Almost 30 years ago, the #4 reactor at Chernobyl suffered a meltdown and managed to spread radioactive contamination all over the surrounding area. While this was a serious environmental disaster, it has allowed scientists to perform scientific tests and observe phenomena that they would not have otherwise been able to look at. An international team of scientists has recently been testing the effects of radiation on the decay of forest debris, like leaves and dead tree branches. While this may not seem very exciting, it is interesting because what they are really looking at is the effects of radiation on microbial lifeforms, those that break down dead materials and return their nutrients to the earth. Unsurprisingly, the higher the level of radiation, the lower the level of decomposition, which means the fewer microbes present. This ultimately means that less dead material is being broken down into nutrients which can support new and healthy growth.
What effect this will have on the ecosystem as a whole is not yet known, but I’m sure it can’t be good.
We all know that cell phones have become a major part of our daily lives, but would you be willing to give up your life for that phone? Well unfortunately, that is growing phenomenon across the globe. The number of people who have died as a result of attempting to rescue their phone, as well as those who have been murdered because they were unwilling to part with their phone has been on the rise the last few years. One theory, which I can understand, if only to a limited extent, is that because the phone is such a part of our lives we become anxious or feel isolated without it and we make impulsive decisions in order to get it back, sometimes endangering our well-being.
I like my phone, but I am not diving into traffic for it. In fact, I’d probably ask someone to take pictures of the wreckage for me.
This week the all powerful wizard known as the TSA has decreed that passengers may not be allowed to board flights if they can’t power up their electronics. On the surface this seems like the most idiotic example of the TSA flexing it’s regulatory muscle just because it can. Honestly, who cares if I can turn my cell phone on. All I want to do is get home. While this may be a pain, several security experts, including one who ran Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, say that based on recent intelligence this is actually a very prudent thing to do. For one, this rule does not apply to all flights, just those coming from select international airports. The TSA has not released the names of the airports in question in an effort to prevent terrorists from bypassing those airports, though one can guess at a number of countries that have airports on that list.
Of course there is a risk that if the battery of a device was swapped out for an explosive, turning on the device could be the method of detonation.