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It’s Traditional

Flag of Guinea-Bissau

The BBC reports on the snap election to be held in the African nation of Guinea-Bissau.

As is apparently their custom, President João Bernardo Vieira had the head of the military, General Batista Tagme Na Wai, assassinated, and was then assassinated by annoyed members of the military.

The election should be in approximately 60 days.

March 2, 2009   4 Comments

Waiting For The Storm

It’s early Tuesday morning in Melbourne [it is 17 hours ahead me] and they are dreading the dawn: Victoria braces for wild dawn

Victorians are being urged to secure their homes ahead of strong northerly winds expected around dawn.

Around 5,000 firefighters are on high alert with the winds due to hit western Victoria, before extending across the state and reaching Melbourne.

The weather bureau’s Terry Ryan says wind gusts could top 100 kilometres per hour

“Those stronger winds will pick up in the Melbourne area about 6:00 am or 7:00 am, winds 60 to 80 kilometres per hour developing quite quickly, gusts possible to 100 [kph],” he said.

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March 2, 2009   13 Comments

Be Specific

Rook is right to be upset with Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen saying that Iran has enough “fissile material” to make a bomb – so does the state of New Mexico, and the country of Mexico. There are any number of countries in Africa who have enough uranium for hundreds of bombs.

This required a clarification to be issued: U.S.: Iran has material for nuclear bomb but still ‘not close’.

Iran has managed to refine the uranium ore to a 4% concentration. To actually make a weapon it has to be at a 90% concentration. Given how long it has taken them to get to 4%, and the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency says that they have hit a plateau in their refining process, it is highly unlikely that they will actually produce weapons-grade “fissile material” any time in the foreseeable future even if they are pursuing nuclear weapons.

The science of nuclear weapons is very simple, but the engineering is not. Two guys with buckets accidentally started a nuclear reaction in a fuel processing plant in Japan a few years ago. The fuel was in a liquid form and they put too much of it together because they weren’t using the proper equipment. They died.

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March 2, 2009   10 Comments

Programming Note

PSoTD has moved his archives to psotd.powerblogs.com.

Cup o’Joe has picked up the rights on the old PSoTD site.

March 2, 2009   2 Comments