Monday, May 12, 2008

Weekends and Dipshits

As planned, there was a bachelor party this weekend.

Friday - Pick up car. Things that were not planned : 1 1/2 hour talk with bachelor and fiancee on way to get car (they live down the hall from me). Not about anything in particular. I stopped by to let him know when we were leaving, and it led to much chatting about random things as we often do. I finally got back home at 2am, after keeping another friend awake by dropping off some promised things at 1am (about 2 hours later than intended). Oops.

Saturday - Up, ready, and on our way about 30min late. No worries. 4 friends, 1.5 hours of driving = good times. Unfortunately, the Brazilian BBQ place we were planning to eat at had been booked for weeks (best man had tried to make a reservation), and a 10pm dinner was not in our plans, so we ended up going for steak instead. Also, some excellent wine. We also missed the first gambling window due to heavy in-room drinking. We made the 2nd gambling window, but only played (and lost) craps. A visit to an interpretive dance centre was in order afterwards, which was crowded (on a Saturday night in Niagara? Who knew? Oh... everyone). The man of the day had a good time though. Some of us debated 3am poker, but decided sleep was the wiser choice, what with the not wanting to drive the car into a wall the next day.

Sunday - Up 10ish, breakfast at the nearby chain restaurant, and on the road again. As is often the case, a much quieter return trip as we all just wanted to find a glass of water and a pillow. But no, 'twas Mother's Day, so once I got home, I turned around and went back out to see the woman who put up with me for a couple decades on a daily basis. Oh, and had more steak.

Poker was minimal - with some BR-friendly $6 Turbo SnGs... all lost, because I can't win a damned thing on Full Tilt anymore.

How was your weekend?

Now, the dipshits.


Her in Ontario, we have a few nuclear power plants. Pickering, Darlington, and The Bruce. They provide a large chunk of our power, and we're running short of electricity these days - especially in the summer when air conditioning kicks in. The current provincial government pledged to shut down all our coal plants. This means we need to replace that power. Wind power is not proving very feasible in the area (there's a couple test windmills around). Hydroelectric requires a lot of transmission infrastructure from Niagara Falls, or buying it from Quebec. Nuclear is one of the best options for power consumption.

Let's put aside a couple nuclear fears - reactors are not all Chernobyls. Modern reactors are safe and nearly impossible to melt down, even if you tried. Fissionable material is used more effectively now as well, reducing waste substantially from decades ago. Is it perfect? No, but it's not so terrible as people make it seem. If you disagree, that's fine. I'm not here to argue power generation. I'd love to see solar panels on everybody's roofs and tidal power in the lake, but those are local solutions, and don't take care of an entire province.

But one thing that bothers the hell out of me is people who pick a cause, drum up fear, and have absolutely NO fucking clue what they're talking about.

So enters 30km. I provide the link only so people can see the horseshit they're shovelling.

Essentially, the compare the Pickering plant to Chernobyl. It's the closest plant to a major metropolitan area in the world according to them. So, they claim that a Chernobyl-like incident could occur and wreak havoc from Oshawa to Yonge St. in Toronto, or a 30km radius. Lucky me, I'm just over 31km away, so I'll be fine.

Here's the thing - Chernobyl happened due to human stupidity. Specifically managerial stupidity. Essentially, "Let's see what happens in a worst case scenario with a live test!" This was compounded by panic and ignorance making the problem worse and eventually the meltdown. Toss in typical Soviet pride and secrecy and the fallout (apologies for the pun) was made worse.

The Pickering plant is a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TYPE OF REACTOR. CANDU reactors work on a different principal than Chernobyl did. Chernobyl also caused a worldwide restructuring of nuclear safety procedures to prevent idiot middle-managers from fucking things up. Any new reactors built would be even safer.

But these fear-mongers hide their green-power agenda under layers of panic-inducing phrases. "The nuclear industry said Chernobyl would never happen. It did." Followed by "Imagine if an accident occurred at Pickering." Give me a fucking break. Did you take "fear-sales 101"? Fuck off.

Or this doozy - "... in a post-Chernobyl, post-September 11th world..." oh please. Paging Mr. Giuliani, someone is stealing your schtick.

You want local power generation? Green alternatives? Efficiency? That's great. Go for it. Get every one of those ignorant fools you had walking around in gas masks and radiation suits (a good 1.2km away from the 30km border) to put up some solar panels and mini windmills and turn off their TVs instead of looking like uneducated sheep. Push a green agenda without turning to fear that can be easily debunked and by extension negate any other arguments you have.


Instant Tragedy said...

People can think whatever they want. Now if YOU BELIEVE THEM, then its your fault.

There are still people who think the moon landing was fake as well as the world being flat.

Don't tap the glass!


Anonymous said...

Wow, what a bunch of ass hats.

I personally would rather see the gov't change the building code and make all new homes use solar shingles. A long term plan should also be in place to cover all existing homes over the next 10 years or so. If every house was even 25% self sufficient it would greatly reduce the strain on the current system.

Bayne_S said...

As a granola eating Californian I must say I would prefer not to see a nuclear reactor anywhere near a fault.

Also since it is sunny here 9 months a year we probably should have solar roofs on all new construction.

My dad ran for County Commissioner of Wake County North Carolina in 1972. Duke Power was building a Nuclear Power plant in SW corner of county and it was a huge deal to people even back then that a scary nuclear plant would be so close to Raleigh.

Dad's take on it was of course nuclear power is safe there has been a nuclear reactor operating on NC State's campus 2 miles from capital building since 1956.

When I went to Georgia Tech it still had a Nuclear Reactor operating that powered part of campus that was shut down in the early 90s before Atlanta hosted the Olympics.

Would not be surprised If McGill had a reactor in Montreal or if there was a engineering school in Toronto if it once had reactor.