Park Service on inauguration crowd size; the shutdown of the White House web page on climate change; and blatant censorship of the EPA, U. Daffy Duck is our dually elected president. We had all better start working to push climate change to the top of the list. Thanks for sharing the link about the executive order that is intended to expedite infrastructure projects through the environmental regulatory process.
I read this executive order carefully and found it to be a partisan attempt to roll back regulations that were enacted to protect the environment. No one is objecting to making more efficient and speeding up the evaluation of environmental concerns relating to infrastructure projects, but this executive order is not about efficiency or streamlining.
It is about devaluing and dismissing anything that represents concern for the environment that might legitimately be a hindrance to project approval.
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This is where political dishonesty gets woven into an alternate reality. When projects get bogged down in environmental regulations, it is just as much the fault of those who want to dodge regulations as it is for those who want projects to be held accountable to regulations. For example, an industry may want to build a chemical plant next to a residential community that is fearful of environmental hazards. The company is more concerned about moving its project forward and the community is more concerned about environmental risks.
In order for the industry to move the process through the EIS and get clearance from the regulatory agencies, it is likely to provide an evaluation that minimizes risks and touts economic benefits. Often industry has a reluctance to consider in detail, the risks, which concerns the community. The community, on the other hand, is not trusting that the project will be safe.
The project then gets bogged down precisely because there was not a due diligent evaluation to begin with and then stakeholders have to do their best to make sure their concerns are adequately considered. It then becomes adversarial and political. He declares in his EO that he wants project approval as a political win.
Trump believes that everything should be confrontational and that competition and winning are the only paths. This appeals to many who want simplicity and an authoritarian as their hero.
Nothing else matters, so long as he beats an opponent, which happens to be many citizens of the country he is supposed to lead. This is why such an attitude disgusts others who consider this type of political bullying a threat to democracy. No reasonable person would try to slow down or delay regulatory processes of evaluation and acceptance or denial, if there was integrity in the evaluation process and a true concern for protecting the environment.
Adler is VERY well respected, and my 2 bits of agreement with his solid reputation does not count. Seife has migrated from being a science reporter to a journalism professor. He certainly is qualified both from his experiences as a reporter and the quality of his work. One of the things I learned from this book is that we are still decades or more away from a viable method of using fusion as a power source.
Before reading it, I knew of fusion bombs the " Another really well-researched fusion seems to be a pet interest of the author and well-written book. What I didn't know was that there have been other attempts some successful, some not to create "table-top" fusion.
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In fact the earliest such attempt was by Philo Farnsworth the same man that invented electronic television in He came up with an idea in the late '50s and actually created fusion with a fairly cheap and simple apparatus. As have several people including at least two teenagers that applied his basic concept.
And, there was a whole second family of failed table top fusion experiments that were initially promising, but proven to be unworkable. It's a great read even if you know little about the history and science behind at A-bomb, the H-Bomb, or nuclear reactors. There is enough explanation of concepts and terms to help those who need it, without making those in-the-know annoyed. A final "fun fact": Back when the rest of The Manhattan Project was working on the fission bomb, Edward Teller was mostly working on his concept of "The Super" of fusion bomb. In his office at Los Alamos, he would write down his blackboard each increasingly powerful device that he conceived along with its delivery method.
The last entry on the board had "back yard" written next to it. It was so powerful that the human race would be wiped out no matter where it was set off. Nov 16, Victor rated it liked it. I thought the book had an excellent start, but disagreed with the tone the book took toward the end, and especially its conclusions. The author seems to think believe that we somehow can't achieve reliable and useful fusion because of the hubris of many scientists that work on the problem.
It's as if the human difficulties of politics, ego, etc are the main barrier rather than the monumental technical difficulties. Mar 21, Ed Romano rated it it was amazing. Charles Seife does a magnificent job recounting the marvels and failures of the quest for sustainable fusion, as it continues today. It's a story complete with characters forlorn, achieving the heights of fame and then falling from grace, like Pons and Fleischmann.
But other than the personal stories, Seife is a master storyteller of things scientific and technical, giving masterful overviews of the instabilities in current platforms -- namely Inertial and Magnetic Confinement Fusion. Before the Charles Seife does a magnificent job recounting the marvels and failures of the quest for sustainable fusion, as it continues today. Before the culmination into current ventures he lays the ground for the nuclear fusion process, describing in great textbook-worthy detail on how such events proceed.
