Small Modular Reactors: Update

 

Some more news on the SMR front:

Proponents of the project say the beauty of the NuScale design is that the reactors can’t melt down, can’t be hacked and the plant does not have to be shut down to be refueled. The reactors are underground and submerged in an 80-foot pool.

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Recently an intellectual wrote on Ricochet to declare What America Needs.  Such expert opinions give credibility and encouragement to politicians who agree, and have the power to impose their will on the rest of us. The intellectuals and the politicians claim to know better than Americans how they should spend their money. Preview Open

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Why Are We So Sad?

 

The Centers for Disease Control delivers sober news – average life expectancy at birth in the United States has declined for a third straight year due to extremely high rates of death from drug overdoses and suicide. As the Washington Post reports, this is the longest sustained decline in life expectancy since the early 20th century. Between 1915 and 1918, a period that included the First World War and the worldwide flu pandemic that killed 675,000 Americans, life expectancy showed a similar decline.

Today, we are at peace (with the exception of the occasional death in Afghanistan); we are experiencing an economic boom; and we face no epidemics of communicable diseases.

Some might say that our problems are those of overabundance. For millennia, our species was haunted by plagues, famines, and droughts. Our minds and bodies evolved to grab what nourishment we could when we could. Those years in the caves and on the savannah didn’t equip us very well to cope with a world of constantly available Frappuccinos and cupcakes – to say nothing of fentanyl.

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Skimming through the latest round of Trump “associate” stories and their various legal issues, peccadilloes, and just simple strangeness, I can well imagine his critics saying “You can tell a man by the company he keeps!” I can go two ways with this: (1) No it doesn’t, there are many who spend much of their […]

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Apparently, there’s a new streaming service run by our friends at Fox News, called “Fox Nation.” I won’t subscribe because, even if I wanted to, I don’t stream anything, due to a very expensive satellite Internet connection. It’s the only thing available out here and it caps out at 15GB per month. Every additional gigabyte […]

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Since the Shoah, Jews have made a point of bringing attention to anti-Semitism. By highlighting those who hate Jews, we hoped to forestall the reemergence of Jew-hatred. Perhaps, for a time, we successfully shamed the world into accepting and even honoring us as we returned to our homeland. But today Jew-hatred and the acceptance of […]

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 Direction by Luca GuadagninoScreenplay by David KajganichBased on Characters by Dario Argento & Daria Nicolodi“This isn’t vanity! This is art!”– Helena Markos No man can ever truly understand woman. They’re just too… there’s just something… it’s impossible. They can give life, they can command absolute obedience with the snap of a finger… Hell hath no […]

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When I hear the word elimination, I think of Russians. One Russian in particular Alexander Mikhaylovich Zaitsev, aka Saytseff. I also think of substitution, addition, elimination, nucleophiles, bases, and leaving groups. Before I was a safety professional, I truly loved Organic Chemistry. (Trigger Warning for former pre-meds) Preview Open

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I’m sure almost everyone here has either asked this question, been asked this question by children, or both.  Here is a programmer’s take on a response. “I think that people use a rule of thumb when deciding what things in life are worth learning. Most people seek knowledge in one of the following three categories: […]

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https://www.weeklystandard.com/hannah-long/christopher-tolkien-and-the-legacy-of-his-father-j-r-r-tolkien-the-steward-of-middle-earth A brilliant piece on the legacy of Tolkien – not only in work but also in spirit. ‘Frodo Lives’ was scrawled on a subway wall and somehow that tiny sword, glowing with hope found it’s way to me many, many years ago in the Appalachian Mountains. It prompted me to check the books out […]

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Why CNN’s Firing of Marc Lamont Hill Isn’t a Free Speech Issue

 

This week now-former CNN commentator Marc Lamont Hill got in deep water after video of Hill speaking at the U.N. surfaced,

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There are some officers that should not be on the street. Instead of leaving police work behind they spend the minimum amount of time on the street and then start climbing the command ladder. They become grant writers, and start sucking up to advocacy groups, and the city council. From Second City Cop: Preview Open

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Can a story about a potato be disarming – ok, downright alarming? This story titled “Beware of GMO Potatoes.” was scary. We know Monsanto and spin off companies, the producers of seeds that don’t reproduce, seeds that contain “Round Up”, the pesticide that is a potential carcinogen, is altering the genetic makeup of several species […]

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I am rather certain that almost all Americans detest Joseph Stalin. But his quote regarding elections is not something for us to scoff at: “It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.” Today we see that […]

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Pub Day: “Pathfinder”

 

https://www.audible.com/pd/B07KGKKH6V/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWU-BK-ACX0-133696&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_133696_pd_usIf you live west of the Rockies, odds are that you are not far from a town, county, road, or mountain named Fremont. John Charles Fremont did as much as any man to open the West and extend the USA from sea to shining sea. He was the first scientific explorer, taking barometers up mountains and making thousands of astronomical measurements to make truly accurate maps. He was also a complex and romantic character, who can thank his wife and collaborator Jesse for his greatest successes and lasting memory. At his best leading men through uncharted territory, Fremont was a lousy businessman, mediocre Civil War general, incompetent politician, benevolent but foolish governor, and ultimately a figure of his complex times.

Audible released my narration of “Pathfinder” today. This one was a challenge; it is over 20 hours finished, and took three months to record and produce. I think it’s one of my best, and I tried to do justice to a very readable and entertaining book. As with all of my Audible books, if any fellow Ricochet denizens would like to listen to it, drop me a note and I’ll send you a promo code. That works for Christmas gifts, too. You (or the giftee) do not need an Audible subscription to get the freebie, but you will need the Audible app to listen to the book. If your holiday shopping should include giving someone an Audible subscription, doing it from this link and selecting “Pathfinder” as their first book will give the author and me a respectable royalty bump.