by Christina Sarich
Aug 23, 2014
An artist that lives in the northern portion of the Mie Prefecture, in Western Japan (but still within Fukushima’s radiation-circle) has posted pictures on Pinterest of some very outlandish looking carrots that he dug up from his own garden.
The poster simply comments, “The carrots that grew in my garden look too abnormal this year . . .”
Some refute the ‘mutant fruits and vegetable’ pictures popping up on different Internet sites, stating that they are a hoax, and others are insistent that the pictures they are posting are real. There have been mutant cabbages, 4 times the normal size, and tomatoes that seem to have exploded, but is this all sensationalized news, or something we should really be concerned about?
Friday 22 August 2014 06.46 BST
Agence France-Presse in Tokyo
Rescuer and boy he was trying to save are swept away as number of missing rises and Hiroshima braces for more rain
The death toll from huge landslides in western Japan could more than double, police have said, as the number of missing people rose to 52 in addition to the 39 confirmed dead.
Dozens of homes were destroyed when mountainsides collapsed on the outskirts of Hiroshima on Wednesday, with tonnes of mud, rocks and debris crashing into suburban communities.
More than 4,000 people have been ordered to evacuate their homes after forecasters warned more rain was on the way to already soaked hillsides, heaping misery on an area that has seen record downpours.
Firefighters, police and soldiers had to abandon search efforts on Thursday night because of the risk of further landfalls. One rescuer was killed in a secondary mudslide on Wednesday along with a small boy he was trying to carry to safety.
The confirmed death toll on Friday stood at 39 but the number of missing was raised to 52, having risen steadily over the last two days from initial single figures.
Officials said improved co-ordination between emergency services and local authorities meant they were aware of more people who had not been heard of since the disaster.
“We initially counted only the people who were certain to be missing, such as those witnessed being carried away in gushing water,” said a spokesman at Hiroshima prefecture police.
“As we continued to investigate and assess the situation, the number rose,” he said.
Firefighters and soldiers were still keeping heavy machinery away from collapsed houses, preferring to remove debris by hand in the hope of finding survivors.
Aug 18, 2014
This video features highlights of Dana Durnford & Terry Daniel’s video Podcast. Very special thanks to Dana & his team for all the hard word and research they have gathered concerning Fukushima radiation and the dying Pacific Ocean. Without individuals such as Dana stepping up to get us the real data in the field, much of this type of information would not be available to the general public.
See the entire original 75 minute presentation here -
and hundreds of additional slides at TheNuclearProctologist.com
ROBOT OLYMPICS PLANNED FOR 2020 POWERED BY JAPAN’S ‘ROBOT REVOLUTION’
Written By: Jason Dorrier – Posted: 08/2/14 8:00 AM
Japan likes robots. And while some Americans raised on a confusing sci-fi diet of Star Wars, Terminator, and iRobot are perhaps a little wary of advanced AI and robotics—Japan simply can’t wait for the “robot revolution.”
In a recent tour of Japanese robotics firms, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe declared his intention to create a government task force to study and propose strategies for tripling the size of Japan’s robotics industry to $24 billion.
And one more thing, Abe said, “In 2020, I would like to gather all of the world’s robots and aim to hold an Olympics where they compete in technical skills.”
While mere mortals compete in the 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo—in a stadium somewhere nearby, the world’s most advanced robots may go head to head in events showcasing their considerable prowess (hopefully by then, right?).
Holding an all-robot competition is by no means a new idea. A number of competitions exist. These range from fun (RoboCup and RoboGames) to serious (the DARPA Robotics Challenge). And recently, a Swiss group announced they’ll host a 2016 Olympics of robotically enhanced humans called Cybathlon.
Incentivized competitions can lead to advancements. The Ansari X PRIZE or DARPA Grand Challenge in autonomous cars, for example, whipped up excitement, real improvements, and the teams competing went on to form more permanent projects.
Currently, the highest profile competition in robotics is the DARPA Robotics Challenge. The contest, whose first round took place in December, incentivizes teams to engineer useful, autonomous bots to be used in disaster zones. Tasks include climbing ladders, driving cars, using tools, and navigating uneven terrain.
But the current landscape in robotics is a mixed bag. To the untrained eye, the DRC’s bots may appear slow, clumsy, and at odds with viral videos of robots like Boston Dynamics’ bipedal Petman (in fatigues, Petman looks like Terminator in beta).
