Tuesday, March 29, 2011


                                                                                         Where are you Kev?

Folks I'm really busy with work and prepping for a convention so no blogging right now. I will be back soon.

Saturday, March 26, 2011



Linda Stasi raves in the New York Post:

“The Kennedys” is the best miniseries you almost weren’t allowed to see.

And considering the size of the cable network ReelzChannel’s usual audience, chances are you may still not see it.

But the miniseries — starring Greg Kinnear as JFK, Barry Pepper as Bobby, Katie Holmes as Jacqueline and Tom Wilkinson as Joseph Sr. — is without a doubt one of the best, most riveting, historically accurate dramas about a time and place in American history that has ever been done for TV.

I'm really looking forward to watching this miniseries next week. It's going to be interesting to see what Joel Surnow came up with.

“The Kennedys” airs April 3rd on Reelz on DirecTV Channel 238

Friday, March 25, 2011


Over on Big Hollywood John Nolte has an amazing post on how Big Hollywood formed.

I knew of Andrew and had only met him very briefly once before but that day we talked for over two hours and if I were smarter, anything close to charismatic, and capable of being a visionary, it would’ve been like talking to myself. By that time I had already been trying to sound the alarm about what was happening in Hollywood for nearly three years. Certainly there were people who appreciated it, but 5,000 hits a day does not a movement make. But here was this guy on the other end of the phone speaking about it with more passion and insight than I had ever heard before: This is about America. This is about a blacklist. This is about a diversity of opinion at the pop culture table. This is about my kids. This is about truth, justice, and the American way. Out of anyone else’s mouth this would’ve sounded corny as hell, but from Andrew it sounded like The Ramones had entered the building.
If you are interested in how the "Big" sites formed in the beginning: This is a must read post. If you are interested in how a major internet platform launches: This is a must read post. Did I say it was a must read post? No. Well its a must read post.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Let me just state, in any television, whether it is anything, a first draft is a first draft. Every show goes through a minimum, a minimum of 15 drafts before it sees film. That was the case with us. You change scripts because you want to make them better, because of production, because of budgets, because of actors, schedules limitations, historical fact checking...Your first draft is just that, so it was really an unfair assessment and evaluation of our show to be talking about first drafts. That was sort of an unfortunate occurrence.

- Joel Surnow  producer  of the "The Kennedy's" miniseries
 in Variety.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Here we go again.

The National Weather Service on Wednesday issued a winter storm warning for Southern California, saying a series of storms will bear down beginning Wednesday afternoon.
Officials said showers should last through the evening and perhaps into early Thursday.
On Thursday, cloudy skies will give way to scattered showers in the afternoon. There is a 20% chance of rain Friday and Saturday.
The new storms come as California is recovering from record rains earlier this week.
All roads leading into Yosemite National Park are closed due to snow, ice, mudslides, fallen trees and downed power lines, according to Outposts, The Times' outdoors blog. The storm that moved through dumped more than 3-1/2 feet of snow during a 24-hour period in Yosemite Valley, Wawona and Crane Flat, and approximately nine inches in El Portal.
Meanwhile, officials were cleaning up new mudslides in Malibu overnight.
Officials also issued a snow warning, saying that moderate to locally heavy snowfalls were likely to hit Southern California mountains.
By Wednesday night, snow levels are expected to drop to about 3,500 feet, the Weather Service said. The most significant snowfalls will be Wednesday afternoon, with some areas receiving from 4 to 12 inches of new snow.

The last storm was quite powerful so it will be interesting to see how this one behaves.


The "no fly zone" gambit makes it mark. 

Oil rose to settle at its highest level since August 2008 on Wednesday after an airstrike near Libya's oil infrastructure raised more fears the OPEC nation's oil sector could become a target in embattled leader Muammar Gaddafi's efforts to hold power.
The earthquake in Japan put a temporary lull in the price spike but it appears that has now been priced in so to speak.

Brent crude settled 93 cents higher at $116.35 a barrel, the highest settlement since August 21, 2008, off the session high of $117.81. The Libyan crisis spurred Brent to a 2-1/2 year high near $120 a barrel on February 24.
U.S. crude futures settled at $102.23 a barrel, up $2.60, ending above $100 for the first time since September 2008. U.S. oil also found some support from U.S. Energy Information Administration data showing a drawdown in U.S. oil inventories.
Crude had pared gains in the morning after EIA data showed inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery point for the New York Mercantile Exchange's oil futures contract hit a record high.
Gas prices are going to continue to go up and we could easily see $5 USD regular gas during the summer driving season.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


CNN has posted video from the "We Heart Japan" event by Tommy Yune. You can watch the video below.


Monday, March 21, 2011


Here is the second trailer to the upcoming miniseries "The Kennedys" which will make its U.S. premiere April 3 on ReelzChannel.

Here is the trailer.

The Kennedys | Barry Pepper | Greg Kinnear | Katie Holmes | Tom Wilkinson | Movie Trailer | Review


Since the 1950's people have been told to fear radiation.  The mere mention of the word often makes people very uncomfortable. So when people hear the words radiation leak its quite natural for them to get concerned.  Well at work today Steve pointed this really cool chart out.