As a former scientist in one such project, I was elated to see the story told so keenly. May 26, Luis Brudna rated it it was amazing Shelves: History combined with a teaching of fusion Charles is very good at telling an historical story while at the same time explaining scientific concepts. Great read and I recommend it. Mar 28, Scott Margo rated it really liked it. Well written description of the problems with fusion power.
Sep 19, Joe rated it it was amazing.
This book is just about the perfect thing to read for a quick, easy explanation and history of fusion and its role in society. The book starts off talking about the politics and development of nuclear weapons. This section, like most parts of the book, doesn't go very deep into the subject -- but then again, a full treatment has been the subject of other very good books. The next chapter talks about the physics of fusion reactions and weapons.
I think it does a great job of balancing out a real This book is just about the perfect thing to read for a quick, easy explanation and history of fusion and its role in society. I think it does a great job of balancing out a real description of what's happening with a directness that keeps it simple to understand. The book moves into describing some of the politics of nuclear weapons.
Again, it's a good overview -- a full treatment could more than cover a thick book of its own. It also describes some of the bizarre proposed peaceful uses of nuclear weapons, such as weather control. This chapter also transitions into the heart of the matter of this book: The first chapter of fusion power involves efforts in the 50's to create true high-temperature controlled thermonuclear reactions. The book describes the difficulties that the first researchers encountered, and the difficulties of determining exactly how successful they were: The following chapter describes later attempts at achieving break-even fusion power: After talking about high-temperature fusion reactions, the book describes the history of cold fusion attempts.
I remember cold fusion announcements and later realization, but this book helped fill out the picture of what was really attempted, and how it came to be so public. This book is a pretty compelling combination of physics, politics, and history. If there's any part of the discussed topics that interests you, you can find a book that covers it in more depth, but I don't think you'll find a better one that ties all of the topics together. The world's first fission bomb Trinity was exploded in , and the world's first fission power plant in Obninsk, Russia was connected to the grid in , 9 years later.
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The world's first fusion bomb Ivy Mike was exploded in We'll be lucky if the fusion power plants are connected to the grid in , years later. The difference is so large because a fission power plant has solid fuel rods and either solid or liquid moderator, and the fuel in a fusion power plant is plasma, and The world's first fission bomb Trinity was exploded in , and the world's first fission power plant in Obninsk, Russia was connected to the grid in , 9 years later.
The difference is so large because a fission power plant has solid fuel rods and either solid or liquid moderator, and the fuel in a fusion power plant is plasma, and it took decades to understand how difficult it is to make plasma stable. In Cory Hall at UC Berkeley in the s there was an exhibit made by a graduate student of plasma physics: When the shaking speed was small, the boundary between the two liquids was well-defined, but when it increased, the boundary became a mess. For decades, scientists have said that practical fusion is 20 years away, but this has been a moving target, Seife says because of wishful thinking.
A fusion power plant would be inherently safe from Chernobyl-type disasters; it would produce a lot less radioactive waste than a fission power plant; peak deuterium would never come, unlike peak uranium. ITER which is pronounced "eater" is supposed to be finished in , but such projects often go over budget and over the deadline. When I thought about it, I realized that even if a fusion device produces less energy than what was put into it, you can put uranium and plutonium around it and use it as a neutron source for a a subcritical fission reactor, and have some of the advantages of a pure fusion power plant.
An Internet search showed that this idea was not original, and in fact such experiments are planned for ITER. Mar 18, Andres L rated it it was amazing Shelves: Throughout the book are stories after stories of how people tried to unleash the power of the sun on planet earth. It started with the Manhattan project. Oppenheimer was in charge of the operation. However, the atomic bomb was not enough for Edward Teller. He did everything he could to build a fusion device, to build the H-Bomb. That's when it all started.
Teller was obsessed with harnessing the power of fusion. He saw nuclear fus "Sun in a Bottle", by Charles Seife, is a great expository book. He saw nuclear fusion as the answer to just about anything. Later on, several different scientist attempt to create fusion for different reasons. One of the main ones is an alternative energy source. Scientist attempt different methods from lasers to magnets. All through history, people lie, cheat, and deceive others to try to accomplish fusion. I truly enjoyed this book. It is very thorough. Throughout the book are diagrams to help understand just how things work.
Bundles of information are packed into an understandable piece of text. I would relate to Oppenheimer. He understood lots of things. One of the quotes from the book was "why, Oppenheimer knows about everything. He can talk to you about anything you bring up. Well, not exactly, I guess there are a few things he doesn't know about.
