My mom was worried when I was given a chemistry set.

August 4, 2011

Imagine how she would have felt if I had asked for a home nuclear reactor kit:

Swedish police have detained a 31-year-old man in Ängelholm in western Sweden who was discovered after he sought advice from authorities on the legality of building a nuclear reactor in a domestic kitchen.

Richard Handl began his experiment some six months ago and has reportedly been open about his plans to construct a nuclear reactor in his apartment in the small Swedish coastal town, maintaining a blog of his nuclear adventure.

Handl, who explained that his interest in nuclear physics was awakened as a teenager, ordered some radioactive material from overseas and acquired more by taking apart a domestic fire alarm.

Despite the Handl’s frank and full disclosure of his experiment, his activities only came to the attention of the authorities a couple of weeks ago when he contacted the Swedish Radiation Authority (Strålsäkerhetsmyndigheten) to inquire if it was legal to construct a nuclear reactor at home.

Handl was told that somebody would be sent to measure the levels of radiation in his flat.

That “somebody” turned out to be the police, who arrested him. Handl was later released, probably after having his Junior Nuclear Destructo Kit(tm) taken away and being told not to do that again.

Anyone else just a wee bit concerned that it was so easy to just order nuclear materials online?

I wonder if Amazon has free shipping?

via WUWT

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Debt deal could cut funds to ObamaCare

August 4, 2011

You see? I told you there were good points to this Satan Sandwich! It turns out that, if the forthcoming “super-committee” can’t find the required $1.2 trillion in cuts and sequestration (automatic cuts) takes place, ObamaCare is not immune:

“There are at least 15 provisions of the Obama health care law that will find themselves subject to this trigger if the committee is not able to come up with other cuts,” said Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.). “When I look at these, I think it gives a huge incentive to the Democrats to find cuts. What would be triggered if we can’t find other cuts would cut right into the Obama health care law.”

Senate Republican leadership aides identified the potential funding cuts shortly after the law passed and are talking with the Congressional Budget Office to determine what parts of the law would be subject to sequestration.

The fact that the programs are vulnerable at all means Obama and congressional Democrats did not succeed in their attempts to shield the health reform law from the debt-deal trigger.

Obama had resisted efforts by congressional Republicans to make the law’s individual mandate a part of the trigger during earlier debt-limit negotiations. But while the final deal doesn’t directly target the health care law, the cuts to specific programs could still happen because of the way the law is written.

The debt ceiling law exempts several programs for the poor and those with low incomes, as defined by the 2010 Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act, called PAYGO. That law exempts Medicaid, Social Security and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, among other programs.

But it doesn’t protect the health law’s provisions because the definitions became law a month before the health law was passed.

“If you’re not on the list, you wouldn’t be protected,” said Edwin Park, vice president for health policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

This is going to endear The One to his already-cranky progressive base even more. Darn.

Of course, what really needs to be done is the total repeal of ObamaCare for economic, health, and political reasons; it’s a threat to the nation’s fiscal health, the individual’s physical health, and the citizen’s liberty.

But, until there’s a Republican-controlled Congress and a Republican president in 2013 that will enact the “Repeal Every Dumb Idea of the Last Four Years Act,” we’ll have to make do with whatever monkey-wrenches we can throw into the statist works.

And smile when we get the other side to help throw them in.

via Lance Thompson

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Plant a garden, go to jail

August 4, 2011

Oh, the evil of people trying to be self-sufficient, and the obscenity of doing it in public — in front of the neighbors!!

Presenting Reason.TV‘s Nanny of the Month: Oak Park, Michigan, official Kevin Rulkowski, whose objection to Julie Bass’ front-yard garden might cost her 93 days in jail.

Now, I’m not wholly without sympathy for Mr. Rulkowski; I was taught in real estate classes that uniformity in look helps maintain house prices, and I’m sure many of us have had to suffer with neighbors who park junk vehicles on their front lawns or paint their houses garish, eye-hurting colors. (Such as the bright orange house with black trim near me.) So I can see some reason to sensible zoning regulations.

But a garden? Really? Jail time? Seriously??

Rulkowski should leave Ms. Bass and her garden alone and concentrate on a real problem — such as rogue lemonade stands.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)