Don’t get me wrong, these robots are amazing. But beyond performing simple tasks (for humans) like balancing and walking, robots aren’t very autonomous or skilled outside the lab. And power is a perennial challenge.That said, while we’re still dreaming about owning C-3PO, it isn’t accurate to say that robotics hasn’t already had a significant impact. Industrial robots have been invading manufacturing plants for years, and as they’re becoming more and more intelligent and aware of their environments, they’re also becoming more ubiquitous.
Foxconn, China’s controversial maker of the iPhone (and many other industrial products), makes no bones about its plans to replace as many human workers as it can in the coming years. The firm recently said 10,000 of their homegrown Foxbots are set to begin work soon, and in the future, 30,000 more will come online annually.
And even absent Abe’s proclamation, Japan is already a mecca for advanced robotics engineering and robot culture.
Big Japanese tech firms like Toshiba, Hitachi, and Toyota all work on robots. Indeed, the robot that dominated the DRC’s first round, SCHAFT, is the creation of a Japanese firm since acquired by Google. And did I mention Japanese plans to build a 60-foot moving Gundam robot (from the classic anime series Mobile Suit Gundam) by 2019?
The robotics revolution is already underway, and it’s only going to accelerate from here.
While a 2020 Tokyo Robolympics (if it happens) might be a great incentive to innovate further, it might also showcase robots already capable of feats that seem only a distant possibility given today’s level of capability. After all, self-driving cars went from failing to finish the DARPA course in 2004 to logging 140,000 miles on public roads by 2010.
Image Credit: Humanrobo/Wikimedia Commons
Read More Here
Jul 29, 2014
Clip from July 24, 2014 – guest Dr. Bill Deagle on the Jeff Rense Program. Full program available in Archives at http://www.renseradio.com/signup.htm
Jul 13, 2014
via The Guardian / July 14, 2014 / In fading light and just a stone’s throw from the most terrifying scenes during Japan’s worst nuclear accident, engineers resumed their race against time to defeat the next big threat: thousands of tonnes of irradiated water.
If all goes to plan, by next March Fukushima Daiichi’s four damaged reactors will be surrounded by an underground frozen wall that will be a barrier between highly toxic water used to cool melted fuel inside reactor basements and clean groundwater flowing in from surrounding hills.
Up to 400 tonnes of groundwater that flows into the basements each day must be pumped out, stored and treated – and on-site storage is edging closer to capacity. Decommissioning the plant will be impossible until its operator, Tokyo Electric Power [TEPCO] addresses the water crisis.
Last month workers from TEPCO and the construction firm Kajima Corp began inserting 1,550 pipes 33 metres vertically into the ground to form a rectangular cordon around the reactors. Coolant set at -30C will be fed into the pipes, eventually freezing the surrounding earth to create an impermeable barrier.
“We started work a month ago and have installed more than 100 pipes, so it is all going according to plan to meet our deadline,” Tadafumi Asamura, a Kajima manager who is supervising the ice wall construction, said as workers braved rain, humidity and radiation to bore holes in the ground outside reactor No 4, scene of one of three hydrogen explosions at the plant in the early days of the crisis.
But sealing off the four reactors – three of which melted down in the March 2011 disaster – is costly and not without risks. The 32bn-yen (£185m) wall will be built with technology that has never been used on such a large scale.
“I’m not convinced the freeze wall is the best option,” Dale Klein, former head of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and a senior adviser to TEPCO, recently told Kyodo News. “What I’m concerned about is unintended consequences. Where does that water go and what are the consequences of that? I think they need more testing and more analysis.”
The 1,500-metre wall will stay in use until 2020, using enough electricity every year to power 13,000 households, according to officials.
Over the next eight months, 360 workers from TEPCO and Kajima will work in rotating shifts of up to four hours a day, with each shift beginning in the early evening to combat heat exhaustion. Each worker is wrapped in hazardous materials suits and full-face masks, along with tungsten-lined rubber torso bibs for added protection against radiation.
TEPCO’s record of mishaps in the three years since Fukushima Daiichi suffered a triple meltdown suggests the wall project will not be trouble free. The firm has had problems freezing irradiated water – using the same method being used to build the underground wall – that has accumulated in underground trenches, raising concerns that the ice technology is flawed.