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He doesn't know anything about sports. Besides the knowing everything part. I can talk about anything academically. However, if you mention sports, I don't understand most of it. However, Oppenheimer did eventually start to get a little weird. But then again, lots of scientist did. I wouldn't change a single thing. It definitely deserved five stars. I recommend this to any science lover. They will love this book. Jess's baggage, in the shape of her young son, is nothing compared to the baggage Chris is carrying.
He is bound, not so much by love as by guilt, to the woman who used to play in his band. And she will not let him go easily. This is Ms Sofras' second novel and it is superb. Her beautiful, articulate prose is a pleasure to read. Her characters live and breathe and her plot is interesting and different.
I fell into the story at the first page and did not surface until I'd finished. It left me wanting more and I shall certainly read it again.
Apr 03, Tara Hall rated it really liked it. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The heroine, Jess and her son were both likable and believable. Yet later that night Amber kisses a surprised Christian on camera, and announces their engagement. Instead, he just wishes her a happy New Year, and never mentions it, so Jess is—of course—shocked when she sees the story splashed across the tabloids a week later in the supermarket.
And what in the world was Christian thinking of when he thought it would be a good idea to have his new love Jess write his autobiography, knowing that she would have to meet one-on-one with Amber? I confess to wanting Jess to end up with Adam, who at least was straightforward and honest with her. But the ending where Christian finally stood up to Amber was very satisfying.
Jun 03, Sheri rated it it was amazing. Wishful Thinking by Lynette Sofras Jess and her young son escape a horrible accident and she meets Christian Goodchild, famous pop star. They are both attracted to each other. But Christian is in a complicated relationship. Jess doubts their love can survive in the complex world of a celebrity. I really liked Jess, single Mother and devoted to her son. She takes a big chance when she gets involved with Christian. Is she strong enough to handle his celebrity lifestyle? Christian is likable as well.
He has a lot of "emotional baggage" add the fact he is a superstar. We he be able to face his demons and have a healthy, happy relationship with Jess? A well written story with an original plot, likable character, equal amounts of drama, and romance. The story moves at an even pace, there were moments that are shocking, and heartfelt.
I was pulled in from the first page and could not stop reading until the last page. I also like the cover art, it captures the story perfectly. Apr 25, Anne Ashby rated it it was amazing. I recently enjoyed "The Apple Tree" by this author so was keen to read this book. In fact I enjoyed it even more than her previous story.
Finding the unassuming Jess and her son ticked all the boxes for him. Jess's uncertainty about Chris' true feelings was also very realistic even without the meddling of his former gir I recently enjoyed "The Apple Tree" by this author so was keen to read this book. Jess's uncertainty about Chris' true feelings was also very realistic even without the meddling of his former girlfriend.
Alarmed by whatever power Amber had over Chris that sent him rushing to her side whenever she seemed to beckon, Jess eventually accepts there is no chance at any long term relationship and ends it. Chris' revelation of Amber's hold caught me by surprise. Wondering during the whole story what it might be, I had not considered the explanation given as a possibility. But Chris finally convinces Jess of his commitment to her and her son. Dec 08, Elaine Blick rated it it was amazing.
This is an up to date Cinderella story, where famous pop start falls in love with single mother. It reveals the truth behind the false glitz and glamour of the celebrity world showing the real people behind the public facade. It is a story that will appeal to most women because of its sincerity and the sensitive way that the author describes her characters' feelings. She is able to enter into the hearts and minds of vastly diverse personalities, from Christian, the successful pop star to Jess th This is an up to date Cinderella story, where famous pop start falls in love with single mother.
She is able to enter into the hearts and minds of vastly diverse personalities, from Christian, the successful pop star to Jess the single working mother. Even Amber, the celebrity star, who lies and uses every dirty trick to get her way, is shown as a needy human being. This I feel is the strength of the book, the characters are real people just like us, with hopes and desires that are common to us all.
They want above all to love and be loved. If this is 'wishful thinking' then in this book at any rate the wishes come true. Sep 23, Eleri rated it really liked it. Enjoyed this a lot. Jess and Ben are lovely, warmed immediately to them in the opening scene of the book - how frightening!
Wasn't so keen on Christian, but could see he was probably worth a swoon, and although some may dismiss that knowing it's right immediately feeling as slush and soppy - I have experienced it not with a celebrity obviously! Hated Amber - had no sympathy for her at all. Grrr - she makes me cross. Not a deep book that I completely fell in love with the characters or that will stick with me exactly, but a lovely page turner all the same that I enjoyed and would recommend as a cosy read: