Kk I just texted her, she said she wasn't allowed out the office today and the banks are shut when she finished, and I told her do it ASAP. should be sorted soon- otherwise I'll frogmarch her to a cashpoint next time I see her, then wire it to you. Wow I'm like a bailiff now :/
Yeah, but at least you had fun leading into that hangover. =^-^= It is probably related to the blow we're currently having that's dumping a couple inches of rain on us; wasn't exactly fun driving on the highways in it (and the half-flooded back roads were also quite fun). Though at least I probably don't need to hose out the space between my radiator and the grill of my car; it'd been encrusted with an inch of road salt, but with all the puddles I had to go through, I suspect most of it has been dissolved by now. ^^;;
1. Bills for the winter period are quite high (though not unreasonably so). 2. Second-most-recently-moved-in-housemate (who has been irritatingly officious about bills for all of the three whole months she's been here) declares it's ridiculous and she can't afford it and is moving out. 3. Makes no offer to find her own replacement. 4. We've had tons of people come to view the room, many seem highly interested, but are ultimately not when we decide they seem nice and get back to them. 5. Said housemate makes infuriating comments to the effect that it must be because the rent is too high for the small size of the room (it isn't, I checked Gumtree for this exact reason, and it's not like we could change it anyway), and that it should be the landlords' responsibility to find someone (it's in the contract that it's not unless we all move out, but even if one thinks that questionable she's not the one to talk). 6. Tenancy period starts on the 18th of each month. 7. It is now the 15th. 8. She said previously that she would stay until the end of the month if necessary, but told me today that she wouldn't and had even spoken to the landlords to that effect. 9. If we can't find somebody in time I will have to pay the rent difference entirely out of my own fucking pocket because nobody in the house can afford it and somehow I can.
I don't even own a car and this annoys me. Probably because it's the exact same thing that Utilities companies do.
Petrol prices set for record high, says AA
Petrol prices could hit a record high of £1.20 a litre in the next few weeks, according to the AA.
Increases in the wholesale price of petrol since January are to blame for the rise in forecourt prices, the motoring organisation said.
It urged the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, to postpone the introduction of a planned 3 pence rise in petrol duty due to come in on 1 April.
The AA said families now pay £52 a month more on petrol than a year ago.
The average petrol price is currently just over £1.15 a litre.
"The UK is barely out of recession, yet petrol prices threaten to rise to record prices seen during the boom of 2008 - shortly before the collapse into recession," said AA president Edmund King.
"If families, drivers on fixed incomes and those on low pay were unable to cope with record prices then, they are even less likely now."
The price of oil is a major determinant of the price of petrol, and yet the current oil price of about $80 a barrel is far below the $147 a barrel-high seen in the summer of 2008, the last time petrol prices neared £1.20 a litre.
This has led many to question why petrol costs so much right now.
Lindsay Hoyle, Labour MP on the Commons business committee, told the Daily Telegraph: "Crude oil has gone up this year, but nothing like the rise in petrol prices. Motorists are being legally mugged at the forecourt by petrol companies."
He called the current high price of petrol a "complete disgrace".
Analysts said increased refining costs and the weakening of sterling against the dollar - the currency in which oil is priced - helped to explain some of the increase in petrol prices.
The 'rise in wholesale prices' argument never holds any water because, as it points out, there's no real correlation between the two. The obvious reason being, THEY NEVER LOWER PRICES BACK DOWN, EVER.
Ugh. You can't shamelessly profiteer and then try to pretend that it's legitimate. It's utterly transparent and just makes your company look like even bigger pricks.
I hate how Climate Change Deniers are doing everything in their power to kill efforts to lessen pollution and carbon dioxide emissions, despite the fact that if we shift from an oil-based economy, we'll stop giving the Arabs all of our money, they won't have anything to give to their pet terrorists, and the world will be a safer place as a result. But nooo. Instead they have to claim there's a global conspiracy by a couple thousand scientists for a couple million dollars of grant money, rather than from a handful of oil execs and oil sheiks who make trillions of dollars of oil profits. *rolls eyes*
(For the record, I just want to get off of oil. And coal; the anti-nuke nuts fail to realize coal-burning throws out more radioactive elements than nuclear power does.)
I think you'll find it's not the radioactivity of a working nuclear power plant that's the concern. It's the radioactivity of one that breaks.
To quote a statistic:
The accident at Chernobyl is estimated by the IAEA to have released 25-50 million Curies of radiation, most of which on the first day. Meanwhile, the combined radioactive output of all coal-burning power stations worldwide during a 100 year period (from 1937 to 2040; future figures extrapolated from contemporary estimates) is a mere 2.7 million Curies.
