Friday, April 18, 2008

No comment from Obama yet - Alicia Keys: 'Gangsta Rap' Created to Convince Black People to Kill Each Other

Stupid college tricks

Back in college a few lunatics I knew used to have beer chugging contests. Except they'd do it while hanging upside down from the railing of a stair landing.

It was only half a flight up, but it probably would have been enough to break their necks or even kill them if they slipped.

And now we have this -
College Student Dead After Apparent Fall Over Balcony.

Don't get shook

An earthquake rattled southern IL and environs last night. It won't make the history books so much because it wasn't that strong, but it's still creepy.

People unfamiliar with the area might not associate it with seismic activity. But know that one of the worst earthquakes in the US happened within a couple of hundred miles to the southwest near New Madrid, MO. It was also in the news around 1990 when a prediction of an earthquake by Iben Browning was picked up by the media but did not pan out.

You can see more about the area's seismic history on an episode of A&E Network's Mega Disasters series, which examines consequences of a major earthquake there on Memphis, TN and St. Louis, MO.

Anybody who's thinking "all the nukes there will melt down now!" can relax. No operating commercial nuclear power facilities are particularly close. There are none in IN or KY. In IL the closest is Clinton Power Station, around a couple hundred miles north. Calloway in MO is about that far west. LaSalle County, Dresden and Braidwood are about 80 miles on the far side of the Clinton site in IL, and farther yet are Quad Cities and Byron. The next closest is probably in AR. The closest in MI is DC Cook near Michigan City, or in OH it would be Davis-Besse near Toledo, or in TN it's either Sequoyah or Watts Bar. That's from memory - maps are for wimps.

I was working as an engineer at an operating nuclear power plant back in the late 80's when I felt a small earthquake. The civil engineers and others on staff immediately got to work looking for seismic damage wherever they could onsite. I don't recall any issues arising.