18 Photos Fukushima turns to robots to fix the future Sci-Tech Bottle o’ rads? James Smith The nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl remains the worst nuclear accident in human history, leaving a 1,000 square mile region of the Ukraine uninhabitable since 1986. While some have continued to live there and tourists flock to the radioactive zone in droves (thanks to HBO’s fantastic series), the surrounding areas have been reclaimed by nature. Now, the BBC reports, a team of scientists have produced the first consumer product out of the exclusion zone since the nuclear disaster: An artisan vodka dubbed “Atomik”.The Chernobyl Spirit Company, has brewed up the vodka from “slightly contaminated” rye grain they planted within the exclusion zone. While many traditionally think of vodka as produced from potatoes, these days most vodka is made from grains such as wheat and rye. The one, the only (literally!) bottle of Atomik. Distilled in Chernobyl. James Smith James Smith, an environmental scientist from the University of Portsmouth, is part of the team at Chernobyl Spirit Company and has published numerous studies discussing the effects of radioactive pollutants, with a focus on accidental releases. He’s studied Chernobyl since 1990 and spent time working in Belarus, the Ukraine and Russia. “Our Atomik grain spirit came from an experiment we were doing to see how much radioactivity transferred into different crops in the Exclusion Zone 30 years after the accident,” he says, via email.The experimental plot where the grain was grown is situated about 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) from the Chernobyl reactor. Part of the process also involved using water from Chernobyl’s aquifer, lying about 10 kilometers (6 miles) south of the site of the disaster. The aquifer has been shown to contain traces of radioactivity in the past.”We had the Atomik grain spirit idea as a way to firstly (hopefully) make people think more deeply about the recovery of the Chernobyl affected areas and a way (also hopefully!) to make money to help support the affected communities.”Smith has released a technical report of the creation process on ResearchGate. Part of the report discusses risks associated with the production of the vodka which he says it’s completely safe.”We had to do a risk assessment, but radioactive safety isn’t really a problem,” Smith says. “The beauty of distillation is that it takes nearly all the radioactivity out (except for natural C-14) so we hope people will be happy to drink Atomik.”However, there is one little problem. Anyone wanting to taste the nuclear nectar will have to wait because there is currently only a single bottle of the stuff in existence. Now, I know the internet will be clamoring for a taste, because humans have proven to be incredibly interested in seemingly forbidden liquids. I remember when some suggested we should drink the fluid from an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus that was discovered in 2018. I know you want to taste the not-so-radioactive drop, but you’ll have to wait.The team plan to manufacture more Atomik before the end of the year, with the aim of making a profit they can then give back to the local communities that surround the abandoned exclusion zone. To really ramp up production, the team will need to get the go-ahead from the State Agency of Ukraine for Exclusion Zone Management and from Ukrainian authorities to produce alcohol, Smith says.”Unfortunately this will be slow — we hope to begin only very small scale experimental production this year,” he notes, explaining the Chernobyl Spirit Company is “not taking orders yet.”When they do, we’ll raise a glass. Tags 2 Share your voice Originally posted 10:55 p.m. PTUpdated Aug. 8: Adds additional comments from Smith and links to Spirit Company Comments
Listen Cindy Ord/Getty ImagesJonathan Demme speaks with an interviewer at a 25th anniversary showing of The Silence of the Lambs at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City last yearFor more than four decades, Jonathan Demme threaded a diverse path through the film industry — beginning as a publicist, filming everything from documentaries to comedic sendups, and finally earning the status of Oscar-winning elder statesman. He was 73.The director died Wednesday in Manhattan from complications of esophageal cancer, his publicist, 42 West, confirmed the death to NPR.Demme made films such as The Silence of the Lambs and Stop Making Sense that have helped define their respective genres.Despite his lengthy list of works — which also includes Philadelphia — Demme never set out to become a director. Far from it, in fact: He wanted to be a veterinarian. But, as he told NPR in 2007, that goal ran into trouble when he flunked out of college chemistry pretty much immediately.After a semester of writing movie reviews for his campus newspaper, he left college for a publicity job with B-movie master Roger Corman.“I met Roger Corman, who said, ‘Well, you can write press releases? I’m starting a new company. I need movies. Can you write a screenplay?’ ” Demme recalled in the interview.