                                                                How much do you radiation do you get?

The chart is quite informative and puts into perceptive what type of doses people get. I personally like the dose you get by sleeping next to another person. 


From the Los Angeles Times.

Southern California was cleaning up Monday morning after a heavy storm that produced record rain totals in parts of the region.
Numerous roads remained closed Monday morning, including Interstate 5 through the Grapevine, due to snow, and Pacific Coast Highway at Point Mugu. A separate stretch of PCH in Malibu was reopened.
[Updated, 9:13 a.m.: All lanes along the Grapevine were reopened, and cars were being escorted by the California Highway Patrol.]
Topanga Canyon Road also was closed, as was Angeles Forest Highway (see full list of road closures in Los Angeles County here).
Some areas of L.A. County were hammered by the storm, including Van Nuys and Newhall, which recorded more than 6 inches of rain. Canoga Park recorded 4.7 inches; Beverly Hills, 4.1; and UCLA, 3.2.
Though the main rainstorm has moved on through the area, the National Weather Service said scattered showers were expected Monday, with another storm arriving Wednesday.

Snow accumulated on the Grapevine and in the Ventura County mountains, with as much as 27 inches at the Pine Mountain Club in Kern County and 19 1/2 inches in Lockwood Valley, according to Stuart Seto, a weather specialist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.
At the height of the storm Sunday, more than 90,000 Southland homes and businesses lost power. About 40,000 Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers had no electricity, and 49,808 Southern California Edison customers were without power, most of them outside Los Angeles and Orange counties.
At the Bank of Kev Compound in Ventura County there was over 3 inches of rain in a 24 hour period. On Sunday the 118 in Somis was flooded and they had to close the 101 Northbound at Las Posas Road in Camarillo for a few hours. There was also power outages all over the county (the compound never lost power) that closed numerous business.

I 've said this before: These pacific storms often have a energy to them and this one was a textbook example of what I'm talking about.  

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Tonight is the "We Heart Japan" fundraiser at Meltdown Comics. The Robotech Twitter News Feed will have live coverage throughout the event.


Steve Herman is tested for radiation contamination in Koriyama, Japan

Voice of America Northeast Asia Bureau Chief Steve Herman has a personal account of what it is like being 30 KM away from the Nuclear Emergency.  Here is an excerpt.

After spending nearly all of the past six days in the "hot zone" of Fukushima Prefecture, it seemed prudent, while reporting from a radiation screening checkpoint, to see how much clicking my own body would register.

Arriving at the Koriyama Municipal Gymnasium was akin to walking on to the set of a science-fiction movie. Men clad head to toe in white anti-contamination suits calmly guided visitors through the gauntlet. Other "space men" unloaded boxes full of white masks.

Japanese, young and old, expressed no emotion as a mysterious device rendered their radioactive fate.

When my turn came the needle began to jump as the man in the space suit scanned my torso. I knew not to become immediately alarmed. After all, with the jump in background radiation levels in the past few days in the prefecture, it was not surprising that I had absorbed some extra radiation.

I had done an online cram course in radiation to conclude that even if I had been quite close to the crippled nuclear facility (and I was at least 30 kilometers away at all times), I was unlikely to have picked up more radiation than I would absorb on a trans-Pacific flight - or, at the very worst, a chest X-ray.
It's worth the read! 


From Breitbart.TV


From the Wall Street Journal.

General Motors Co. says it suspended production at its Shreveport, La., plant for the week of March 21 because of a parts shortage stemming from last week’s earthquake in Japan. Damage to parts suppliers and transportation networks in Japan have brought that country’s auto industry to a halt.
GM, which builds Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickup trucks at the plant, says it currently has enough of the vehicles to meet consumer demand. But the Shreveport production stoppage could be one of many to come across the industry in the U.S. and elsewhere as car companies inevitably run short of certain components made in Japan.

Due to transportation and electrical supply disruptions the automobile manufacturing in Japan has come to a halt. While that shutdown has benefited some countries it also having a negative effect here in the U.S. as the article above explains.

Here is another example.

The disaster in Japan could slow shipments of popular cars like Toyota's Prius to auto lots. And many dealers are already taking advantage of expected shortages to raise prices.

Buyers will now typically have to pay sticker prices, instead of enjoying discounts that had been the norm for small cars and hybrids imported from Japan. Besides the Prius, models that suddenly cost more include Honda's Insight, Fit and CR-V; Toyota's Yaris; and several Acuras and Infinitis.
Small cars such as the Yaris, with a $12,955 sticker price for a base model, and the Honda Insight, priced at $18,200, are losing their typical discounts of 5 percent to 10 percent.
The price increases "will last weeks, if not months," says Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry trends and insights for TrueCar.com, a website that tracks what cars sell for at dealerships.
This should give you an idea of how far reaching the economic effects of the earthquake will be not on just the Japanese economy but of the world economy. When workers at manufacturing plants are idled unexpectedly the costs can be enormous.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


    'Out of control': This dramatic pictures shows radioactive steam pouring from the Fukushima   
    reactor   number three  after it was damaged in an explosion

    Destroyed: the four stricken reactors at Fukushima. Three were damaged in explosion while a fire  
    broke out at the fourth

