The Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant near Omaha is basically sitting in a puddle of water after recent floods. That … that can't be good, right? I mean, granted, nuclear fuel sort of sits in a puddle of water at the best of times — that's how you keep it cool — and a lot of the rumors floating around about the plant have turned out to be a bunch of bullroar. But even if there's no immediate danger from this plant — which, as Rachel Maddow points out in the above clip, may or may not be true — the …
Kids! Are you worried about natural gas companies pumping mysterious chemicals into the rocks near your house, leaking methane gas, poisoning cattle, and making your water flammable? Well, don't be! A coloring book from Talisman Energy says everything will be fine, and afterwards there will be deer and rainbows.
Do you hate sh*tty drivers? Well, in Soviet Russia, sh*tty driver hates YOU! Moscow's road rage problem is epic, perhaps due to the fact that their traffic solution involves giving special police-style sirens to "VIP" drivers (read: 900-plus important people, government officials and so forth, and the 900-plus folks who can get a hold of them in some other way). However poorly the U.S. is doing at managing traffic, Russian solutions make our roads look like a buggy path in Amish country.
What's the best way to piss off a computer scientist? Buy her a laptop that only works when it gets enough sun. It's the perfect gag gift for the basement-dwelling, vitamin D-deprived coder in your life.
China seems to be turning its countryside into a sort of Baudrillardian Euro-Epcot -- they've got two replica English villages, a mini-Barcelona and mini-Venice, a Scandiavia-esque "Nordic Town," and a German district in the city of Anting. Now they're planning to add a replica of the Austrian village of Hallstatt, and the original Hallstatt is pretty pissed.
The Climate Hot Map, from the Union of Concerned Scientists, notes climate trouble spots worldwide. These are by no means all the effects of global warming -- for instance, we're guessing that Canada is not in fact a charmed oasis, untouched by climate change outside of one river in the Northwest Territories. But it does give you a sense of just how widespread the crisis is. (And maybe they'll keep updating it until it's just a mass of flags.)
The next popemobile will be a hybrid -- not just a hybrid between a pick-up truck and a dunking booth, like usual, but a gas/electric hybrid car that can go around 16 miles in all-electric mode.
A major threat to the world's porpoises comes from an unexpected quarter: Dolphins who aren't getting any.
Ocean ecosystems are taking a faster nosedive than anyone predicted. Without urgent action, coral reefs and entire fish species could disappear in a generation. Why is this happening? Do you really need to ask? Hint: It rhymes with shmarbon shmioxide.
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