Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Even Better Than Depends!

Not that most of the bed-wetters will listen to this or believe it. However, for the rest of us, this diavlog is an absolute delight.

Here, Robert Farley, a professor at the University of Kentucky and the one who puts the Guns in Lawyers, Guns & Money, interviews John Mueller, a professor at Ohio State, about his new book, Atomic Obsession: Nuclear Alarmism from Hiroshima to Al-Qaeda.

Mueller's argument is that we really don't need to be worrying about nuclear weapons nearly as much as most people think we do, whether we're considering China, Iran, Teh Turrurists, or working with Russia to further reduce our own arsenals. He's got some amazingly fresh ways of looking at a number of the usual talking points, and his counterintuitive take comes across as highly plausible.

(I have long been of the view that having nuclear weapons tends in many ways to decrease one's national security, so it's fair to say that Mueller is preaching to my choir a bit.)

Anyway, enough out of me. On with the show. It's about forty minutes long. And as always with diavlogs, if you'd rather not sit here and stream it, click the "alt. video link" below for audio or video download options.

(alt. video link)


On a related note, did you see this delightful article in the NYT?

Here's the lede and an excerpt from further down:

What’s powering your home appliances?

For about 10 percent of electricity in the United States, it’s fuel from dismantled nuclear bombs, including Russian ones.


Utilities have been loath to publicize the Russian bomb supply line for fear of spooking consumers: the fuel from missiles that may have once been aimed at your home may now be lighting it.

But at times, recycled Soviet bomb cores have made up the majority of the American market for low-enriched uranium fuel. Today, former bomb material from Russia accounts for 45 percent of the fuel in American nuclear reactors, while another 5 percent comes from American bombs, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute, an industry trade association in Washington.

The article goes on to say that there is increasing pressure on arms negotiators to hurry up already, because utility companies need more bomb cores for fuel.

Admit it. This was the feel-good blog post of the week.


[Added] More happiness: I posted some of the above in the forum, whereupon claymisher replied, "We could reuse the missiles too," and pointed to this fascinating thing from Cringely.

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