at least one of the following criteria: moderate damage, 10 or more deaths, magnitude 7.5 or greater, or the earthquake generated a tsunami.

More technical information explaining what you are looking at: "The map was created using these records by calculating `kernel density´, an equation that shows the probability distribution of earthquakes, in order to visualise the areas most at risk from 2150 BC to the present day. The new earthquake map was then created by transforming the data in a way that highlights populated areas whilst eliminating depopulated regions. "

Credit: Benjamin Hennig

Try your hand at running a nuclear reactor - online game

Want to try your hand at running a nuclear reactor? Give this online game a try.