January 06, 2013


One of the Brickmuppets Crack Team of Science Babes has asked that we respond to mysterious commenter "JT" who seems to need information about Three Mile Island

Three Mile Island is a nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania that suffered a partial meltdown in one of its reactors in 1979 due to a confluence of failures, both human and mechanical.. Though widely touted as an unmitigated catastrophe, the areas radiation detectors detected very low levels of radiation released, about 1/1000th that needed to cause immediate heath effects. A subsequent Columbia university study was done in 1991 to measure long term effects. It measured the cancer frequency of the local population to the US as a whole over the 10 years since the accident and found a very small increase in some cancers (and a lower rate than the norm for Leukemia). Because the measured increases were so low (between 0.4 and 1.17%) and the distribution did not correlate to the actual contaminated area (as described by wind patterns and dosimeter reports) the Columbia study actually suggested that stress was as a possible cause of the increase...and with all the hype the people of the area had certainly been subjected to stress. A more recent study points out that the area along the Susquehanna river near Three Mile Island happens to have one of the highest radon levels in the USA. This might invalidate all attempts to tie cancers to the reactor accident. Not mentioned in either study is the likelihood that residents around Three Mile Island were screened for cancers at a higher rate than the average US population which likely further skewed the number of cancer discoveries and thus the overall numbers.

Thus it is pretty darned clear that, while initial concern regards the incident was good and proper the subsequent hype and hysteria was both irresponsible and grossly misleading. Furthermore, the effects of the breathless and sensational coverage included the virtual death of the nuclear plant construction in the USA, which was a far greater catastrophe for the nation than the accident itself.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 06:40 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
Post contains 345 words, total size 2 kb.

January 03, 2013

Because We Aim to Please:

Recently Pete Zaitcev won the "Why is the blog infested with Lamias?" contest and as a prize got to pick a post topic and chose to ask what my favorite manga is and why I like it better than others.

I must confess that I've been exceedingly busy and haven't read much manga at all for the last 18 or so months...with one exception.  While my to-read pile has gotten quite large, I've stuck with reading Yotsuba&! all that time.

Yotsuba; the titular character of this charming book, is a precocious child who has been adopted by her father from some far away place in the developing world. To her naive eyes everything in Japan from sunflowers to doorbells is fascinating and a potential springboard to adventure...or mischief.There is no real plot, though there is a bit of continuity.  The series consists of sketch comedy and is greatly assisted by Azuma Kiyohiko's outstanding comedic timing in the comic medium as well as his amazing ability to see the world with a child-like sense of wonder. This, the expressive art, memorable secondary characters and refreshing innocence make this outstanding series a rare gem. I highly recommend it to anyone.

However, EVERYONE likes Yotsuba&! (except bad people). I don't think I have ever seen a bad review. Furthermore, since I haven't been reading other manga for over a year I can't give the comparative review Pete asked for or the book deserves.

Finally, it is obvious from his request that Pete's request for a review was not at all what he really wanted, but a fallback position.

It seems that Pete is, in reality, uninterested in such refreshing innocence and actually wanted something entirely "other" but felt it was a bridge too far. Well we here at Brickmuppet Blog aim to please, so gird you loins as we cross that bridge...The Bridge Over the River Kowai.

Good people should not look below the fold, for that way lies depravity.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 08:37 PM | Comments (10) | Add Comment
Post contains 1552 words, total size 12 kb.

January 02, 2013

An Easy Peasy Contest

 As I type this I just got in from work and am checking my E-mail and noting something unexpected.


Some are just expressing curiosity and others are very deeply concerned about the reason that two of the recent posts included pictures of lamias. I thought this would be obvious to most of my readership.

So, to the first person to correctly guess from the context why there were pics of lamias in those two posts, I'll do one post on a topic of your choice.

Difficulty: Because I responded to one inquiry, you are disqualified from participating if your name ends in the suffix "duck".

Note: This picture is posted for reasons not directly related to the two others. It's here because I had to slog through a hell of a lot of Lamia pics to find a few worksafe ones (wtf!?) and because I just thought it was cute.

Doting lamia and daughter drawn by Nanashin (Link NSFW)

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 10:29 AM | Comments (11) | Add Comment
Post contains 164 words, total size 1 kb.

January 01, 2013

Isn't it Nice

...that we closed down Charleston, Staten Island and Roosevelt Roads so that we can have 9 carriers in one spot for an ice-cream social?

Norfolk 4 days ago...it's not much emptier now.

This is not going to be popular here in Virginia, but we REALLY need to disperse the fleet. Charleston, Pensacola, and for smaller ships Wilmington, need to be brought on line to spread out the targeting problem for potential enemies. As it stands now, even without someone sailing a nuke in a container into the harbor, a few mines secreted surreptitiously could cause major mayhem for the USN.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 08:25 PM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
Post contains 103 words, total size 1 kb.

So...This is 2013

Looks acary...and potentially monstrous.

Lamia (sans text) drawn by Karbo (nsfw)


Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 05:11 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
Post contains 282 words, total size 2 kb.

Perhaps an Even Weirder Chimera Than the One in the Last Post

It's a Smart Car...that someone is trying to enter into the Dakar Rally

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 02:10 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
Post contains 25 words, total size 1 kb.

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