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The race is on!

The arms race during the Cold War featured the US and Soviet Union competing against one another to have a greater military force.  It looks like another arms race, except on a much more relaxing level, is on again.  The Los Alamos National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory are competing to see which lab will be able to construct the first new nuclear bomb made in the United States in two decades.  In 2005, the "reliable replacement warhead" program was started to try and replace aging, unreliable bombs.  The new nuclear bomb has been under development for around a year in both labs. 

The designs from both labs must have the same explosive power as existing warheads in the US arsenal.  One of the goals of the contest is to have a new weapon that will not be as likely to accidentally detonate and one that will be much more secure than the weapons the US currently possesses.  Each laboratory's plans will be presented to the Nuclear Weapons Council with the council choosing a winner before 2007.

Interestingly enough, LANL also recently put out an announcement that the national laboratory is accepting proposals for the fastest supercomputer in the world, capable of operating at one petaflop -- significantly more than even the fastest supercomputers are capable of today.


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Business as usual
By Ringold on 6/14/2006 4:41:46 PM , Rating: 2
A few blue-teamers line up with comments that can be generalized as "Can't we at least shake hands before readying the nukes? and "Instead of shoring up a nuclear program that can already wipe out the world several times over and insure that roachs really do inherit the Earth, we could send a million engineers to college on a free ride.."

A few red-teamers line up with "We've got to be absolutely sure we can nuke straight to hell every square inch of the Middle East and East Asia five times over, just in case terrorists manage to sneak in to 4/5 our silo's and all our 'boomer' submarines" and "global warming? Damn god-hating liberals, what next, thinking we all come from monkeys?!"

Meanwhile, absolutely no decent agenda gets moved forward and corruption floods both parties behind the scenes since nobody can get truly motivated over anything at all (except banning gay marriage?).

I personally lose no sleep over China having a handfull of nukes, or North Korea which I wouldn't be surprised if they had one or two already. Even Iran, because at the end of the day when you look past all the bitching going both ways, they aren't stupid, they know they could take out London but before their missiles had even left their airspace a thousand more would be heading towards them. It's a non-issue, created to "stir the" red "base" and further annoy the "blue base".

On global warming, if avgas wasn't so expensive (well its not but the rental places charge like it is), I'd be happy to take anyone flying over central Florida and point out any number of things from Vero Beach to Cross City that have over just the past few years gone from bad to absolutely crappy. Global warming is subtle its feedback just begets more rapid warming. Taking down half the state's wetlands for the sake of single family homes and pavement instead of a few square acres for high-rise condo's.. Blue or red, I think you'd have to be retarded not to see the effects. It's all the more clear from the sky because it removes the idea that cities are just isolated "heat islands" as some Republican scientists try to call them. Look to the West and you see Tampa's skyline and the Gulf, look to the East and you see Cocoa and Kennedy's Assembly Building, with ribbons of roads cities and almost nonstop housing inbetween.. getting worse every year. Where do republicans think clean water comes from, does concrete filter it? Clean air? Anything else?

This threads progressed just like any other. Polarization, no consensus, and the quotation of "scientists" paid or motivated to put out either very alarmist or very comforting studies. Nevermind that "most" accept global warming as fact (where the debate is how fast and how bad).. it's just like ID nuts finding that one of a million biologist that thinks God snapped his fingers and here we all were.




RE: Business as usual
By ss284 on 6/14/2006 4:59:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I personally lose no sleep over China having a handfull of nukes, or North Korea which I wouldn't be surprised if they had one or two already. Even Iran, because at the end of the day when you look past all the bitching going both ways, they aren't stupid, they know they could take out London but before their missiles had even left their airspace a thousand more would be heading towards them. It's a non-issue, created to "stir the" red "base" and further annoy the "blue base".
quote:


You totally ignore the insane leverage nuclear power gives to any country that possesses them. If North Korea begins a ground invasion of South Korea, what is your supposed plan of attack? Before, it would be trade sanctions, UN intervention then a ground based war until China complained. With nuclear weapons, a ground war between the US and NK will risk nuclear weapons usage.


RE: Business as usual
By masher2 (blog) on 6/14/2006 5:48:15 PM , Rating: 1
> "I personally lose no sleep over China having a handfull of nukes, or North Korea..."

No, you leave that job to others...and you'll be first in line screaming for their heads when those nukes are finally used. How utterly predictable.

Note I say "when", not if. It may not be China, or North Korea...but some nation, somewhere, will eventually launch a nuclear attack on the US. That much should be obvious from history. It may be five years or five hundred...but it will happen. You can't close Pandora's box.

> "Taking down half the state's wetlands for the sake of single family homes..."

This is something that really pushes my buttons. 150 years ago, nearly the entire state of Florida was a vast disease-ridden swamp, totally unfit for human habitation. Malaria-- virtually unheard of in the nation today-- was widespread and lethal to the state's miniscule population. This was all changed by one of the grandest and most succesful civil engineering projects in US history. The state-- which in 1860 contained nothing but a few small towns, became one of the fastest-growing states in the nation, with a thriving, booming economy. Malaria was wiped out, along with a dozen other tropical diseases.

Now, driven by the soft-headed group of environmentalists, the state is busily engaged in reversing much of those results. Yes, hard as it is to believe, Florida is actively converting millions of acres of useful land into unproductive, dangerous swamplands. And spending tens of billions of dollars of state and federal tax money to do so. All under the misguided notion that this "natural" state is more preferable.

Truth is stranger than fiction.


RE: Business as usual
By masher2 (blog) on 6/14/2006 5:49:57 PM , Rating: 2
> "Nevermind that "most" accept global warming as fact (where the debate is how fast and how bad).."

Actually, the largest debate is centered around "how much, if any, is caused by humans" and "will it continue or will cooling set in naturally".


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