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Messages - a10t2

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Ingredients / Re: Pale vs Pilsner
« on: March 19, 2011, 11:10:55 AM »
Pils malt tastes sweet to me, but a sort of grainy sweetness, as opposed to the bready grain character of something like Maris Otter or to a lesser extent domestic pale ale malts.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Lager Pitch Temperature
« on: March 19, 2011, 10:09:11 AM »
Never bought a Wyeast lager strain but please, please, tell me they don't also claim the lager smack-packs are "pitchable"

The text on all the yeast packs is exactly the same. They just stamp the strain and production date on them. It also says to pitch at 65-72°F, wait for bubbling, then lower it to fermentation temperature.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Counting Yeast Slurry with Hemacytometer
« on: March 19, 2011, 08:17:48 AM »
Are you sure you're using the correct multiplier for your hemocytometer? Mine is 50,000, for example.

Then again, for a count of 139 cells in a 10:1 dilution, you would have to have a very very thin slurry. That's roughly what I'm used to seeing for a 100:1 dilution, and the thinnest slurry I've ever measured was still >100 million/mL.

The Pub / Re: Japan quake
« on: March 18, 2011, 06:20:46 PM »
The scale is out of seven...right?

Right. I don't remember the wording off the top of my head, but a level 7 accident involves a large, uncontrolled release of radiation into the environment, multiple radiation deaths, and a long-term impact on the public. Chernobyl, essentially.

I am hoping you're right about the radiation deaths but then the concern becomes the after affects of all the exposure to radiation. (i.e. cancer, long term effects and the like).

As of now, they're enforcing a hard limit of 250 mSv for workers at the site, and requiring everyone to wear full-body protective gear. Between that, the overall low levels of radiation being released (or at least reported), and the fact that the prevailing winds are carrying it out to sea, I don't think it's inconceivable that there would be no long-term cancer deaths either. Of course, IAEA is saying there are now 300+ workers at the site, so if this gets bad it could get really bad.

The Pub / Re: Japan quake
« on: March 18, 2011, 03:18:18 PM »
On a scale for preparedness, one expert rated Japan an 8, and Haiti a 0.  He gave the US a 6.

Is that a national average? Because if so, it's pretty good. Being more or less on top of the New Madrid fault growing up, we had an earthquake plan. But I would assume that's not the case for 90% of Americans.

The Pub / Re: Do you know your State Capitals? - Friday Fun
« on: March 18, 2011, 10:17:09 AM »
That's two of five so far. (Honolulu is served by H1.)

The Pub / Re: Do you know your State Capitals? - Friday Fun
« on: March 18, 2011, 07:27:56 AM »
Ooh, right you are. I looked it up on an atlas during a long road trip several years ago, and I guess we either missed one then, or I've forgotten since.

The Pub / Re: Japan quake
« on: March 18, 2011, 07:25:32 AM »
I used to mine Uranium underground. I worked in quite a lot of radon, and had to be put on the surface a couple times to "cool" off.  What irks me is that we used RADs and now we are using a total different scale and that just keeps me learning I guess...

Yeah, I don't have much of an intuitive sense for sieverts either. Fortunately the conversion factor's easy: 1 Sv = 100 rem. AFAIK the industry in the US has gone metric on everything else, but for some reason we're stuck on rem.

I have immense respect for you guys who knowingly dosed yourselves day after day. I've had to take exactly one decon shower (my lab partner dropped a sealed source and it broke open) and even through my dosimeter only picked up 20-25 mrem it was absolutely terrifying.

Japan today raised the threat level for the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant from a 4 to 5 -- putting it on par with the 1979 crisis at Pennsylvania's Three Mile Island.

Which doesn't surprise me from all the reports that we've been getting.

Me neither. The problem with the INES scale is that it stipulates "at least one death" for a level 4 accident and "multiple deaths" for a level 5. So while the radiation releases from this accident are many orders of magnitude higher than at TMI, it doesn't really fit neatly into the criteria. They're being very conservative with both the public evacuations and the worker dosage limits, and at this point I'm optimistic that once it's all said and done there won't be any radiation deaths.

The Pub / Re: Do you know your State Capitals? - Friday Fun
« on: March 18, 2011, 07:12:09 AM »
I got 49, but it's my own fault - I was clicking through too quickly and missed Texas. :-\

Here's a fun trivia question: What are the four state capitals not served by an interstate highway?