    Destroyed: Damage after the earthquake and tsunami at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, 240 
    km  (150 miles) north of Tokyo, is seen in this satellite image taken 9:35 am local time


The Japanese earthquake has set off a free fall on world financial markets. From the Wall Street Journal.
Fears over Japan's nuclear crisis sent major U.S. stock indexes into negative territory for the year, as the barrage of negative headlines from the country continued.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 254 points, or 2.2%, to 11601 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 2.1% to 2612. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index fell 2.2% to 1253, with every sector losing ground.
As the crisis mounts, the U.S. Embassy warns American citizens living within 50 miles of a crippled Japanese nuclear plant to evacuate or seek shelter, while the U.S. nuclear chief recommended evacuating those living within a "much larger radius" than Japan's government has called for.
Traders said the market's jumpy reaction to officials' comments and warnings underlined the deep current of anxiety among investors.
"There's going to be constant commentary about precautionary measures--certainly they should not be a surprise to anybody, but the reaction you're seeing from the tape tells you people are going to err on the side of selling," said Pete McCorry, senior trader at Keefe Bruyette & Woods. "That's the sentiment we're going to have going forward because quite frankly, no one can tell us definitively when this is going to be over."
The afternoon losses compounded a late morning slide that followed remarks by the European Union's commissioner for energy, that one of Japan's nuclear plants is "effectively out of control," and that the situation could continue to deteriorate.
Neil Cauvto on Fox News just reported that all the gains from 2011 in the stock market are gone and now is running into the red for 2011.


The Earthquake and Nuclear Emergency in Japan appears to be freaking some people out here in California.

California Department of Public Health officials have opened a phone hot line to address concerns about local radiation exposure in the aftermath of a crisis at a Japanese nuclear power complex damaged in last week's earthquake and tsunami.
The action came as health officials seek to calm fears about potential fallout as Japanese nuclear experts struggle to contain the aftermath of fires, explosions and nuclear fuel-rod exposure at the six-reactor Fukushima power complex, about 150 miles north of Tokyo.
“What we’re being told is that there is no threat to California at this time,” said Mike Sicilia, a spokesman for the California Department of Public Health. “It’s a matter of distance. Dangerous radioactivity could not cross the 5,0000 miles of the Pacific without petering out.”

Federal officials said there was a remote risk of radiation affecting livestock and food, although they stressed they did not consider it a major concern.
Sicilia said his office’s radioactive health branch has physicists who routinely test the food supply monthly for any sign of contamination.

Anyone with concerns may contact the department's hotline in English and Spanish at (916) 341-3947. The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention in Atlanta also has made a line available to anyone with questions at (800) CDC-INFO.
As of Tuesday, the state hotline had received more than 120 calls, Sicilia said, mostly people afraid of radiation exposure, many trying to buy potassium iodide pills.

“That’s very concerning to us because you really should not take that without professional advice,” he said, or “unless you are within the zone of the nuclear event,” the 12-mile radius surrounding Fukushima that has already been evacuated.

Potassium iodide poses a risk to pregnant and nursing women, those with thyroid problems, allergies to iodine and shellfish, Sicilia said.
Taking iodine only protects the thyroid gland despite what some people think it is not a cure for radiation poisoning. Often panic is radiations worse symptom.   


                                                Passengers wait for flights at Narita airport.

Last night I saw a BBC report on how foreign companies are quietly evacuating their staffs from Japan due to the nuclear emergency. Today it appears that it is no longer a quiet evacuation.

The foreign bankers are leaving.

(Reuters) - Foreign bankers are fleeing Tokyo as Japan's nuclear crisis worsens, scrambling for commercial and charter flights out of the country and into other major cities in the region.
BNP Paribas <BNPP.PA>, Standard Chartered <STAN.L> and Morgan Stanley <MS.N> were among the banks whose staff have left since Friday's earthquake and tsunami, and now a nuclear plant disaster, according to industry sources with direct knowledge of the matter.
Expatriate staff at most foreign banks in Tokyo make up a small portion of the total, by some estimates less than 10 percent. But many are often in senior positions so their departure can have a significant impact.
And while Japan's investment banking market is famously tough, it's an essential place for large banks to be and can produce hefty fees.
"The foreign banker presence on the ground in Tokyo now is very thin and depending on how long it takes them to return there could be lasting implications of that," said one banker. "Every time there's a washout of foreigners in Japan they never quite return in the same numbers."
With bankers joining the growing exodus, private jet operators reported a surge in demand for evacuation flights which sent prices surging as much as a quarter. One jet operator said the cost of flying 14 people to Hong Kong from Tokyo was more than $160,000.
"I got a request yesterday to fly 14 people from Tokyo to Hong Kong, 5 hour 5 minutes trip. They did not care about price," said Jackie Wu, COO of Hong Kong Jet, a newly established private jet subsidiary of China's HNA Group.
While others try to find anyway to get out of the country.

