Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Pray.

When will gas--unleaded regular--become $5 a gallon? I'm just waiting for that. Many people consider a $5 bill as valuable as a $1. A big so what to them.
People are stealing gutters and other accessible metal in the area in which I live. They are telling arresting officers and judges that they are selling it for scrap metal. They say they need the money for gas--not drugs--but gas.
These are people who are between jobs, underemployed or were on the brink of ruin anyway. They did a "Dick and Jane" and just said, "I'm crossing the line, right now!"
My God, help us please.
Someone a little closer than I to the mother's board, should start a prayer blog.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Chernobyl and the Use of Nuclear Power in countries outside of the U.S.

Mary Ann DeLeo produced and directed the documentary, "Chernobyl

Heart" in 2003, shown on Home Box Office at 5 a.m. Tuesday morning.

There are still problems with radiation over there. They still

have children who live in the affected villages over there. People

still eat the food that grows over there and most of them have some

form of cancer, like thyroid cancer. Food in containers is radioactive and

they still eat it. There was a 250 percent increase in birth

defects. Most of those children go to mental asylums or abandoned

baby homes because that is what is provided to them. Some of the children's

medical conditions are inoperable.

I got these facts from the film but these are the types of things that happen in a stupid human trick.
Carelessness with nuclear energy is unnecessary. In the U.S. there

are regulations to follow. Elsewhere, in countries where the health

of it's citizens isn't the highest priority, I worry when they get

nuclear capabilities.

Nuclear energy, if carelessly handled or misused, has the potential

to impact the world.

There is already too much suffering in the world, why add to it?

The United States is the greatest country in the world. Everyone

should be following our example rather than viciously fighting us

and plotting to undermine our power.

According to a Nuclear Issues Briefing Paper issued March 22, 2006

by the World Nuclear Association in London, The Chernobyl Nuclear

reactor explosion in April of 1986, was the result of a flawed

reactor design that was operated with inadequately trained

personnel and without proper regard for safety.

The resulting steam explosion and fire released at least five

percent of the radioactive reactor core into the atmosphere and

downwind.

Twenty-eight people died within four months from radiation or

thermal burns, 19 have subsequently died, and there have been

around nine deaths from thyroid cancer apparently due to the

accident: total 56 fatalities as of 2004.

Nobody off-site suffered from acute radiation effects. However,

large areas of Belarus, Ukraine, Russia and beyond were

contaminated in varying degrees. Ninety-nine percent of Belarus is

affected by the radiation.

An authoritative UN report in 2000 concluded that there is no

scientific evidence of any significant radiation-related health

effects to most people exposed. This was confirmed in a very

thorough 2005 study.

Ukraine is heavily dependent on nuclear energy - it has 15 reactors

generating half of its electricity.

Ukraine receives most of its nuclear services and nuclear fuel from

Russia.

In 2004 Ukraine commissioned two large new reactors. The government

plans to build up to eleven new reactors by 2030.

How does a failed nation get the funding to regenerate nuclear

power?

In May 2005, international donors made new pledges worth

approximately US$ 200 million towards the new confinement shelter.

The largest contribution, worth more than US$ 185 million, came

from the G8 and the EU. Russia contributed to the fund for the

first time and other fund members, which include the US, increased

their contributions, with the Ukrainian government pledging the

equivalent of US$ 22 million.

In a separate statement, the European Commission said it had

contributed another EUR 49 million to the fund. The EC has

committed EUR 239.5 million since 1997, making it the main donor.

The new pledges follow the more than EUR 600 million in cash

contributions already pledged to the fund by a total of 28 donor

governments.

A large share of primary energy supply in Ukraine comes from the

country's uranium and substantial coal resources. The remainder is

oil and gas, mostly imported from Russia. . In 1991, due to

breakdown of the Soviet Union, the country's economy collapsed and

its electricity consumption declined dramatically from 296 billion

kWh in 1990 to 170 in 2000, all the decrease being from coal and

gas plants. Total electricity production in 2004 amounted to 181

TWh, and total capacity in 2004 was 52.7 GWe.

Ukraine's best-known nuclear power plant was Chernobyl (Chornobyl

in Ukrainian). This had the only RBMK type reactors in the country.

Unit 4 was destroyed in the 1986 accident, unit 2 was shut down

after a turbine hall fire in 1991, unit 1 was closed in 1997 and

unit 3 closed at the end of 2000 due to international pressure.

Ukraine has modest recoverable resources of uranium, and produces

up to 800 tonnes of uranium per year - around 30% of the country's

requirements. The uranium ore mining and uranium concentrate

production in Ukraine is performed by the Vostochny Uranium Ore

Mining and Processing Enterprise (VostGOK). Ukraine also has

Zirconium resources. Ukrainian uranium concentrate and zirconium

alloy are sent to Russia for fuel fabrication. The nuclear fuel

produced from these Ukrainian components then return to Ukrainian

NPPs. All fuel is imported from TVEL in Russia. The country depends

primarily on Russia to provide other nuclear fuel cycle services

also.

