Fault discovered beneath nuclear waste dump

Ontario-geofish blog points out that at Yucca Mountain in the U.S., construction of a nuclear waste dump is being moved because a geological fault isn’t where the engineers thought it was. There’s a link to an article:

Bob Loux, head of the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects and the state’s chief anti-Yucca administrator, said he was not reassured by what he called “just-in-time engineering.”

“This represents a complete lack of understanding about the site’s characteristics,” Loux said. “They’ve been out there for 25 years or longer. And they get surprises like this. This is basic geology, stuff they should have known all along.”

There may be faults more or less everywhere, but it’s nice to keep track of them.

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India is almost free of polio

One of the scourges of humankind, polio, may soon be gone from the world’s largest democracy. Last year, cases were limited almost entirely to two states, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Polio is transmitted only from person to person, so it can be wiped out by inoculating people against it. It is a viral disease that causes paralysis, muscle weakness, or death.

New book: Microcosmos by Brandon Broll


This new book from Firefly Books is a beauty. It is modest in size but has more than 300 pages of luscious photomicrographs of everything from protozoans and pollen grains to nerve cells and carbon nanotubules. Brandon Broll edited it, which I suppose means selected the pictures. They are all from the Science Photo Library of London. It’s a late birthday present from my stepdaughter the scientist.

I registered my copy with Bookcrossing.com and released it at the scienceblogging conference in January, 2008.

Rumination or time travel? The dark network in the brain

A book on becoming a more efficient thinker decried all the time we spend ruminating, mulling over past times and imagining future possibilities. It was, from the author’s point of view, a sheer waste of brain-power. Now, Daniel Gilbert weighs in with another perspective: all that mental time-travel is a way of learning. You’ll have to skip down a little to find the Dark Network article.

Friday cephalopod: LOLsquid

Tonight, someone at LOLcat Buildr has come up with a cephalopod based on the “I can has cheezburgr?” theme:

This is a colossal squid, Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni. I believe it’s the first lone ever seen acting as a predator or recorded. It’s known from only about seven specimens, some of which are only fragments from whales’ stomachs. A dying one was caught earlier in 2007.

Giant dinosaur unearthed in Svalbard

A marine dinosaur, the largest of its kind, has been excavated in Svalbard, Norway: Pro-Science: Giant dinosaur dug out in Svalbard. There’s more about the Pliosaur here.

U.S. military jargon in Iraq

Every trade has its specialized language, or jargon for short. U.S. Major Andrew Olmsted has kindly listed some of the military jargon about serving in Iraq that he uses in his blog, From the Front Lines.

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