Friday, March 25, 2011

How about you put your dog on and have him explain it, Ann?

The situation at Fukushima I is still in the red part of the suckometer, and keeping track of what's going on via TV anchors who have less hard science knowledge than your average Jack Russell terrier is supremely frustrating. Every time they hear a new term, like "meltdown" or "core breach", they repeat it endlessly, usually in various combinations with "disaster" or "catastrophe".

I'm waiting for one of these tired and frazzled-looking nuke types to tell them that the reactor's dilithium crystals have cracked and, yes, that's a very bad thing.

55 comments:

Jimmy said...

i wish i was a science expert they invited on to talk to. i'd seriously just start throwing dilithium crystal and warp core around just to F with them. like they'd know any better. they heard the word "neutron beam" the other day and they were all like "ooooo.... fancy word...."

Murphy's Law said...

I've heard that the Flux Capacitor may be going bad, and if they don't get a new Quantum Transducer in there soon, the plant's Infinite Improbability Drive is going to slag big time!

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

My arms are so tired from all the flailing I've had to do while running around in circles, panicking.

Jimmy said...

and if i was one of the techs inside? i'd probably mess with everyone by everytime i went outside where cameras could see me i'd be at a full sprint.

Nathan said...

Jimmy +1.

Jay G said...

We've got to reverse the polarity or the holodeck will explode!

Jimmy said...

or we could do something more complex. like having a guy walk out to a van parked nearby acting all woozy... then have him get in... then have a midget in a rad suit like his come out. or..... have the guy go in the van but come out being chased by someone in a godzilla costume.

John said...

"Well, Ann, if things get much worse, we'll have to try crossing the streams, which, as you may know, could lead to total protonic reversal."

I pretty much stay away from the news. The bullshit-to-useful information ratio seems to get lower with every year.

docjim505 said...

Jimmy is on to something here: "How to f*ck with the media" contest.

Marja said...

Connected if not completely on topic: anyone familiar with the case of Ramsar, Iran, and some of the other natural high background radiation areas? I have been looking at the theory of radiation hormesis lately - remembered reading about it several years ago and this current hysteria sort of reminded me. There seem to be interesting bits like that the survivors of Nagasaki perhaps have lower incidence of cancer than unexposed people. If anyone is familiar with believable research disproving that theory links would be highly appreciated (been looking, not much luck so far, but my google fu is a bit feeble).

BobG said...

Messing with the media doesn't seem quite fair; it would be sort of like bullying a not-very-bright small child.

Anonymous said...

But Remember, When messing with them it important to work your way up to the silliness.

Start it straight. Ease on up over the line into lunacy.

If you start too blatantly even those brainless media poodles will eventually realize they are being had, or, their producers/broadcast techies will.

Anonymous said...

RE: Riling up the panic mongers.

How about a bald guy running out with handfuls of hair and a mouthful of split pea soup?

perlhaqr said...

BobG: Fair no. Funny, yes.

WV: "ovals" -- "You see, Ann, what's happened is that the normally round nuclei have gotten squished into ovals by the tsunami. And the nuclei hate being squished into ovals."

Bram said...

If I was a tech or reporter, I would break open a chem light, dump it on my lab coat, and run out of the building waving my arms.

amcljr said...

Today's proof:
JRT = (ADHD + OCD) = TeeWee Anchor

Thank you, Prof. Tam!

wv=iread
Yup, every day

Anonymous said...

Where is Profesor Irwin Corey when you need him?

Gerry

Old Grouch said...

I know, tell 'em it's been stolen by terrorists!

"It weighs about a thousand tons and is forty feet high. So they'll be quite strong terrorists. Perhaps you'd like to ring them up, sir, and ask them questions in that supercilious, accusatory way of yours."

staghounds said...

Marja- by coincidence, anncoulter.com is all over hormesis lately, with citations to studies.

DirtCrashr said...

Digital TV channel 26-4 brings NHK TV right to my screen from Japan, no need for any round-eye interpreter to foul up the message.

Jimmy said...

Dirt, problem with that, is that from what I understand they aren't even telling the truth to the locals about how bad it is. So I'm pretty sure that jerky mcjerkoffington von reporter from America is getting an even fuzzier story. Toss that delicious turd of info into the blender of American media of hype and fear and we're all sucking on sh*t-info-shakes.

nbc said...

All ya gotta do is drop that reactor down a portal, has no one called the guys at LHC?

CTone said...

First one to get them to mention bertrillium and zantitium gets a shiny new dollar!

Tam said...

I'll give anybody on-scene $100 if they start yelling "OMG! Headcrabs!" in front of a camera...

Kristopher said...

Have Ellen McLain do a press conference using her GlaDOS voice.

Stretch said...

Everything is fine until the Heisenberg Filters go wonky. Then you better haul your fat ass outta the Jeffries Tube and RUN!!!

The media use to set up long lens cameras on hills over looking the Regan Ranch and photograph Mr. Regan as he road his horse. He once said he would love to clutch his chest and roll off the horse. God! I miss that man.

Marja said...

Found the Coulter article.

Interesting subject, although the research seems to both sparse and inconclusive.

By the way, due to a lot of granites -> radon we can get to pretty high natural radiation levels in Finland, for example on one pretty well populated part of an esker called Pispalanharju in Tampere up to something like 35 mSv/year, if your house has been built on a bad spot. And then some people here can get into hysterics over what the wind may bring from Japan while posting rants about it from their nice house on that same beautiful Pispalanharju...