Edit: Speeling...

The Pub / Re: Lunar Perigee
« on: March 17, 2011, 01:23:05 PM »
Sweet.  Maybe a10t2 can tell us why it looks bigger, and the vertical1 can tell us why the world might end. ;D ;)

I was going to, but now I think my feelings are too hurt. :'(

The Pub / Re: Japan quake
« on: March 17, 2011, 11:17:24 AM »
Ok Gurus, The fallout from the path of that plume is leaving a deposit of material on / thereby in the pacific. What is the effect of that, dead or sickly floura and fauna?

Probably not. The highest number I've seen reported is 400 mSv/hr, which by the time it's dispersed in the atmosphere isn't going to be enough to be noticeable. (To put things in perspective, 1 mSv is about the dose you'd get by eating 1,000 bananas.)

The Pub / Re: Japan quake
« on: March 17, 2011, 06:28:44 AM »
If radiation weighting factors for xray or gamma photons or electrons of any energy are 1 and alpha particles possess a factor of 20 why wouldn't it be preferable to be exposed by gamma rays?

Alphas are little trickier in that they are very high-energy, but also very massive. The median stopping distance for an alpha in air is about 20 cm IIRC. So the thing you have to remember with the quality factor tables is that they're for radiation that's already in the body. Alpha emitters that aren't ingested are essentially harmless; they have a quality factor of 0. And like I said earlier, most alpha emitters (and all the long-lived ones) are transuranics. There are chemical toxicities associated with them as well, and they don't play any role in any biological systems I'm aware of. So alpha exposure is only an issue with fallout - if there's radioactive dust in the air and you breathe it or it ends up on crops and you eat it, there could be major health issues. But even in a worst case scenario, Chernobyl-type release (which would be physically impossible in the Japanese BWRs anyway), all you have to do is wear a mask and rinse your food with water, and your alpha dosage drops to zero.

BTW, I forgot to post the link to the *only* news source I've been able to follow that has up-to-date, factual information specifically about the nuclear issues. It's the IAEA's facebook page: The times, they are a-changin'...

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Starter Questions
« on: March 17, 2011, 02:05:22 AM »
When propagating a blend, all the rules go out the window. So let's just ignore the Brett.

Assuming your pack is pretty fresh (85% viability), you could do a 1.5 L first stage, 2.3 L second stage. That gets you to your ~550 billion cells.

The Pub / Re: Japan quake
« on: March 17, 2011, 01:44:09 AM »
If im not mistaken the plants lost power and there was no other way to pump water to the cooling towers setting up a chain of events that either may or will lead to a full out meltdown.

That's not entirely correct. This was a triple failure. The earthquake severed the power lines operating the pumps, as a result of which the backup generators kicked on. Minutes later, the tsunami washed through and destroyed the backup generators. In the following days, with grid power still not available, hydrogen explosions and fires pretty much destroyed the rest of the plants' systems, and ensured that any containment measures taken would be irreversible. That's worth repeating: as soon as they had the opportunity to do so, the operator junked all four reactors, including the two that were apparently under control. None of them will ever operate again, and the capital cost alone of that will certainly exceed a billion US dollars.

All that aside, these reactors were designed to survive a 7-8 Richter earthquake (depending on whose scale, and whose reports you choose to believe). To anticipate the reactor cores surviving a magnitude 8.9 quake is like expecting a car that's certified safe in a head-on collision at 60 mph to also survive a collision at 118 mph. The fact that (apparently) only one of the four pressure vessels has suffered a breach is a testament to how over-engineered they are.

This is an accident of almost incomprehensible scope, for the nuclear industry, and a radiation release of unforgivable scale. That still doesn't make it dangerous. Why we play by different rules than other power plants, I don't know, but there you have it. Every story about this will use the word "Chernobyl", but the phrase "Deepwater Horizon" will fade from memory within a few years. I don't think there's anything funny about the situation. But I also won't stand silent in the face of that kind of hypocrisy.

If anyone has factual questions about nuclear power, or the dangers of radiation exposure, I'll answer them to the best of my abilities.

The Pub / Re: Japan quake
« on: March 16, 2011, 11:31:56 AM »
She's gone from suck... to blow!

Now that's just silly. I'm warning this thread not to get silly again.

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