In order to diversify nuclear fuel supplies, Energoatom started

implementation of the Ukraine Nuclear Fuel Qualification Project

(UNFQP). The Project assumes the use of US-manufactured fuel in the

VVER-1000 following the selection of Westinghouse as a vendor on a

tender basis. South Ukraine NPP's third unit will be the country's

first to use the six lead test assemblies supplied by Westinghouse,

which will be placed into the reactor core together with Russian

fuel for a period of pilot operation.

Spent fuel is mostly stored on site though some VVER-440 fuel is

again being sent to Russia for reprocessing, at US$ 418/kg (the

arrangement was suspended 1992-6). At Zaporozhe a long-term dry

storage facility for spent fuel has operated since 2001, but other

VVER-1000 spent fuel is sent to Russia for storage. A further US$

400 million storage facility is envisaged.

Also, a centralized dry storage facility for spent fuel has been

proposed for construction in the new energy strategy which is

currently under consideration by the government.

RBMK spent fuel from decommissioned reactors at Chernobyl is

stored, and a new dry storage facility is under construction there.

From 2011, high-level wastes from reprocessing Ukrainian fuel will

be returned from Russia to Ukraine.

Preliminary investigations have shortlisted sites for a deep

geological repository for high- and intermediate-level wastes

including all those arising from Chernobyl decommissioning and

clean-up.

The cost of building the arch-shaped confinement shelter is

estimated at more than US$ 1 billion.

The start of the first evaluation phase - the technical phase - of

bids to build the shelter was announced in November 2004, and the

financial evaluation phase is to follow. The awarding of the

construction contract is scheduled for autumn 2005 and project

completion for 2008-2009.

Units 1-3 are undergoing decommissioning conventionally - the first

RBMK units to do so, and work will accelerate when the new dry

storage facility is built.

Chernobyl Children's Project International is a fully registered not for profit organization.
217 East 86th Street, P MB #275, New York, NY 10028
888-CCP-8080
Contact CCPI via e-mail: info@chernobyl-international.org

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Red and White, Green and Purple: Jaundice = yellow skin

Jaundice is a yellow color in the skin, the mucous membranes, or the eyes. The yellow pigment is from bilirubin, a byproduct of old red blood cells.

New Movie

One of my favorite actors, Nicholas Cage and Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson are starring in a new flic together named, "The Dance."
Read about it by clicking on the title link.

Baseball is supposed to be FUN!

I heard on ESPN that Barry Bonds has been receiving hate mail every since breaking Babe Ruth's record has become a reality for him.
Hank Aaron already broke the record.
Bonds pissed off the world two years ago, apparently, by stating he only wants to surpass Babe Ruth's record.
I had to ask a friend about all of this.
He said baseball is a racist team sport although it still considered the greatest American past time. Because he singled out Ruth, "they're a little pissed off," my friend said.
He doesn't want to write this post but he provided background, although he didn't consider himself a resource.
"They're going to hate seeing another black player pass up Babe Ruth. They thought the record was unbreakable.
"Bonds is an unlikeable character and invited negativity two years ago. Hank Aaron was humble. Bonds is getting ready to break a record they hold sacred."
The "They" in this post, are the Dumb Racists.
Breaking Babe Ruth's record is like fighting words to Dumb Racists who are writing, calling and e-mailing Bonds just to say stop n****r--please don't be all that you can be.
Racists are actually calling this man the n-word. He has the steroid accusations to deal with too. All of this because he is in line to break a longstanding record. Baseball records are set to be broken. What ever happened to enjoying the spirit of the game? Remember celebrating the official start of summer with the first baseball game on the first sunny day? Lazy summer afternoons spent at a sidewalk cafe on the near Northside listening to the game on t.v. Okay, maybe not the last one but you know what I mean.
Maybe Bonds is so mean to the sportswriters because he doesn't often see African American sports writers. Sometimes people need to see someone who looks like them to feel comfortable enough to talk. (hint, hint)
Well. Anyway, my friend had much to say about baseball, like John Robbins of the Philadelphia Phillies going after the Joe DiMaggio record of 56 straight hits.
"DiMaggio stayed clean. They compared Michael Jordan to DiMaggio--a compliment.
Anyway, stop harassing Bonds and get behind his effort to break the record. Skill breaks and sets records--not drugs.
###
click on the title of this post to read press on this issue.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

My review of Brokeback Mountain

I just rented "Brokeback Mountain," from Blockbuster.
I anticipated watching this because no one would go with me to the theater to watch it. Now

I have it here. The movie made my heart heavy. It was so realistic.
The main characters are sheep herders, ranchers and/or rodeo riders.

So They're Up On the Mountain, Huh?

