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High-risk effort begins to clean up Japanese nuclear plant
Nov 20th, 2013 by Warren Swil

Fear of new catastrophe

at Fukushima spurs

unprecedented attempt

Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki is warning of a new catastrophe at the stricken nuclear power plant in Japan.

AN EXTREMELY RISKY but desperate attempt is under way to clean up the most dangerous part of the nuclear plant devastated by an earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011.
Workers began Monday removing the first of about 1,500 uranium fuel rods from Reactor 4 at the Fukushima plant – the one considered in most danger of a total collapse that could lead to a new nuclear disaster worse than the original one.
But the private company TEPCO is racing against the clock. Experts have warned that another earthquake in the area is highly likely and it could bring the entire structure containing the radioactive fuel crashing to the ground.
The fallout would be global.


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‘CONTACT?’ Science fiction takes giant leap towards scientific fact

MAJOR ADVANCES REPORTED IN SEARCH FOR EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL LIFE
Science fiction took a giant step towards becoming scientific fact at a four-day conference of NASA’s Ames Research Laboratory in Northern California, which ended Thursday.
Scientists announced that hundreds of new earth-like planets have been observed.
In the annals of human history, finding another earth-like planet capable of supporting life will rank right at or above Neil Armstrong’s stroll on the moon in 1969.
The findings – extrapolated into the future – could have profound effects on the human condition as it becomes increasingly likely that we are not the only life forms in the galaxy.


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Healthcare reform’s most unlikely winner: India

COUNTRY’S PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY EYES VAST EXPANSION
The most surprising beneficiary of healthcare reform is not even in America.
India and its pharmaceutical industry is gearing up for a massive expansion as millions of new prescriptions are written for generic drugs covered under the new insurance policies.
But consumers and investors need to exercise considerable caution. It is not at all clear that imported generic drugs are safe and effective. It is even less clear which of the manufacturers have unblemished records.


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‘ALONE TOGETHER:’ How the vast interconnected world keeps us apart

MIT PROFESSOR, NOTED AUTHOR EXPLAINS ONLINE ILLUSION
We are all more interconnected than ever, thanks to the world wide web and all the different ways we can connect to it.
But, paradoxically, the more connected we are, the less we are truly connected to each other – the way we always were and the way we were meant to be.
Get up. Go out. Breathe the fresh air.
Look at the person you are with.
Don’t be the one to miss out on life because you are too preoccupied with your online illusions.


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World enjoys fossil fuel boom, but should it?

CALIFORNIA AWASH IN OIL, BUT CARBON EMISSIONS WILL DEVASTATE PLANET
New technology has made previously unrecoverable deposits within reach. Gosh, there may even be some under my house!
But those concerned with climate change are wringing theirs in desperation.
Should all this oil – and gas – be taken out of the ground and burned? It could spell the end of life as we know it on earth.
The IPCC has warned us. We need to wake up and listen.


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‘Internet of things’ poised to take over your life (with video)

AS BILLIONS OF DEVICES CONNECT, PLANET GROWS ‘CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM’
A vast revolution – already under way – that is forecast to change our lives even more dramatically than the Internet with all its people, is called the “Internet of Things.”
As computers the size of postage stamps with connectivity to the web emerge, and cheap sensors proliferate, the number of “things” going online is expected to reach 50 billion within a few years – compared to the mere two billion people expected to be online.
Are you ready for everything you sit on, touch, watch on TV, take from the ’fridge to be broadcast to the entire planet?
This poses huge public policy questions about privacy and data sharing that have not begun to be explored.
It is time to begin the discussion. Here. Now!


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Finals of America’s Cup yacht race begin today

WORLD’S MOST PRESTIGIOUS SAILING EVENT ENCOUNTERS STORMY SEAS
The premier yacht race on earth – the America’s Cup – begins its finals today on San Francisco Bay.
But, can they still call it a “race” with only four entrants? It has not turned out so well for the race, or the teams competing.
One crewman died in a tragic accident in May; the Team Oracle USA craft capsized last October.
The debris left behind in the City by the Bay should be cleaned up, personally, by Larry Ellison, Team Oracle’s owner, and second richest man on Earth.


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Space tourism launch date on the horizon (with video)

RACE IS ON TO OFFER SCHEDULED SUBORBITAL FLIGHTS
It has long been relegated to the realms of science fiction and fantasy, but space tourism on regularly scheduled flights is inching closer – and may be as little as one year away.
With Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic spaceport in New Mexico well under way, and all the activity in California, there can be no doubt that a new space race is taking place.
It is a certain bet that within the lifetimes of most of us under 70 today, space tourism will turn from science fiction into science fact – for those with a wad of cash to spare.


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BULLETIN: My identity has been stolen – don’t let this happen to you

TEXT MESSAGES PURPORTEDLY FROM ME ARE FAKE
Two officers from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department have just left my home after taking a report that my identity has been stolen.
Don’t let this happen to you. It is frightening indeed.
I wish to alert anyone and everyone that communications purportedly from me should be examined with great care, especially text messages, which I use infrequently.
If you have any doubt about any electronic communications from me, please contact me at once and we shall investigate.
Click the link “Read the rest of this story” for more details.


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Phone battery powered by urine successfully tested

BE DISREET: RECHARGE BEHIND A TREE
You may just be able to charge your phone while hiking in the woods – just take plenty of beer!
A group of six scientists has just announced successful development of a phone battery powered by urine! Pee is for power!
Get In the (K)now here, now.


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