Monday, November 27, 2006


In the state of Russia. How does a radioactive isotope that is produced in quantities of less than 100 grams a year wind up in an anti-Putin activist’s sushi? (Or rice wine vinegar more likely, since the isotope Polonium likes dilute acids) Named by Ms. Curie for her native Poland, not Polonius – though Hamlet’s over-verbose courtier might as well have been its namesake. And it was a hidden draught of poison poured in his ear that killed the elder Ham, and wasn’t Fortinbras on his way to Poland?

In any case, what kind of control of radioactive by-products, let alone government apparatchiks, is exercised in the former Soviet states these days?


More less than savory eco-news in this next item… Garbage in, diesel out, was the idea… Green Power, a company funded by private investors, was set to build an $82 million plant in Fife, Washington to convert hundreds of tons of garbage each day into high-grade diesel fuel. But now the Securities Division of that state’s Department of Financial Institutions is investigating the company after an investor complaint, former employees say paychecks have bounced and the company is in a dispute with the garbage-to-diesel plant’s inventor over Green Power’s rights to the technology… Green Power CEO Michael Spitzauer is listed as a defendant in more than a dozen lawsuits in this country. Spitzauer and Christian Koch, the German inventor behind the technology, rolled into Fife last July with a small-scale, mobile garbage-to-diesel plant they used for a public demonstration. Workers fed shredded garbage mixed with motor oil into a shiny, silver machine. Minutes later golden diesel poured from a spigot. Spitzauer then took the bucket and poured the fuel into the tank of a black SUV… Spitzauer, however, it turns out was convicted of fraud in Austria in 1992 and served three years of a six-year sentence. The Austrian government later tried to extradite him from the United States on additional fraud charges.

Details can be found at

If this all sounds like an updated version of Music Man meets The Rainmaker the saddest part of this con is the likelihood the technology is bogus. Check Alphakat Gmbh’s website, the German company that claims ownership of the process and if you’re an engineer tell us what you think…

Meanwhile, the reactionary right, presumably afraid the spreading awareness of the overheating biosphere might hurt the bottom line of their corporate leash-holders, is attacking what?… Penguins?.. Disney’s animated feature Happy Feet, this Turkey Day weekend’s biggest box office hit, has gotten bitch-slapped by a dubious trio of "journalists" in the run up to its opening weekend.

Neal Cavuto: "My biggest thing was, you can make a political statement all you want in an adult movie and all. I just think it's a little tacky and big-time objectionable when you start foisting it on kids..."

Really, Neal? And who but the kids will inherit this global mess?

Glenn Beck: "If you're going to include those (environmental) themes, the least you could do is tell me, a parent. Tell me about it first, OK, so I know I'm walking into propaganda."

’Propaganda?’.. Okay, admittedly Glenn Beck is not only not a journalist, CNN is likely daily weighing what costs less, buying him out or letting his contract run out while audience share spirals hellward. He’d set fire to his hair if it would get him a tenth of a ratings point… Then there’s the always reliably loathsome...

Michael Medved: "I'm particularly annoyed at the big new animated film about tap-dancing penguins…The marketing suggests a feel-good frolic for kids… but the reality is dark, disturbing and deeply political… The penguins -with voices from Robin Williams, Nicole Kidman and others - face a menace from evil "aliens": human beings."
BLow Job
"Particularly annoyed"? How do you feel about Global Warming, Michael? Yeah, I thought so.


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