It's too cold to sleep out in the open, so Jake Gyllenhaal's character, Jack Twist the

rodeo guy, tells ranch hand Ennis Del Mar, Heath Ledger's character (the blond one), to

come into the tent to sleep, way early in the movie.
Hmmm. Seems innocent. Ennis admits he has had no sex--a virgin.
Then the rustling starts, pulling and tugging at each other's clothes. Bare ass of Jack

exposed, spit in the hand of Ennis -- a cowboy's lubrication--and then groaning.
They sleep like babies in the morning sun in the next scene.
Ahh, the plight of the down-low man begins.
Ennis plans to marry after he leaves the mountain.
"This is a one-shot thing we got going on here," the blond one says, followed by, "y'know,

I ain't queer."
But they are in love. Tender love with lots of hugging and caressing and kissing in the

next scene. And playful wrestling in the next.
Then the boss catches the romeo and juliet pair. Ennis is a little violent.
They had to leave the mountain unexpectedly but not before a slap fight and then the summer

was over, as was their relationship.
Ennis had to get married in November, only a couple of months away. He had a nervous

breakdown on the way home.
This movie isn't filled with line after line of dialogue, like most men, gay or straight.
Jack asked him if they could live together on a ranch, like a couple when they were on the

mountain and Ennis said no.
Next thing you know Ennis is wrestling in the snow with his new bride.
Lawd have mercy, now she's knocked up and scrubbing clothes out in the kitchen sink on a

ranch of their own. They got twin girls.
And of course, Ennis wants to have ass sex with his wife. She is shocked!
Then Jake's character finds a girl at the rodeo. Her daddy's a rich farmer.
Whooweeeee! They're both married.

Here comes the Fishing Trips

Four years passed. You could tell the men missed each other. A powerful reconnection took place after a couple of post cards were sent between them. It took place behind Ennis' home with hard kissing and manly embraces. Ennis' wife saw it all. And then he had the nerve to introduce her to his boyfriend, Jack.
Soon they were out the door. They holed themselves up in a crummy motel, hugged up. Then

Ennis went home and grabbed some clothes and told his wife he and his man were going up to the mountain to fish for a couple days--said his boss wouldn't mind.
This went on for 20 years. Ennis divorced and grew a beard then he shaved it off.
Jack still wanted to know why they never got to shack up together.
These men were truly in love with each other. I got all teary. There was no humorous

sissyfied wrist slinging going on, they acted like men in love but with each other.
They aged gracefully in the movie.
Because they were in love with each other and not women, they were robbed of many of the happy moments couples in love who marry share.

Drink Up

April 6th is National Alcohol Screening Day and April is also Alcohol Awareness Month.
In past years,activities and educational programs have excluded discussions of treatment options that offered alternatives to 12-step programs, even though they
provide solutions which allow greater numbers of people to recover.
Melanie Solomon, author of the breakthrough book, AA Not the Only Way - Your One
Stop Resource Guide to 12-Step Alternatives, hopes that this year, those
seeking treatment for themselves or loved ones, or those making
recommendations for others will consider, embrace and expand the dialog
about these alternative approaches, programs and resources.
Solomon is quick to acknowledge the tremendous contribution AA has made
to those it has helped but suggests the numbers are just too staggering not
to explore alternatives for those not being served well by 12-step
approaches.

There are viable, evidence-based alternatives, well accepted
and established in other countries, which might better suit the complex and
individualized needs of people suffering with substance abuse problems.
Solomon's book is the first to provide a comprehensive (and expanding)
directory of licensed professionals and treatment programs offering such
choices. Further, her presentations suggest some important questions for
expanding the treatment dialog in the US:
* Since the one-size-fits-all approach of 12-step programs only works for
3-5 percent of people, what alternative treatments are available?

* What has three decades of scientific research shown? Why are so many
conventional addiction professionals reluctant to accept and share the
findings?

* Are the rights of people suffering from substance abuse being
compromised by the lack of information sharing in the recovery
industry?

* Is mandating or prescribing only one treatment ethical? What is the
legal trend in the U.S. regarding 12-step programs?

* There are four times as many problem drinkers as there are "alcoholics"
in the U.S. What options are available to them?

Data continues to show that alcohol and other addictions remain
epidemic, contribute greatly to hospital and prison occupancy, dramatically
decrease workplace productivity, and are a leading contributor to
fatalities in the US.

It also confirms that there are four times as many problem drinkers as alcoholics in this country and that nine out of ten of
these people avoid conventional treatment. Other studies, including one
conducted by AA's own internal General Service Office, suggest that only 5
percent of those who first attend a meeting can be counted a year later.
Yet 93-97 percent of treatment facilities in the US remain based on 12-step
models. Americans, privately and through public funds, will spend at least
$10-12 billion in treatment facilities this year.

In order to stimulate dialog and exchange of information pertaining to
these issues, Solomon has recently expanded her website --- to include many other resources plus a free discussion forum.

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