“I was about 25 years old at the time and I said, I would love to try that. I had had no aspirations to be a filmmaker or a writer. Until then, I was thrilled to be working in the movie business as a publicist. I would have been perfectly happy to do that forever.”But Corman loved Demme’s screenplays and eventually recommended that he get behind the camera, too. As a director getting his start in the early 1970s, Demme infused his first films with Corman’s over-the-top sensibilities, but as he set out on his own later in the decade, he began to find a more distinctive eye — hewing closer to intimate character study.In the 1980s, Demme dabbled in a variety of forms, making a mark in documentary filmmaking — particularly with Stop Making Sense, a seminal 1984 concert film for the Talking Heads — and in comedy with films such as Something Wild and the gangster spoof Married to the Mob.“I’ve always followed my enthusiasm,” Demme said of the variety in his career. “Whether the pictures have turned out good or not is one thing — but I’ve always had a lot of enthusiasm for the project at hand.”It was a pair of prestige dramas that brought Demme his greatest recognition — starting with The Silence of the Lambs, a horror film that swept the 1992 Academy Awards and earned Demme the Oscars for best director and best picture.The movie was also a hit at the box office, which, as Demme told Rolling Stone in 1994, came as a significant relief.“At certain points, I was afraid there was something — a missing chink of skill — that was going to prevent me from having a movie that was financially successful. That frightened me,” Demme said at the time. “So when Silence of the Lambs became an unqualified success, I took a huge sigh of relief. I mean, I can’t tell you how wonderful that felt.”He followed up that film’s success with Philadelphia, which starred Tom Hanks as a gay lawyer suffering from AIDS and fighting for his legal rights. The drama also earned a raft of Academy Award nominations, including a best actor win for Hanks.Still, as Demme told NPR in 2007, there was one form that continued to draw him back to the camera: documentaries. He said it was the form’s endless capacity to surprise that best characterized what he loved about film in general.“The excitement of wading into ‘reality’ and just finding out what happens — and then the challenge of selecting those things that happened and shaping them in the editing into a narrative that will have appeal and be engaging — is a great, great thrill.”Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share 00:00 /16:26
Share Comey, fired last month as FBI director amid a federal investigation into connections between Russia and the Trump campaign, is set to testify next Thursday at a highly anticipated congressional hearing that could shed light on his private conversations with the president in the weeks before the dismissal. The Senate intelligence committee announced Comey’s appearance, and a Comey associate said he had been cleared to testify by Robert Mueller, another former FBI director now overseeing that investigation as special counsel. Also on Thursday, Democrats raised more questions about contacts during the campaign between the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, and Trump’s attorney general, former Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. Session, a close Trump adviser, withdrew from the Russia investigation in March after admitting to two previously undisclosed contacts with Kislyak last summer and fall. Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Al Franken, D-Minn., released a letter urging the FBI to investigate whether Sessions had falsely testified under oath when he said at his January confirmation hearing that he hadn’t had any contacts with Russia. “If it is determined that the attorney general still has not been truthful with Congress and the American people about his contacts with Russian officials during the campaign, he needs to resign,” the senators wrote. In addition to the two meetings Sessions has acknowledged, the senators pointed to the possibility of a separate encounter at an April 2016 Trump campaign event that Sessions and Kislyak attended. The Justice Department has acknowledged that Sessions was at the Mayflower Hotel event in Washington, but said there were no private or side conversations that day, Comey’s testimony probably will focus on the private meetings Comey had with President Donald Trump and subsequently chronicled in internal memos and recounted to associates who have divulged their contents to The Associated Press and other media outlets. Comey’s associates have said Comey told them that Trump asked him at a January dinner to pledge his loyalty to the president and, at an Oval Office meeting weeks later, asked Comey to consider ending an FBI investigation into Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn. The White House has denied those characterizations. The scope of Comey’s testimony was not exactly clear, though Mueller was permitting him to speak publicly, an associate told the AP. Mueller’s investigation could include a look at the circumstances of Comey’s firing, especially since Trump has said publicly that he was thinking of “this Russia thing” when he made the move. It is possible that the Trump White House could try to raise executive privilege claims in arguing that any conversations with the president could not be discussed publicly. A similar back-and-forth occurred before the testimony last month of former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, though the White House said it did not try to block her appearance.