Jim said...

My god, come for the post, start for the comments! The only thing I'd suggest would be to have the midget go in and the normal-sized guy come out, but all of this is a recipe for some first-rate entertainment.

Jim

Bubblehead Les. said...

Marja, I understand that the normal background radiation in New England is twice the level of most of the U.S., due to its Granite Outcroppings. I wonder if there has been any Correlation Studies done to all those Kennedy/Kerry/Markey/Frank/Leahy Uber Liberal Types in Congress over the last few decades vs. Exposure Time involving Brain Cell Decay.

Meanwhile, I think I saw a Giant Ant crawling around the Fukishima Complex on the latest news video, but I could be mistaken.

Bram said...

Jim,

Or - announce a press conference with all the techs - and send out the cast of Time Bandits.

Don F said...

What? No footage of Godzilla yet??? Maybe the earthquake got him...

Lergnom said...

Just so long as the oscillating over-thrusters are in good shape. You need an interoscitor to make repairs on them.

Tirno said...

Really screw with them: Reference a Star Trek particle-of-the-week as you explain how the cosmic overthruster interacts with the flux capacitor to produce high energy verteron intersections and... oh hell, just make it up shamelessly

Maureen said...

I actually saw one interview - I think it was on CNN - where (and I kid you not) Bill Nye the Science Guy was the expert interviewee.

Joanna said...

Hey, Bill Nye is awesome.

Ken said...

"I've been saying for years that the containment vessels should have been built of Cargonite..."

tickmeister said...

Much wit and all good. I have to say this may be the first catastrophe that I have taken to ignoring completely simply because all I can hear or read as less than worthless. I have no clue what the hell is happening and will just wait and see if it all blows over or all die. (Or maybe something blows over and we die.)

Anonymous said...

TEPCO isn't telling the truth to the Japanese Government, who isn't telling the truth to the IAEA or the US, or even different parts of their own ministries, much less telling the truth to the public. It's not an accident we're doing Global Hawk and U2 overflights (with their permission). The NRC Chair publicly calling them out on a complete lack of water in the #4 pool was a deliberate act, and it got the intended results.

DirtCrashr said...

The Japanese aren't nearly as wild and exaggerated as the round-eye network.
They explain the half-life of the radioactive iodine is just 8-days, so wait a week and it won't be such a problem, and that you can WASH with the water but don't drink YOUR BABY in it, because washing doesn't get it into your thyroid gland the way DRINKING does.
Also the "control-level" is the amount that a person can ingest for one YEAR with no effects whatsoever, a point made over and over - and one that you DO NOT hear whatsoever *here*, so OMG_OMG!!11!! the spinach is 28-times the control level! ... is like 28-days out of a YEAR. They're just pulling the spinach (OMG-OMG! X-126 DAYS!) because they are incredibly fussy about food purity beginning with absolute banana-zero.
And nobody there is talking core melt-down. From old, spent rods??

Keads said...

Oh, don't get me started......Oh wait I already have! Twice now!

Tam said...

Anon 5:44,

"It's not an accident we're doing Global Hawk and U2 overflights..."

The words you're looking for are "Constant Phoenix".

Keads said...

"Constant Phoenix" beats "Looking Glass" in my book any day.

loren said...

"They explain the half-life of the radioactive iodine is just 8-days, so wait a week and it won't be such a problem,"

Anything with an 8 day half life is real nasty shit. Course depends on how much of it there is, but I'd much prefer something around with a 4 billion year half life. You know, your basic rock like stuff.

Anonymous said...

what would be perfect would be for godzilla to show up, take a whizz on the reactors to cool them down and then walk if as nothing had happened...

Anonymous said...

'as if'...
long day...

Keads said...

@ Loren, you mean like Uranium?

benEzra said...

Just wait till they find out that neutrino particles from the Fukushima Daiichi plant are streaming through their studio even as they speak...

I wonder if you could convince them that an aluminum foil head covering would protect their brain from the neutrinos?

Jim said...

...And yet all these people drive to work, which is far more a danger to them than a passing uptick in their dose of radiation.

Jim

The HQ said...

For my first comment as a long-time lurker, let's bring this back around.

I swear someone set off some sort of ADHD bomb ~10 years ago, with a supplementary drop within the last 5. Crop-dusting continues...

Either that, or at 39 years young, I get to start counting in badger years.

Brigid said...

We've secretly replaced her coffee with dilithium crystals. Let's see if she notices.

Anonymous said...

Where is Dr. Science when you need him? "Dr. Science - he knows more than YOU do."

LittleRed1

Gewehr98 said...

"Fire up the overthruster, Monkey Boy!"

"Constant Phoenix" beats "Looking Glass" in my book any day.

Most folks don't know that Constant Phoenix tail number 62-3582 was a Looking Glass airframe before 2003. How's that for irony?

Keads said...

@ Gewehr98- Really? That's good stuff! I am impressed Sir!

Justthisguy said...

Gewehr98 _knows_ about the ADHD bomb.

Marja said...

By the way, have you noticed that quite many of the articles defending nuclear power in the last weeks have been written by one type of greens: the ones whose main concern is global warming (or whatever it's being called right now)? So there's at least one thing global warming research has been good for...