Monday, January 28, 2013

People Are Awesome...Yes Indeed!

This is an awesome video showing people being...well, awesome. I've posted a similar one before, they seem to be an annual occurrence. It's four and a half minutes that will have you gasping, laughing, and saying....."AWESOME!"

Monday, January 21, 2013


A story which popped up on Facebook recently that I'm sure you'll enjoy...

"In 1986, Peter Davies was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Louisiana State University .

On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Peter approached it very carefully. He got down on one knee, inspected the elephants foot, and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it. As carefully and as gently as he could, Peter worked the wood out with his knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot.

The elephant turned to face the man and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments. Peter stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned and walked away. Peter never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

Twenty years later, Peter was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenaged son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Peter and his son Cameron were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Peter, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.

Remembering the encounter in 1986, Peter could not help wondering if this was the same elephant. Peter summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder. The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Peter legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

Probably wasn't the same fucking elephant.


Thursday, January 17, 2013


Sigh. Sometimes I really get sick of talking about my work. Don't get me wrong, I find being the editor of a magazine about nuclear power generation really interesting. It's just that some people seem to equate it with selling my soul to the devil. There is a lot of ignorance about nuclear power and most people are happy to stay ignorant, which I find a bizarre trait.
Don't worry, I'm not going to try and convince you of anything; I don't promote nuclear energy, just rational discussion based on facts. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but ignorance is just stupid. As is scaremongering. The technology is not perfect, however I'm more worried about the devastating effects of climate change in the coming few years if energy hungry countries don't use it. If you apply your objections to nuclear power to other energy technologies the results may surprise you. See if you can make it to point 3 below...I bet you'll be shocked. And maybe start wondering about where YOU live.

A preliminary report has found no observable health effects from last year's nuclear accident in Fukushima...Presenting to the UN General Assembly, UNSCEAR's chair Wolfgang Weiss said that preliminary findings were that no radiation health effects had been observed in Japan among the public, workers or children in the area of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. This is in line with studies already published by the World Health Organisation and Tokyo University that showed people near the damaged power plant received such low doses of radiation that no discernible health effect could be expected.

Figure above: "Nuclear energy is among those energy sources producing very low levels of carbon dioxide emissions from their full life cycle. It is closely comparable with renewables such as wind, solar and hydro in this respect."
Source: World Nuclear Association

"...the waste produced by coal plants is actually more radioactive than that generated by their nuclear counterparts. In fact, the fly ash emitted by a power plant—a by-product from burning coal for electricity—carries into the surrounding environment 100 times more radiation than a nuclear power plant producing the same amount of energy...
As a general clarification, ounce for ounce, coal ash released from a power plant delivers more radiation than nuclear waste shielded via water or dry cask storage."
Source: Scientific American

Truth can be stranger...and more eye-opening...that the fictions many people willingly believe.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Boy Humour

Sometimes the gender gap yawns wide in our house. It's not easy being surrounded by testosterone, and the types of jokes they prefer occasionally leaves a lot to be desired. For instance, we recently had to find a new piano teacher and I was happy to latch onto a local guy willing to take on the boys. His last name is 'Poppel' and for some reason the boys found this hilarious. We were at the dinner table when I told them this, and almsot immediately Niels said "ok, everybody say his name straight after each other."
So there sat the 3 of us saying the name, and predictably this is how the conversation ended:

"...poppel, poppel, poppel, poppel, poppel, poppel, poppel, poppel, poppel. PENIS!"

The two of them practically fell of their chairs in hysterics.  Boys.....