Thursday, June 15, 2006

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood


We Make Money Not Art on Russia's plans for a floating nuclear plant:

The plant will be built at an Arctic site where atomic submarines are made and is due to begin generating in 2010....

"There are risks of the unit itself sinking, there are risks in towing the units to where they need to be," explained Charles Digges, editor of Bellona.
Cervantes on an interesting new FDA rule:
What happens in practice is that data on the so-called "label" on risks of drugs lag several years behind the known facts. This doesn't require fraud on the part of the manufacturers, just foot-dragging combined with inefficiency and indifference on the part of the FDA. So even if side effects and counterindications aren't on the label, and you are harmed by the drug, you have no legal recourse.
Environmental Science & Technology on bacteria and flame retardants:
Bacteria in the soil can transform the most commonly used flame retardant compound in the United States into more toxic forms that could be harmful to humans, according to a new laboratory study published today....

"This study, for the first time, establishes that microbes found in every-day settings can degrade relatively stable forms of PBDEs, making them far less stable and potentially more toxic," says Lisa Alvarez-Cohen, Ph.D., the study’s corresponding author. "It implies that current and planned bans of the most toxic forms of PBDEs may be ineffectual if the less toxic forms are rendered more toxic when released into the environment."
Homeland Security Watch on "the imagination of failure":
Five factors explain why increasing investments (spending), political commitments (policy) and public sacrifice in the name of homeland security produce diminishing returns over time, each of which encompasses an important component of the current dilemma: (a) rising public expectations and standards for measuring government performance, (b) the power of failure (failures trump successes), (c) public imagination and exaggerated perceptions of terrorist threats, (d) political-military imagination and official overestimations of terrorist risks, and (e) declining public support for sacrificing civil liberties.
Subtopia on carceral urbanism in Ethiopia, and corporate militarism in Missouri.

(Photo of Prypiat, Ukraine by Yann Arthus-Bertrand.)

2 comments:

dan mcenroe said...

so, is this your new feature, 'thursday bleak blogging'?

Phila said...

Dan,

No...it's just that stories like these pile up, and I figure it's better to get a bunch of 'em out of the way in one post.

Also, sometimes I just don't have the stamina to talk about this stuff. A floating nuclear plant?! What on earth can I say about that? So again, I just lump 'em together.