Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check - Jun 28, 2011
June 28, 2011
Getting up to speed:
Two separate nuclear facilities in the United States are threatened by fire and flood.
In New Mexico, the Los Alamos National Laboratory (the "nation's nuclear weapons laboratory"), was evacuated yesterday due to a "fast-moving" wildfire that actually made it onto the property.
In Nebraska, rising floodwaters breached a protective berm surrounding the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant and the head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is headed to the facility.
At Los Alamos, special fire crews were dispatched to protect the lab, the state's governor, lab officials --everyone is assuring the public that "all radioactive and hazardous material is appropriately accounted for and protected" and that there is no danger to the public. Having said that, they still made the decision to evacuate the entire town of its 12-thousand people.
Meanwhile, a statement on the lab's website reads: "All laboratory facilities will be closed for all activities and nonessential employees are directed to remain off site."
Keep in mind that as of last night, the wildfire was zero percent contained.
In Nebraska, officials at the Fort Calhoun plant stress that "there is no danger to the public" and that the berm "wasn't critical to protecting the plant." Still, the flooding breach "allowed Missouri River flood waters to reach containment buildings and transformers and forcing the shutdown of electrical power."
The facility has been shut down for refueling since April. (Maiman)
Trash talk and satellite dish:
CAMERON DIAZ plays a horrific role model in "Bad Teacher," but has some serious opinions when it comes to public schooling. The A-lister tells AbsoluteNow.com she'd be great at teaching home economics thanks to her love of cooking and cleaning, but there's just no jobs in the field. Cammy thinks it's "all wrong" that public schools teach Algebra and eliminated classes that feature real-life skills.
Editor's note: Most people don't realize it, but we do use Algebra every day! Trying to figure out how much gas you ccan afford with the twenty bucks left in your account? Thank the dreaded A-word! But she does have a point --I have been a kitchen nerd since I popped out of the womb, but many of my friends have no clue how to cook and they're not alone. Think the rising diabetes rates have anything to do with our dependence on convenience foods? Anyone else believe it's flat-out dangerous that people don't have the skills to feed themselves in the richest country in the world?
Phone starter: What class would you make mandatory before graduating high school? (Lee)
MARIAH CAREY is keeping out of sight. One of her business partners tells Star magazine that she's just taking some private time with her newborn twins while hubby NICK CANNON is busy working and jetting home every chance he gets to be with his family.
Editor's note: as any new mom will tell you, you're not sleeping and have dark circles under your eyes because of it, your boobs and belly are sagging a bit and your skin and hair don't exactly look great thanks to all the hormones screaming out of your body. So, yeah, Mariah hasn't been seen since their birth because of "private time." My guess is she looks like poop and no makeup artist can hide 40 pounds from your face. (Myers)
Tampering with Mother Nature:
Yet another reason not to buy anything with BPA.
You've heard of BPA before. Its real name is Bisphenol A. It's a common chemical used in a ton of plastic products. But Agence France Presse reports that young male mice exposed to BPA act more like females and are less desirable mates as adults.
The exposed mice displayed less of an ability to navigate mazes safely, which is a skill only developed in male mice to begin with.
Female mice did not find the lack of skill cute. University of Missouri scientists found that female mice preferred the chemical-free mice by a factor of two to one.
Still, there's no scientific consensus on what risk BPA poses to human health.
Editor's Note: Like you won't think twice about that plastic water bottle from now on. (AB)
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