Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"Radiation Surge Forces Works to Suspend Nuclear Containment Efforts"

Workers at a quake-damaged atomic power plant suspended operations and evacuated Wednesday after a surge in radiation made it too dangerous to remain there, dealing a setback to Japan’s frantic efforts to stem a nuclear crisis.

"All the workers there have suspended their operations. We have urged them to evacuate, and they have," Japan's chief cabinet secretary, Yukio Edano said, according to a translation by NHK television.

Edano said that a surge in radiation Wednesday morning meant workers were unable to continue even minimal efforts at the stricken nuclear plant.

About 45 minutes later, though, radiation levels near the plant came back down, he said. It's possible that evaporation from reactor No. 3 may have caused the temporary surge, Edano said, although that can't be immediately confirmed.The cabinet secretary added that there was no need to broaden the overall evacuation radius around the nuclear complex.

Is it possible to break the earth? Have we ruined the planet? Now what? This is too scary.

With friends like these, I shoulda been a nurse

Let's see now ...

My friend John had a setback and wound up back in the hospital. After two months off work, battling an infection, he returned to the office on Valentine's Day. Now, a mere month later, he is once again too weak for a 40-hour workweek and is back to half days.

My former admin, Amy, is in the hospital as we speak. She had surgery on her bowels and when she leaves the hospital, she will need a colostomy bag. I feel bad because she's so young for this (45). But she's had gut trouble for as long as I've known her. If this procedure alleviates that, after decades, it may be a blessing.

My oldest friend is still very loopy. She's recovering from wrist/elbow surgery four days ago. She told me her ankles have swollen and that it might be a reaction to the pain meds, or maybe kidney failure. She's going to the doctor tomorrow. If I seem nonchalant about this development, it's only because she's being very devil may care about it herself. Mostly she wanted to talk about a Three Stooges DVD she received as a "get well" gift.

My Aunt Jo had her gall bladder removed a couple weeks ago. Her recovery was proceeding according to plan until she overdid it at WalMart. She was so happy to be out and about, grocery shopping, that hurt herself while pushing her cart and is back in bed (though it's a bed in her home, not a hospital).


I keep trying to find the pony in all this. I have concluded that it's this: at least none of my loved ones are in Japan.

10 on Tuesday

Ten "green" things I do regularly. In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I'm wearing green all week. But that's not the kind of green I'm thinking of. These are the planet-benefiting habits.

1) CFL bulbs throughout the house.

2) I recycle paper, plastic and aluminium.

3) With Shout Color Catchers, I'm able to combine whites and (most) bright colors. This way I reduce the number of loads of laundry I do each week. (I still wash deep navys and blacks separately, though.)

4) I wash everything in cold water on the energy-saving setting.

5) Woolite Dry Cleaner's Secret reduces the number of garments I take to the cleaners.

6) When I do go to the cleaners, I return the wire hangers.

7) I bring my own canvas bag to the store (when I think of it).

8) If I do leave the store with a plastic bag, I make good use of it at home -- either when I clean the litter box or for holding recyclables until I take them down to the bins downstairs.

9) Weather and time permitting, I take mass transit instead of cabs.

10) At the office, I chug tap water from a big old reusable water bottle.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to stretch. I think I may have strained something, patting myself on the back for my virtuous, tree-hugging ways.