Panicked passengers hoping to flee Japan waited for hours at the country's largest international airport today as concerns about radioactive fallout heightened.
The international and domestic terminals at Narita International Airport were crammed with passengers leaving the capital after a small spike in radiation levels were detected in Tokyo following a reactor fire that has raged for two days at a troubled nuclear plant 150 miles north of the city. Four of the plant's six reactors were damaged in last Friday's earthquake. People living in a 30 kilometer radius of the plant were evacuated, but those further away are no less nervous.
Germany's Lufthansa airline became the first major carrier to cancel flights to Narita International Airport, which services Tokyo, and will reroute all flights through Nagoya and Osaka, some 300 miles south of the capitol. Dutch carrier KLM followed.
Korean Airlines arranged special charter flights out of Narita to take Koreans out. The company offered discounted one-way tickets. Priority goes to Koreans living in Japan who are likely to be affected by the explosion.
"It was a spur of the moment decision," said Adam Lobel, an American expatriate who has lived in Japan for 11 years but decided to fly to New York today.
"It is a heart-wrenching decision, but the situation does not appear good," he said while standing in line with his wife to check in at Narita airport.
Lobel said he would "assess the situation" and planned to return next week if things had become more settled.
Lobel said he arrived at the airport five hours early anticipating long lines.


From the KyodoNews.jp

The Bank of Japan offered an additional 13.8 trillion yen (some $170 billion) to money markets on Wednesday, bringing to 55.6 trillion yen the total emergency funds made available by the central bank to protect the nation's banking system from the negative impact of Friday's massive earthquake.

The BOJ immediately injected 5 trillion yen into the markets, where financial institutions lend short-term money to each other, as its emergency operation entered a third day. The bank said it will provide another 8.8 trillion yen on Thursday and Friday against certain collateral.

The series of moves are designed to help banks and other institutions in quake-hit areas raise necessary funds.
The question people are asking in economic circles is if the BOJ and the Federal Reserve keep on doing these levels of Quantitative Easing is will it increase inflation and or what will it do to the USD / JPY exchange rate. (an important dynamic for both the anime industry in the U.S. and Japan)


Big breaking news out of Japan from Anime News Network

The official website of the Tokyo International Anime Fair (TAF) 2011 event confirmed on Wednesday that the event has been cancelled in the wake of the March 11 earthquake (Tōhoku Chihō Taiheiyō-oki Jishin) and tsunami. According to the announcement, the event's executive committee decided to cancel in consideration of the safety of the participants and attendees with uncertain power supplies and traffic accessibility. The event's staff apologized for the inconvenience caused by the decision. 
For those who have made travel plans to Tokyo for the TAF: 

The Los Angeles Times newspaper reports that many airlines are offering refunds or waived ticket change fees for those whose travel plans have already been disrupted by the earthquake, or those who planned to travel through March 18. 
With unstable power supplies, a nuclear emergency, frequent aftershocks and tens of thousands of people missing  the TAF organizers have made the right call.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Robotech.com has put an article of the Japanese earthquake. Here is an excerpt.

With a 9.0 earthquake, the worst in Japan's recorded history, a massive tsunami that wiped out whole towns and a nuclear emergency, Japan is suffering a massive crisis. Over 3000 confirmed dead, tens of thousands missing and hundreds of thousands currently displaced or evacuated. It's time for us to help out!

Fundraising charity auction in Hollywood THIS THURSDAY!
The Robotech.com article gives more information on the fundraiser that will take on Thursday.

This Thursday, March 17, 8PM to 11PM at Meltdown Comics in Hollywood, California, We Heart Japan will be holding a charity art auction, with 100% of all proceeds being transferred to the Japan NGO Earthquake Relief and Recovery Fund.

Voice actors that will be appearing to sign autographs include Richard Epcar (Robotech, Ghost in the Shell), Troy Baker (Generator Rex, Bleach), Wendee Lee (Cowboy Bebop, Haruhi Suzumiya, Bleach), Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (Naruto, Ghost in the Shell), Daran Norris (Team America, Fairly Odd Parents), Liam O’brien (Naruto, Dissidia 012: Final Fantasy, X-men: Destiny), Ellyn Stern (Blue Dragon, Bleach) with more to be announced on We Heart Japan's website.

Auction items for the event will include contributions from CruncyRoll, AM2, Geneon, Bandai, Cosplay In America and Harmony Gold as well as artwork from artists Sam Randazzo, Cathy Clark, Sawdust Bear, Jo Ann, David Merti, Pinguino Kolb, Olivia Scheibe, Zane DeGaine and many more.

The event will be hosted by voice actress Stephanie Sheh (Bleach, Haruhi Suzumiya, Naruto) and artist Pinguino Kolb, and is located at 7522 West Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, and will go from 8PM to 11PM.
The Robotech.com website has more information on the fundraiser and the status of Tatsunoko studios.  


From Kyodonews.jp
Tohoku Electric Power Co. said Tuesday that it will implement electricity rationing in northeastern Japan from Wednesday to grapple with power shortages in the wake of Friday's killer earthquake, a day after Tokyo Electric Power Co. took the unprecedented measure in areas near the capital.
With the rationing set to continue through the end of April in eastern Japan, and longer in northeastern Japan excluding the quake-hit areas, concerns are mounting over its impact on the Japanese economy and people's everyday lives through the suspension of factory operations and reduced train services.
Power rationing in Tokyo and nearby prefectures got into full swing on Tuesday, leading some restaurants to serve lukewarm dishes and some shoppers to find supermarkets closed. At the same time, Tokyo Electric, known as TEPCO, tried to address some of the confusion, such as that regarding train services, witnessed the day before.
 If factories cant figure out if they are going to have a consistent power supply its going to be real difficult for them to reach pre-quake production quotas. If they have to cut back on their output due to rolling blackouts  it will have cascading effect throughout the Japanese economy.



