The disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station in Japan underscores – yet again – the need to abandon nuclear power as a panacea for energy independence. Experts may never determine what caused all of the emergency cooling safety systems at Daiichi to fail completely. But they have learned that they are nearly powerless to bring the smoldering units under control. In the meantime, significant amounts of radioactive gas have vented, and partial meltdowns of at least two reactors have occurred. Indeed, nuclear power will never live up to industry promises. As a whole it is ultimately unsafe, an accident waiting to happen, and far more expensive than proponents admit. Colby College professor Paul Josephson gives seven reasons why we should abandon nuclear power and instead turn to solar, wind, and other forms of energy production that won’t experience such catastrophic accidents.
Alice Cooper and several other notable musicians were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Monday night. After accepting his latest honor, Alice Cooper performed for the New York audience.
After plunging at the opening Tuesday, the Dow Industrial Average regains some ground. But uncertainty over the Japan nuclear crisis could weigh on the economy, and markets, for some time.
Nations are responding to the devastation in Japan, sending aid workers, rescue equipment, and humanitarian supplies. Individuals can help too by donating to legitimate charities.
Aftershocks for the economy include lost man-hours and sales. Japan will have to quickly rebuild infrastructure damaged by the quake and its aftershocks if its businesses are to rebound soon.
Partying has begun today in major cities to mark Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, a last gastronomical hurrah before the Christian fasts that start on Ash Wednesday and continue during the season of Lent. The festivities that precede Fat Tuesday are known as Carnival in Catholic European nations, Latin America, and Canada. They are known as Shrovetide in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and Mardi Gras in the US and Australia. The Mardi Gras season starts on twelfth night (January 5) and ends on Fat Tuesday, but the festivities and parade season usually last for only the few days nearest Fat Tuesday. Fat Tuesday 2011 falls on March 8, but the day falls on a different date every year depending on when Easter falls. This year Fat Tuesday is being celebrated later than any other Fat Tuesday in over 150 years. The festivities include rich, fatty foods, masks and elaborate costumes, balls, and large scale parades at which participants throw small gifts. In the early days of the Mardi Gras parades, participants would throw candy or nuts. The "throws" have since evolved to include whistles, trinkets, cups, fake money (called doubloons), beaded necklaces, oranges, and even coconuts.
Fat Tuesday celebration expected to be largest since hurricane Katrina. New Orleans firms need big influx of Fat Tuesday tourists.
Gas prices have been only modestly affected by fighting in Libya, but a 'fear factor' is driving up oil futures, which in turn drive gas prices.