The figures that talk of coal power stations producing as much as 100 times the radiation of nuclear power stations is of course referring to both types when working as intended. However, the values are realistically minute. It's akin to those health warnings that saying "eating bacon regularly will triple your risk of cancer", by which they mean it'll have increased from 0.0000001% to 0.0000003%.
I'm not say that nuclear power doesn't have its positive attributes over coal, but radioactivity really, really isn't one of them.
The Chernobyl plants were poorly designed. Next-generation plants (such as Pebble-bed reactors) are far safer. Another problem is, of course, the size; by creating smaller nuclear power plants, you have far less of a hazard if something goes wrong (and there is a company that has designed a plant that could power a medium-sized city, the components can be mass-produced (estimates are that the components for 50 plants could be built in a year and the power plant would take two years to build instead of seven), and it is far more difficult to weaponize the byproducts.
There is another nuclear power plant that is being designed right now which promises to eliminate 99% of the radiation; it's a hybrid fusion/fission plant that utilizes a limited fusion reaction to provide the neutrons needed to initiate the fission process among radioactive materials; there is no significant risk of meltdown since you just need to block the neutrons to stop the fission process, so you don't have enough radioactive materials to achieve critical mass. I think that this system is probably a good ten years away from being viable, but it would deal with nuclear waste and also provide a means of eliminating depleted uranium and other byproducts.
We'll know it's the future when we have flying cars!
This should probably be in the "Ask Tim" thread, but it's also on-topic here - can anyone recommend a book that explains nuclear power in layman's terms? I get the difference between fusion and fission, but I really know very little else.
The world's going to hell, we're all clapping along... - Rob Paravonian
Nuclear fission as taught by GCSE Physics class (which i have an A in but is probably over simplified and mostly wrong)
In nuclear fission, radioactive isotopes are unstable- that means that the number of neutrons, electrons and protons is out of balance and can't hold itself together- particles break off until it reaches a stable non-radioactive state. We can't accurately predict how long this process takes- which is where half-life comes in- The half life is the statistical amount of time in which *half* of any given amount will become stable, then it will take that time to decrease by a half again.
so if you have a tonne of radioactive waste with a 300 year half life, then in 300 years you'll have half a tonne, in 600 years you'll have quarter of a tonne etc etc...
So now the energy part. There are 3 basic types of radiation. Alpha radiation is protons or neutrons breaking off your source element. it has the most mass and therefore cause the most damage to stuff it touches(radiation burns). However it's easy to stop, something as simple as a thick piece of paper can block most of it. Beta radiation is Electrons breaking off the source. These have a negligably small mass so they do less damage, and can be stopped by a wall or a few meters of air. Gamma Radiation is a waveform rather than a particle. It causes less noticable damage because it has no mass, but it can interfere with living cells on a mollecular level causing them to malfunction causing mutations and tumours. This is the stuff you need 10 meters of lead to block.
A radioactive source can make the things around it radioactive by physically knocking bits off them at the atomic level making them unstable.
whilst all this fission is happening the energy that held the atom together is also released. This is what we use in the nuclear power plant. Radioactive rods are lowered into water, where the energy they give off is used to heat the water, driving turbines. They get very hot so if they are not kept in sufficient water they may go critical and go into meltdown(and explode, not v good.)
Don't ask me how bombs work because I rheaaally don't understand that bit.
Basically if enough of a radioactive material gets together in one place, it creates a "critical mass" where neutrons from one decaying atom of the material hits another atom, causing it to break and sending atoms to other atoms, causing them to break... and thus releasing a lot of energy. This actually can happen in nature, often when radioactive materials are dissolved in water and the water evaporates/is boiled off, though the chances of a natural reaction going to critical mass are very small.
Fusion is actually the opposite of this: two atoms are smacked together due to high speed/high temperatures, and sticking together. As helium is unstable without neutrons, normal hydrogen (that lacks neutrons) needs to undergo an added process where the electrons and protons are forced together to form a neutron (and releases energy), and those neutrons then smack into protons to help create a stable atom; other atoms can smack together to make even bigger atoms, which is pretty much what stars do in manufacturing all the matter that we are made out of; we're composed of the ashes of long-dead stars.
Uranium (and similar radioactive materials) are just the hyperactive children formed from a supernova (as stars are only able to build up to iron under normal fusion processes).
Okay, that all sounds familiar...GCSE physics flooding back ;D (Although further question - I'm reading Barefoot Gen at the moment, and the guy who wrote it said he was saved from radiation burns by the concrete wall of his school, while people around him but not in the shelter of the school were burned so badly that their skin melted. Was there so much alpha radiation from the bomb that even the small percentage that made it through the air from 1 kilometre above Hiroshima was enough to burn people? Or was it a different aspect of the bomb that caused the initial damage (as opposed to the later damage from cancer, radiation sickness and the rest?) )
The world's going to hell, we're all clapping along... - Rob Paravonian