From the UK Guardian

News of a serious radiation leak at the Fukushima nuclear plant has sparked panic buying in Tokyo, as some residents started to leave the capital to escape potential contamination.
Several embassies advised their citizens to leave affected areas, including Tokyo, and some multinational companies either told staff to leave or were considering relocating outside the city.
As officials urged people living near the stricken plant to stay indoors, residents in the capital, 150 miles to the south, began preparing for the possibility of a similar lockdown.
Experts were keen to stress, however, that only "minute" levels of radiation had been detected in Tokyo.
Weather forecasters said winds near the atomic plant, which experienced a third explosion on Tuesday morning, were blowing in a south-westerly direction – towards Tokyo – but would move in a westerly direction later in the day.
People in the capital, home to 12 million, snapped up radios, torches, candles, fuel containers and sleeping bags, while for the fourth day there was a run on bread, canned goods, instant noodles, bottled water and other foodstuffs at supermarkets.
Retailers said the panic buying was reminiscent of the oil crisis in the 1970s.
The electronics firm Panasonic said it was increasing production of batteries, which were being bought in large quantities as far away as Hiroshima in the south-west.
Fears are rising that if the hoarding frenzy continues it will affect the ability to deliver emergency supplies to the disaster zone. "The situation is hysterical," said Tomonao Matsuo, a spokesman for the instant noodle maker Nissin Foods. "People feel safer just by buying Cup Noodles."
Foreign journalists covering the nuclear crisis, including reporters from the BBC and CNN, withdrew from the Fukushima area. On Monday, the German magazine Der Spiegel said its veteran war correspondent was being pulled out of Tokyo.
The fact that CNN, BBC and Der Spiegel are pulling their reporting out of  Fukushima area shows you how serious this has become.

Monday, March 14, 2011


From The Wall Street Journal

An early decline in Japanese shares picked up speed Tuesday afternoon, with the main index skidding 14.4% as the country's prime minister warned of a high risk of elevated levels of radiation from a reactor at the Fukushima nuclear-power plant after another explosion earlier in the day.

Bargain hunters were swept aside by the selling with the benchmark Nikkei Stock Average recently at 8257.56, its lowest level since April 2009 and at risk of further weakness as the Nikkei June futures contract continued to drop. The declines were exacerbated by news of a fire at Tokyo Electric Power's No. 4 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in northeastern Japan and reports that radiation has spiked near the No. 3 reactor. The market was quickly dropping toward key support at 8000 points.
"Substantial amounts of radiation are leaking in the area," Prime Minister Naoto Kan said on television. "We are making utmost efforts to prevent further explosions or the release of radioactive materials."
"All we can do now is just watch these developments at the nuclear power plants," said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities.
Selling turned indiscriminate with the market on course for its worst showing since Oct. 20, 1987, when it fell 14.9%. "It's panic-selling. It's not only foreign investors—everybody just wants to dump shares," said Retela Crea Securities general manager Yosuke Shimizu.
Futures trading will be suspended if the main contract falls to 7780 points; recently it was down 14% at 8160, having briefly fallen below 8000 for the first time since March 2009. The Osaka Securities Exchange triggered circuit breakers several times to temporarily halt trade.
 This is happening despite the 8 trillion yen the Bank of Japan  has pumped into the Japanese economy over the past 24 hours.


The situation at the  power plant has worsened. Steve Herman is reporting that the Nikkei stock index off 1250 points at the moment and Allahpundit from HotAir.com explains why
(I'm going to quote the entire post since it will give an idea how grave the situation has become.)

This was at reactor number two, where the fuel rods were completely above the water line inside the containment vessel earlier today for more than two hours. How come? Partly it was due to a malfunctioning valve, but according to WaPo, the explosion at reactor number three earlier today actually damaged four of the five water pumps that were being used to cool number two. It’s only the fifth that’s still being used to try to contain the heating.
According to the Times, this blast might have been “different.”
This explosion, reported to have occurred at 6:14 a.m., happened in the “pressure suppression room” in the cooling area of the reactor and inflicted some degree of damage on the pool of water used to cool the reactor, officials of Tokyo Electric Power said. But they did not say whether or not the incident had impacted the integrity of the steel containment structure that shields the nuclear fuel.
Radiation levels around plant spiked after the explosion to 8,217 microsieverts an hour from 1,941 about 40 minutes earlier, the company said. Some emergency workers there were evacuated, though the levels would have to rise far higher to pose an immediate threat to health, officials said…
In the predawn hours of Tuesday Tokyo Electric announced that workers had finally succeeded in opening a malfunctioning valve controlling the vents, reducing pressure in the container vessel. It then resumed flooding the reactor with water.
But the company said water levels were not immediately rising to the desired level, possibly because of a leak in the containment vessel.
The LA Times claims there’s no evidence of damage thus far to the containment vessel in number two, and Kyodo News says radiation reached 8,000 micro Sievert only “temporarily” — although, for reference purposes, that’s eight times the amount you’d normally be exposed to in a year. As for what a “suppression pool” is, you can see it in the second frame of WaPo’s illustration of a boiler-water reactor. It’s a donut-shaped structure that sits below the containment vessel and uses water to relieve pressure inside the reactor by condensing the steam produced. Any nuclear technicians out there willing and able to offer input on what a damaged suppression pool might mean? Would it reduce Japan’s ability to vent steam from the reactor, or are they already doing that through other means by now?