May 27, 2014
Japanese authorities gave the go-ahead yesterday to the construction of an underground ice wall around the nuclear reactors of the crippled Fukushima plant in attempt to slow down the build-up of radioactive water. Experts are still questioning whether giant ice wall will actually work.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority has approved the project after dismissing the idea that it could have a significant negative impact on subterranean watercourses and on the stability of the subsoil under the plant. “Today we confirmed that the possible scale of ground sinkage will not be significant, and that was the secondary effect we feared most from building the wall,” Toyoshi Fuketa, one of the experts of the authority, said. (GP)
The construction of 1.5 km long ice wall that will surround reactors 1 to 4 will begin in June 2014.
A series of thin pipelines will be inserted at a depth of 30 m, some 20 – 40 m apart, through which a coolant with a temperature of minus 40 degrees will be injected. This is expected to act as a physical barrier between groundwater and contaminated water.
The Asia-Pacific Perspective
Apr 28, 2014
Welcome back to The Asia-Pacific Perspective, that monthly show where James Corbett of corbettreport.com and Broc West of apperspective.net break down all the latest news and headlines from the Asia-Pacific region. In this month’s conversation:
Australia set to order 58 F-35 Lockheed Martin fighter jets
Australian PM: $12.4b jets ‘for the unexpected’
Lockheed Martin wins out over taxpayers in the F-35 procurement nightmare
The F-35: A Weapon That Costs More Than Australia
Other Asia-Pacific Updates:
Asia bucks military spending decline
Japan to arm remote western island, risking more China tension
TPP protests intensify ahead of Obama’s Japan visit
Justin Bieber apologises for visiting Yasukuni Shrine
Satellites show North Korea nuclear test unlikely
Marshall Islands launch lawsuits against nations with nuclear arms
Latest Headlines from FukushimaUpdate.com
Stay up to date with the latest Asia-Pacific developments via:
Twitter – @ap_perspective & @brocwest
RSS feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/AP-Perspe…
by Christina Sarich
Feb 12, 2014
Mainstream media in Hawaii, via the Star Advertiser, has reported that between 500 and 800 squid and lantern fish were found dead or close to dead in the Nawiliwili Harbor area of Hawaii on Monday, January 27, prompting both state and federal officials to investigate the cause of their die off. What they won’t come right out and tell you is that this is just one of the many species possibly dying from the radioactive fallout of Fukushima. The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) says that lantern fish are typically found in the very deep ocean, and they ‘aren’t sure’ why they are showing up dead on Hawaii’s shores.
The public is being asked to look for more dying lantern fish and squid on nearby beaches and to report it to the Eyes of the Reef Network.
Scientists have already linked seal deaths in Alaska with Fukushima radiation – they suffered skim lesions, hair loss, and lethargy, and many just didn’t make it at all. Bald eagles, sea stars, small fish and even plankton are showing up dead and dying too.
Feb 9, 2014
Almost everywhere you look, it seems that sex sells – TV, films, music. But, in Japan, thousands of people are being turned off. Alexey Yaroshevsky explains why the Japanese are getting bored in the bedroom.
RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air
by Michael Snyder
Feb 5, 2014
Did you see what just happened in Japan? The stock market of the 3rd largest economy on the planet is imploding. On Tuesday, the Nikkei fell by more than 610 points. If that sounds like a lot, that is because it is. The largest one day stock market decline in U.S. history is only 777 points. So far, the Dow is only down about 1000 points during this “correction”, but the Nikkei is down more than 2,300 points. The Nikkei has dropped more than 14 percent since the peak of the market, and many analysts believe that this is only just the beginning.
Those who have been waiting for a full-blown stock market collapse may be about to get their wish. Japan is absolutely drowning in debt, their central bank is printing money like crazy and the Japanese population is aging rapidly. As far as economic fundamentals go, there is very little good news as far as Japan is concerned. So will an Asian financial collapse precede the next great financial crisis in the United States? That is what some have been predicting, and it starting to look increasingly likely.
What happened to the Nikkei early on Tuesday was absolutely breathtaking. The following is how Bloomberg described the carnage…
At the end of January 2013, Japanese stocks trailed only Portugal for the biggest rally among developed markets. Now the Nikkei 225 Stock Average is leading declines, slumping 8.5 percent last month and today capping a 14 percent drop from its Dec. 30 peak.
Losses snowballed in Tokyo during a global retreat that has erased $2.9 trillion from equity values worldwide this year amid signs of slower growth in China and stimulus cuts by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
As Bloomberg noted, much of the blame for the financial problems that we are seeing all over the planet right now is being placed on the Federal Reserve.
The Fed created this bubble by pumping trillions of fresh dollars into the global financial system, and now they are bursting this bubble by starting to cut off the flow of easy money.