Dependable Erection

Monday, March 21, 2011

Why I love 1940s science fiction

Is this the best first line ever?


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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Parks and Rec

Seems to me that Durham's Parks and Rec Department has only themselves to blame for this clusterfuck. Years after presenting a master plan for OND park, with no intention of ever finding the finding for it, they encouraged a private/public partnership to take the initiative. Who could have foreseen that there might be competing interests when it comes to a neighborhood park?

Can't say our city council is covering itself in glory over this either. If citizens could work out every difference between competing interest groups, we wouldn't exactly need an elected leadership, would we?

Durham's a big enough city to have a parks master plan and the funding to implement it. flying by the seat of our pants may be the Durham tradition, but it doesn't bode well for a long marriage.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

20 Questions for nuclear power advocates

This'll be kind of a slow-motion game, since we're still pretty well preoccupied here at the Dependable Ranch.

Let's start.

1) Imagine President Obama sings an executive order tomorrow to close all coal, fuel, and natural gas fired electrical generating facilities by 31 December 2019. In order to replace that capacity, how many new nuclear plants need to be built? To simplify the solution, you may assume that demand remains constant over time, and that each new plant generates 1 gigawatt of electricity.

2) Given the need for large quantities of available cooling water, locate on a map of the US the most optimal placements for the number of plants you derived as an answer to question 1. To simplify the solution, you may assume that population centers are non-existent, and that geographical features are your sole consideration.

3) Once you have identified the best geographical locations in question 2, indicate which of these sites are publicly owned, and which are privately owned. Calculate the approximate cost of acquiring this land. You may assume that land which is already owned by power companies is free.

4) How many companies currently do business in the US with the expertise needed to construct a new nuclear powered facility?

5) Which of those companies is capable of constructing multiple facilities simultaneously?

6) Subtract the number of currently operating nuclear plants from the number you came up with in question one.

7) In order to meet the goal of building the number of new plants you arrived it in answer to question 6, how many plants need to be built simultaneously to complete construction by 331 December 2019? To simplify the exercise, you may assume that each plant can be constructed, from ground breaking to generating electricity, in 4 years.

8) Since the first US nuclear plants were built back in the 1950s, how many took 4 years or less to construct?

We'll play more later this week.


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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Claire Carley Doyle

Claire Carley Doyle

DURHAM -- Claire Carley Doyle, 90, died on Sunday, March 13 at Carillon Assisted Living of Hillsborough after several months of declining health.

She is survived by her daughters, Kerry Mirabella (Shoreham, NY) and Claire Doyle Ragin (Durham); and grandson, David King (Surfside Beach, SC).

Claire was born in Manhattan, but moved to Bay Shore, NY, on the south shore of Long Island when she was 2 years old.

She was captain of every women's sports team in Bay Shore High School.

In 1945, she married Frank X. Doyle upon his return from three years of service in Europe and North Africa during WWII.

They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary a few months prior to his death from cancer in 1996.

She loved him deeply, and was always proud of his career writing Archie Comics.

They moved to New Port Richey, Fla., in 1979, where she lived until 2006, playing golf several times a week.

She moved to Emerald Pond Retirement Home in Durham in 2006, where she stayed active playing bridge, mah jong and bingo, and volunteering in several capacities.

Memorial service will be held at Emerald Pond Retirement Home, 205 Emerald Pond Lane, Durham on Wednesday, March 16, at 10:30 a.m.

In lieu of donations, family requests you take a moment to connect with someone you love, make a phone call you've been putting off, or mend a fence.

Celebrate life by living it.

Read more: The Herald-Sun - Trusted & Essential


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