Update: If one of these reactors is destined to melt down, better that it be this one than reactor number three.
But the situation a reactor No. 3 was being closely watched for another reason. That reactor uses a special mix of nuclear fuel known as MOX fuel. MOX is considered contentious because it is made with reprocessed plutonium and uranium oxides. Any radioactive plume from that fuel would be more dangerous than ordinary nuclear fuel, experts say, because inhaling plutonium even in very small quantities is considered lethal.
Update: Abandon ship.
They initially suggested that the damage was limited and that emergency operations aimed at cooling the nuclear fuel at three stricken reactors with seawater would continue. But industry executives said that in fact the situation had spiraled out of control and that all plant workers needed to leave the plant to avoid excessive exposure to radioactive leaks.
If all workers do in fact leave the plant, the nuclear fuel in all three reactors is likely to melt down, which would lead to wholesale releases of radioactive material — by far the largest accident of its kind since the Chernobyl disaster 25 years ago…
“It’s way past Three Mile Island already,” said Frank von Hippel, a physicist and professor at Princeton. “The biggest risk now is that the core really melts down and you have a steam explosion.”
A Japanese cabinet minister confirms that part of the containment vessel itself in reactor number two has been damaged. Meanwhile, if you can believe it, a fourth reactor is now on fire and radiation levels have risen to the point where, in the vicinity of the plant, they’re actually a threat to human health. Which, of course, is another major problem since there are only so many workers with the know-how to perform the necessary tasks. Even if they’re willing to be rotated in or out, there may not be enough of them to safely staff the rotations.
And guess what? Even if a meltdown is averted — which now seems unlikely — the worst may be yet to come:
Even as workers race to prevent the radioactive cores of the damaged nuclear reactors in Japan from melting down, concerns are growing that nearby pools holding spent fuel rods could pose an even greater danger…
The threat is that the hot fuel will boil away the cooling water and catch fire, spreading radioactive materials far and wide in dangerous clouds
The pools are a worry at the stricken reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant because at least two of the three have lost their roofs in explosions, exposing the spent fuel pools to the atmosphere. By contrast, reactors have strong containment vessels that stand a better chance of bottling up radiation from a meltdown of the fuel in the reactor core.
It would take days or weeks for the spent rods to boil off so there’s time to deal with this problem if workers can get back into the plant. But if they can’t due to radioactivity — what then?
A nuclear engineer tells the Times that spent rods catching fire would actually be worse than a meltdown; a 1997 study says 138,000 “eventual deaths” could result within a 500-mile radius. If I’m understanding it correctly, it would be the equivalent of a giant dirty bomb going off.
Update: Looks like the fire has taken its toll on reactor number four. Kyodo News:
BREAKING NEWS: Hydrogen explosion occurs at Fukushima No. 4 reactor (11:53)
Update: A shred of good news: The fire at reactor number four is out. Why it’s out is a mystery, though. Are there still workers on the scene fighting it, or did it burn itself out? Or did the explosion somehow extinguish it?


                                    A satellite view of the  Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant

From the Daily Mail.

The Japanese nuclear reactor hit by the tsunami went into 'meltdown' today, as officials admitted that fuel rods appear to be melting inside three damaged reactors. 
There is a risk that molten nuclear fuel can melt through the reactor's safety barriers and cause a serious radiation leak. 

There have already been explosions inside two over-heating reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, and the fuel rods inside a third were partially exposed as engineers desperately fight to keep them cool after the tsunami knocked out systems.
Japanese chief cabinet secretary Yukio Edano said it was 'highly likely' that the fuel rods inside all three stricken reactors are melting.
Some experts class that a partial meltdown of the reactor, but others would only use that term for when molten nuclear fuel melts through a reactor's inner chamber - but not through the outer containment shell.  
As fuel rods melt, they form an extremely hot molten pool at the bottom of the reactor that can melt through even the toughest of containment barriers.

Japan is fighting to avoid a nuclear catastrophe after the tsunami. There was a hydrogen explosion at the reactor in Unit Three of the power station earlier today, in which eleven workers were hurt by the blast that was felt 25 miles away.
It's important to remember that the United States already experienced a nuclear meltdown at Three Mile Island in 1979. Yes the reactor did meltdown as this video discusses. (The part about how the reactor actually melted down begins at 3:40)

It was a core meltdown (about 50%) but it was not the China Syndrome where the molten core breaks through the containment vessel.

We are all just going to have to watch, wait and see.

