Deja Vu: What Does the Gulf Oil Spill Tell Us About the Japanese Nuclear Crisis?
For the second time in under a year, a large-scale energy disaster is unfolding before our eyes. Two different industries. Two different crises. Can we apply any lessons from the Gulf Oil Spill, and what can we expect for the nuclear industry moving forward?
It was just over a year ago that the Macondo well erupted in a ball of flames in the Gulf of Mexico. For many of us, this disaster was a poignant reminder of the tradeoffs we make every day for energy resources. Oil production is a dirty industry that has been artfully hidden away halfway around the world along the coastlines of Nigeria or deserts of the Middle East. For decades, Americans have been largely disconnected from the consequences of oil production until a blowout preventer failed to prevent a blowout and sent millions of gallons of petroleum into the ocean and onto our shores.
Fast forward to March 2011 and it seems to be an eerie repeat of recent history where explosions rock a major energy facility and safety and backup systems fail to contain a disaster while we watch as the events unfold over the Internet and Twitter. As of 5pm Tuesday (Texas time), a small team of Japanese technicians is wrestling the nuclear plant back under control. Details are still scarce and the situation is still developing. It really is too early to tell how long the plants will out of control. Read full story from scientificamereican.com
Lesson From Japan: There’s No Avoiding Nature
Japan is a country lauded for its emergency preparedness, and yet, as the world has seen in terrifying and scary images since the 8.9 earthquake struck last Friday, there are limits to what us humans can do in the face of Nature.
The Damage Could Have Been Much Worse
There a couple of provisos here: the damage could have been much worse, like that we saw recently in China and Haiti; also the Japanese emphasis on preparedness has been in the southern part of Honshu island, after the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake that burned down more than sixty percent of Tokyo and killed 145,000 people. This quake struck of the coast of north-east Japan. Read full story from care2.com
Soapbox Mike Lake: Why are some schools still promoting Christianity over all other beliefs?
EVEN an evangelical atheist like me supports religious education in schools – as long as children are taught about different beliefs.
I represent Humanism on the Derby Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education and, as an ex-teacher myself, I helped with the latest revision of the RE syllabus followed by all schools in the city.
I am pleased to say that non-belief, atheist Humanism, is represented on that syllabus and on the syllabus for all county schools.
I am also pleased that things have come a long way from the days when Christianity was promoted, no matter what you believed.
It came as a shock, therefore, to find that some local schools seemed to promote one religion over others. Read full story from thisisderbyshire.co.uk
Tibetan monk burns himself to death in protest against Chinese rule
A Tibetan Buddhist monk has burned himself to death in western China, triggering a street protest against government controls, according to a group campaigning for Tibetan self-rule.
Phuntsog, 21, was a monk in Aba, a mainly ethnic Tibetan part of Sichuan province that erupted in defiance against Chinese control three years ago. The monk “immolated himself in protest against the crackdown”, said Kate Saunders of the International Campaign for Tibet, a London-based organisation.
The self-immolation and subsequent demonstrations mirror the protests that gripped Tibetan areas of China in March 2008 when Buddhist monks and other Tibetans loyal to the exiled Dalai Lama confronted police and troops. Read full story from guardian.uk.co
Police chase nets suspected thief of pagan sign from Santa Cruz shop
SANTA CRUZ – A man who stole a shop sign with a pentagram on it was arrested about 4:30 p.m. near Morrissey Boulevard and Fairmount Avenue after a 20-minute car chase, Capitola police reported.
About 4 p.m. in front of The Sacred Grove, a metaphysical bookstore and pagan community center at 924 Soquel Ave., a black Isuzu Trooper screeched to a stop, book shop representatives said. A man got out and took a sign – which said “Witchcraft wares and magical supplies, potion brews and unique gifts” with a pentagram on the back, said Sacred Grove owner Michael Correll. Read full story from mercurynews.com
Magick Spells Can Be Fun to Cast!
I am a Wiccan witch and go by the Wiccan Crede. I believe it is safe to cast lovers spells, money spells and what have you, s long as it is not harming another person. I have been casting spells all my life, so it seems, since I was fourteen years and now in my early 40s’: I have learned to appreciate casting magick spells even more.
I believe in many gods and goddesses and all my magick spells have come true for myself and others. I cast a spell for all my poems to become published ans within a month tops, they wore published. I know magick works splendidly for myself as well as my family and friends. Many people write me asking for a spell and I usually cast spells for free and all that is required is a witch book sent to me, if they wish to do so, as payment. Yes, magick can be so much fun!
I enjoy casting spells during the daytime as well as the night time. You may wish to cast some of your own magick as well. Here are some free spells of mine you may wish to try! Read full story from modernghana.com
Witch shop opens in downtown Amesbury
AMESBURY — You won’t find bat blood, unicorn horns or an eye of a newt inside this witch’s cauldron.
After all, Forest Rangel is a white witch — think Glinda in “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”
While witch shops may seem more appropriate in Salem, one has come to downtown Amesbury with the opening of The Witches Cauldron.
“You have lots of different people of different denominations,” Rangel said.
Rangel opened up her store at 19 Main St., where you’ll find candles, oils, books, tarot cards and even fairies, in the form of figurines. Read full story from newburyportnews.com
Man tells police he set fire because of Satan
LYNNWOOD — Convinced that he was sharing a motel room with Satan, a man set his blankets ablaze in Lynnwood on Friday, according to what he told police.
The man, 52, of Redmond, had been staying at the Days Inn on 196th Street SW for about a month, according to a police affidavit filed in Snohomish County Superior Court.
Fire crews were called about 8:30 a.m. Friday when smoke began pouring out of the second floor room where the man was staying.
The fire was contained to one room because of fire sprinklers, officials said. About six rooms were damaged in all, as well as guests’ personal property.
The man told police that he set the room on fire because Satan was in there, according to the affidavit. He reportedly said he wanted to protect “the good people” by setting the fire. Read full story from heraldnet.com
ACLU Defense of Religious Freedom Lost on Virginia Students
Here’s a fascinating story for people who struggle to understand the difference between individual expression and government-endorsed displays of religion – and why the two are not the same.
The Giles County School District in Floyd, Va. has been embroiled in a back-and-forth battle over the religious displays in all its schools of the Ten Commandments. In the latest controversy over the issue, 200 students walked out in protest Monday over the school board’s latest decision to ban them.
The whole brouhaha started in December when the school board voted to remove the displays after the Freedom from Religion Foundation sent the district a letter notifying it that it was in violation of the Constitution. In response, the board voted to take down them down. Read full story from religiondispatches.org
Skulls found during Utah drug raid
(NBC) — Utah police involved in a drug investigation came across human skulls and animal bones allegedly used as part of a religious shrine.
Now investigators and attorneys are trying to decide if the animal carcasses and remains constitute religious freedom or if it is against the law.
The Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force served a warrant Sunday to search in Clearfield as part of an ongoing drug distribution investigation.
While there, narcotics detectives discovered at least two human skulls and several hundred pounds of animal bones and flesh in a shed in back. Read full story from wcsh6.com
The Buzzards return to Hinckley
HINCKLEY TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Whether you believe the legend of a massive critter kill that turned into a buzzard buffet, or the one about the dying curse of an Indian woman, the Cleveland Metroparks marked the annual Return of the Buzzards Tuesday. Read full story from cleveland.com