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Man enjoys surfing? So do swans! Person of 2013: Pope #1, Snowden #2; Legend Lady Chang'e and Jade Rabbit (solar-powered rover)

Mick Fanning at the Pipe Masters this week

Absolutely amazing: black swans frolicking off shore near Gold Coast, catching waves in and out

Forbes "Pope Francis Is Time's Person Of Year 2013; Snowden Is No. 2"
Time Person of the Year
uk.Reuters - "He is a strange guy," Putin said of Snowden, "I don't get what he is thinking." "Basically he doomed himself to a pretty difficult life. What will he do next, I don't even imagine. But it's clear now that we won't give him away, he should feel safe here." Snowden flew to Moscow from Hong Kong in June and got stuck in the transit zone after US revoked his passport and urged countries not to let him pass.
Chinese Moon Rover Yu Tu (Jade Rabbit)
Chang E and Jade Rabbit
 read more »

Why int'l experts not step in? Fukushima, Japan: 1,331 used fuel rods =14,000 x atomic bomb on Hiroshima

the spent fuel pool at the unit four reactor building of the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant

process of fuel rod removal at Japan's Fukushima nulcear power plant


Fukushima, Japan. Highly dangerous and unprecedented removal of highly radioactive nuclear fuel rods begins on Nov18
The fuel assemblies are in a 32 x 40 feet concrete pool, the base of which is on the fourth story of the damaged reactor building. The assemblies - which contain plutonium, one of the most toxic substances known - are under 23 feet of water.

If the fuel rods - there are 50-70 in each of the assemblies, which weigh around 661 pounds and are 15 feet long - are exposed to air or if they break, catastrophic amounts of radioactive gases could be released into the atmosphere.

The 1,331 used fuel rod assemblies contain radiation equivalent to 14,000 times the amount released in the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima.

“Full release from the Unit-4 spent fuel pool, without any containment or control, could cause by far the most serious radiological disaster to date,” say independent consultants Mycle Schneider and Antony Froggatt in a recent World Nuclear Industry Status Report.

28 Signs That the West Coast Is Being Absolutely Fried with Nuclear Radiation from Fukushima
8. One test in California found that 15 out of 15 bluefin tuna were contaminated with radiation from Fukushima.  read more »

Myths. 'Solar eclipse: Nov3' 'Google's massive barge' 'whats so funny' 'ghostly coldest place in universe' 'eyes w/ great sight'

in Albuquerque
Myths and legends around the world attempt to explain solar eclipses, such as the one above in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Here’s the much-talked-about barge in San Francisco Bay.

What's so funny?

coldest place in the universe
ALMA reveals ghostly shape of coldest place in the universe

coldest place in the universe
Look Into The Eyes with Great Sight


Solar Eclipse Myths From Around the World
People around the world, and through time, have come up with many a tale to explain the sun's disappearance.
This Sunday, November 3 - people in equatorial Africa will be treated to a rare view of a total solar eclipse. Those living on the eastern North American coast, northern South America, southern Europe, or the Middle East, will get to see a partial solar eclipse.

Google's massive mystery barge
There are two mysterious structures built on barges, one in San Francisco Bay, the other in Maine’s Portland Harbor.  read more »

Fun in Expression. Photos. 'Lit Nobel to Alice Munro, 82' 'elephants get point' 'surprisingly simple robots' 'longest talkathon'

"Literature Nobel to Alice Munro, 82"

"elephants get the point of pointing"

"surprisingly simple robots"

"let's share"

"longest talkathlon"

“how do I look?”

Alice Munro, Canadian short story writer, 82, wins Nobel Prize in literature
"When I began writing there was a very small community of Canadian writers and little attention was paid by the world. Now Canadian writers are read, admired and respected around the globe. I'm so thrilled to be chosen as this year's Nobel Prize for Literature recipient. I hope it fosters further interest in all Canadian writers. I also hope that this brings further recognition to the short story form."  read more »

Higher debt ceiling, steeper fiscal cliff. Uncle Sam "pause" at altitude of ~17 trillion..: for a soft landing or go up further?

*Update Oct 19 2013* - U.S. debt jumps a record $328 billion — tops $17 trillion for first time

Ryan Links Budget Impasse to Debt Ceiling Fight, suggested on Tuesday that the government shutdown may not be resolved for more than two weeks. That would come, he said, when the country reaches its debt limit.
WASHINGTON - Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, chairman of the House Budget Committee, suggested on Tuesday that the government shutdown may not be resolved for more than two weeks.
That would come, he said, when the country reaches its debt limit.

Noting that previous agreements over the budget had come together around the deadline when the country has reached its statutory borrowing limit, Mr. Ryan said, “We think that will be the forcing mechanism to bring the two parties together. Our goal and motivation here is to get a budget agreement.

Images courtesy CBS News and

How energy efficient is your city? New report ranks 34 largest US cities... a healthier environment and growing economy

US cities ranked by energy efficiency

ACEEE 2013 US cities ranking


How Energy Efficient Is Your City?
A new report ranks 34 major US cities by their energy-use policies.
Does your city have a plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions dramatically? Is it seeking to reduce car use through bike share programs and public transit subsidies? Does it partner with utility companies to help small businesses and homeowners save energy? And does it lobby for statewide energy-efficiency legislation?

Those are just a few of the policies that have made Boston the top-ranked city for energy efficiency, according to a new report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. Portland, Ore., placed second, followed by New York, San Francisco, and Seattle.

ACEEE ranked 34 major American cities—the 25 most populous incorporated ones, plus the central cities of nine other major metropolitan areas—according to their efforts to promote energy savings. The report looked at building codes, community-wide energy initiatives, transportation policies, energy-saving programs involving public utilities, and efforts to improve the efficiency of government building. You can see where each city ranked on the map above.

The 10 Most Energy-Efficient Cities In The U.S.  read more »

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