Sunday, March 13, 2011



Very disturbing news from Japan.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said a meltdown is possible at its Fukushima Dai-Ichi No. 3 reactor where a hydrogen explosion occurred, injuring six workers.
A meltdown may occur should the reactor’s fuel rods remain exposed, Managing Director Akio Komori said at a press briefing in Tokyo today. The vessel containing the reactor’s radioactive core is intact after the blast at 11:01 a.m. local time, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said earlier.
The possibility of a large radiation leak is very small, even as radiation levels at the reactor are rising, Edano, the government’s main spokesman, said at a press conference. Tokyo Electric said six workers were injured at the station 220 kilometers (135 miles) north of the Japanese capital. These included four company employees and two contract workers.
The blast follows a similar explosion on March 12 after a hydrogen leak at the station’s No. 1 reactor, in which the walls of the reactor building were destroyed, and four workers were injured. No damage was reported to the container of the No. 1 plant, according to Tokyo Electric.
 Asia’s largest utility is seeking to avoid a meltdown of at least two reactors at the nuclear power station by flooding them with water and boric acid to eliminate the potential for a catastrophic release of radiation into the atmosphere. The station lost power to keep the reactor core cool after the March 11 earthquake, the largest ever recorded in Japan.

Folks Hydrogen explosions at nuclear power plants are NOT good things. This one appears more powerful than the last one also. We should be VERY concerned at what is going on at this plant. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011


 This story from the Daily Mail should give you an idea of the loss of life that has occurred.

Just 48 hours ago, it was a picturesque fishing town where tourists flocked to enjoy the coastal air and natural hot springs. But this horrifying picture shows all that remains of Minami Sanriku after it was destroyed by the tsunami that has wreaked devastation across Japan.
Last night, the official death toll from Friday’s 8.9 magnitude earthquake and ensuing tidal wave stood at 1,700 people – although it is feared the final total could rise sharply once a full picture of the catastrophe emerges. 

In Minami Sanriku alone, 10,000 people could have died – more than half of the city’s population.

It only took a few minutes for the 30ft wave to wash the town away with terrifying force. The locals desperately tried to escape to higher ground. But most did not stand a chance.
It is hard to imagine any life remains among the debris. Where last week fishing boats bobbed in the harbour, it is now impossible to tell where the sea begins and the land ends. 

One of the few buildings left standing is the town’s Shizugawa Hospital – the large white building to the centre left of this picture. But the rest of what was once the town centre is flooded with filthy sea water.
Other structures lie battered and smashed in piles of broken wood and twisted metal, but most are now little more than debris.
Just visible through the murky waters towards the bottom left of the photograph are the painted stripes of a zebra crossing.

There are vague remnants of roads and the occasional outline of a flooded car, and it is just possible to see the half-submerged outline of the town’s athletics track towards the top left of the picture.
Minami Sanriku lies about 55 miles west of the earthquake’s epicentre and directly in the path of the subsequent tsunami.
And in Fukushima, thousands of people were forced to flee the vicinity of an earthquake-crippled Japanese nuclear plant after a radiation leak and authorities faced a fresh threat with the failure of the cooling system in a second reactor.
It's going to take weeks for anyone to begin to grasp the extent of the devastation. 



Here is video of the explosion (it happens about 50 seconds in)

The question that everyone asking is if the plant is melting down.

It depends on who you ask:

A powerful explosion has hit a nuclear power station in north-eastern Japan which was badly damaged in Friday's devastating earthquake and tsunami.
A building housing a reactor was destroyed, but the authorities said the reactor itself was intact inside its steel container.
The Japanese government has sought to play down fears of a meltdown at the Fukushima plant.
It says radiation levels around the stricken plant have now fallen.
A huge rescue and relief operation is under way in the region after the earthquake and subsequent tsunami, which are thought to have killed more than 1,000 people.
Tokyo Electric Power said four of its workers had been injured in Saturday's blast at Fukushima, 250km (155 miles) north of Tokyo, but that their injuries were not life-threatening.
An evacuation zone around the damaged nuclear plant has been extended to 20km (12.4 miles) from 10km, and a state of emergency declared.

The doomsday take from Stratfor.com

And so now the question is simple: Did the floor of the containment vessel crack? If not, the situation can still be salvaged by somehow re-containing the nuclear core. But if the floor has cracked, it is highly likely that the melting fuel will burn through the floor of the containment system and enter the ground. This has never happened before but has always been the nightmare scenario for a nuclear power event — in this scenario, containment goes from being merely dangerous, time consuming and expensive to nearly impossible.

Read more: Red Alert: Nuclear Meltdown at Quake-Damaged Japanese Plant | STRATFOR

Or an alternate take via HotAir.com.

Rod Adams, an activist who supports nuclear energy and a former operator at a light-water nuclear plant, also argues that the fears here are way overblown:
At [Three Mile Island], the widely predicted and discussed “China Syndrome” did not happen, even though 20-30% of the core melted and slumped to the bottom of the pressure vessel. That melted corium froze again once it contacted the thick metal walls – the maximum measured penetration was just 5/8ths of an inch. Anyone who has ever watched as welder employs a torch to cut through a thick steel wall will understand just how much concentrated power it takes to melt several inches of steel. Avoiding the China Syndrome was not a matter of luck – the scenario is imaginary and only works in fiction. Physics and material science make it impossible….
Radiation levels inside the containment will be many times higher than usual, but that is okay because no one needs routine access inside containment buildings and no humans will be over exposed. The containment walls, reactor coolant piping, and other equipment inside the containment building will condense and capture much of the radioactive materials that are entrained in the water. Other than those vented noble gases mentioned above, essentially nothing will be released to the environment.

[3:37 p.m. ET, 5:37 a.m. Tokyo] Japanese authorities have informed the International Atomic Energy Agency that the explosion at Unit 1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant occurred outside the primary containment vessel, not inside, the agency said Saturday. The plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), has confirmed that the integrity of the primary containment vessel remains intact.
As a countermeasure to limit damage to the reactor core, TEPCO proposed that sea water mixed with boron be injected into the primary containment vessel. This measure was approved by Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency and the injection procedure began at 8:20 p.m. local Japan time, the agency said,

Friday, March 11, 2011


First you must listen to the sound.

Then you must watch the buildings sway...


Witness the water rush in...

Heed the warnings you are given...


Fox News just reported that oil prices have fallen due to the Japanese Earthquake and the lack of major protests in Saudi Arabia. Here is the report.

Japan's massive earthquake and devastating tsunami slammed risk assets across the world on Friday, but the still unknown damage to the world's third-largest economy later drove some markets higher.
Oil prices slid more than $3 a barrel at one point and equity markets initially sold off as investors tried to assess the impact after Japan's biggest earthquake on record hit the country's northeast, leaving at least 1,000 dead. For details see [ID:nL3E7EB239].
The quake, the most powerful since Japan started keeping records 140 years ago, sparked at least 80 fires in coastal cities and towns, Kyodo said. Japanese nuclear power plants and oil refineries were shut and one refinery was ablaze.
But some U.S. markets rose late in the session, with gold rising after the dollar weakened against the euro and U.S. stocks posted clear gains. Copper steadied by the close, recovering from an earlier three-month low, as investors reassessed the likely fallout.
The magnitude 8.9 quake may prompt insurance firms to sell assets to pay claims for damages, and bond investors were watching to see if insurers dispose of U.S. government debt to raise cash.
With nearly the entire Japanese economy grinding to a halt from the earthquake for the short term future and no protests in Saudi Arabia have put downward pressure on oil prices. 



With a major earthquake hitting the Japanese islands and a tsunami's causing catastrophic damage to the coastal areas here is your link list to follow.

Fires, landslides...
Cars, ships, buildings swept away...
4 million without electricity in Toyko...
Nuclear plants shut down...
33FT WAVE...

US widens warning to most of Pacific...

This is all on top of major demonstrations planned across Saudi Arabia today. The earthquake in Japan alone is enough to set off a panic on world financial  markets but if you add unrest in Saudi Arabia all bets are off.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


A catastrophe of biblical proportions has hit Japan.

Fires, landslides...
Cars, ships, buildings swept away...
4 million without electricity in Toyko...
Nuclear plants shut down...

NHK live feed.  

Live video by Ustream  

CNN via NHK is reporting that fires have broken out in Tokyo.Bullet trains have stopped.

JMA: 10-meter tsunami at Sendai port. Airport flooded.
Video of the tidal wave hitting Japan


Folks this weekend could have some major international news breaking. So I give you a cat video to calm your rattled nerves.


Yes folks it has, were doomed, doomed I tells ya!

The Soggies have finally won: Cap'n Crunch is quietly sailing into retirement.
Long derided by health experts for its high sugar content – a single serving contains 12 grams – the cereal is no longer being actively marketed by Quaker, DailyFinance reports. It appears parent company PepsiCo is forcing the good Cap'n to walk the plank.
Cap'n Crunch was once the No. 1 breakfast cereal, but pressure from the White House and health activists is having an effect on how PepsiCo and other food companies peddle their products to kids. Sales of the cereal were down 6.8 percent in 2010.
Well all wish Cap'n Crunch has a long enjoyable retirement. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


                                                                                Where are you Kev?

Hi everyone! Sorry for the lack of blogging, I've been busy with work, A-list power events and world domination schemes for the future. I hope to be back blogging like normal on Thursday or Friday.

Thanks for your understanding.

Friday, March 4, 2011


From BigPeace.com's  brilliant Peter Schweizer

This is not 1989 when the Berlin Wall came down and democracy sprouted in Central Europe.  North Africa and the Middle East are facing convulsions and it is more likely that perpetual conflict and civil war will be the future rather than stable democracies.  As Professor Niall Ferguson points out,  countries like Libya and Egypt have more in common with Pakistan than Poland.  The populations are highly illiterate and there is sectarian conflict.   This has been the pattern of history in the region from the beginning.  Dictators arose in the Middle East and were embraced by elements of the population because they brought relative stability to the country.

Ferguson is highly pessimistic about what we are witnessing,  and believes that $200 barrel oil is around the corner.  I fear he might be correct. 
Go read the whole thing. You should also make sure BigPeace.com is one the websites you visit every day to keep abreast on what is going on in world.