Citation: Diamond inclusions suggest free flowing water at boundary between upper and lower mantle (2018, March 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-diamond-inclusions-free-boundary-upper.html More information: O. Tschauner et al. Ice-VII inclusions in diamonds: Evidence for aqueous fluid in Earth’s deep mantle, Science (2018). DOI: 10.1126/science.aao3030AbstractWater-rich regions in Earth’s deeper mantle are suspected to play a key role in the global water budget and the mobility of heat-generating elements. We show that ice-VII occurs as inclusions in natural diamond and serves as an indicator for such water-rich regions. Ice-VII, the residue of aqueous fluid present during growth of diamond, crystallizes upon ascent of the host diamonds but remains at pressures as high as 24 gigapascals; it is now recognized as a mineral by the International Mineralogical Association. In particular, ice-VII in diamonds points toward fluid-rich locations in the upper transition zone and around the 660-kilometer boundary.Press release A team of researchers from the U.S., China and Canada has found evidence in diamonds of free-flowing water in the boundary between Earth’s upper and lower mantle. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes analyzing inclusions in diamonds spewed from volcanoes and what they found. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The researchers were looking for molecular forms of carbon dioxide as part of carbon cycling in the Earth’s mantle when they came across evidence of something else. They had collected diamonds spewed from volcanoes (or pushed to the surface by other geologic activity) in Zaire, China, Sierra Leone and other locations in southern Africa, and were studying them by bouncing X-rays off the diamonds’ inclusions, when they came across samples of ice VII—a form of ice that does not occur naturally at the surface. The find was significant, because ice VII forms at very high pressure—approximately the amount of pressure found at depths of 610 to 800 kilometers beneath the Earth’s surface. This, the team notes, suggests that water must have been freely flowing at such depths to form the inclusions they observed. Such depths, they further note, fall into the transition zone in the mantle, a part of the Earth’s interior that is still a source of mystery.Prior research has shown that the mantle is made up mostly of hot rock under a lot of pressure. It has a lower layer, closest to the core, a transition layer, and an upper layer that eventually meets the crust. Prior research has also shown that the upper mantle has some water, which hints that there may also be water in the transition layer. The diamonds the researchers were studying would have been encased in liquid somewhere in the transition zone. The high temperatures there would not have allowed them to crystallize, however—it was only as they moved to the surface that crystallization would have occurred. The high pressure would have been maintained inside the diamond, but the temperature would have dropped dramatically. The idea of water moving around in the transition layer is intriguing, the team reports, because it has implications for tectonic plate shifting. Using Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source, researchers identified a form of water known as Ice-VII, which was trapped within diamonds that crystallized deep in the Earth’s mantle. Credit: University of Chicago. Diamonds show depth extent of Earth’s carbon cycle © 2018 Phys.org Journal information: Science Explore further
Boosted by a rally in stocks, total market valuation of listed companies at the National Stock Exchange (NSE) hit the Rs 100 trillion-mark on Wednesday. The market capitalisation (m-cap) of NSE listed firms rose to Rs 100.2 trillion at the end of trade. The 50-share Nifty hit a historic high of 8,741.85. The 50-share index also registered all-time closing high of 8,729.50, a gain of 33.90 points or 0.39 per cent.“Extending their northward journey for fifth day in a row, the key benchmark indices gained close to half a per cent. Initially, firm global cues helped index to open on positive note which later followed by a range bound session till the end,” said Jayant Manglik, President-retail distribution, Religare Securities Limited. At the Nifty, 27 stocks advanced, while 23 declined. Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cashHUL was the biggest gainer with 5.34 per cent rise, while ITC with a loss of 5.15 per cent was the biggest loser at the Nifty. Bonanza Portfolio Senior Vice-President Rakesh Goyal said the crucial Budget date announcement was also a market mover. Scaling a similar peak, the total market valuation of all listed firms at the BSE had hit a record high of Rs 100 trillion in November last year. At present, the total market cap of BSE listed firms stands at Rs 1,02,56,540 crore. Meanwhile, rising for the fifth day in a row, benchmark the BSE Sensex on Wednesday set a life-time high of 28,958 points and NSE Nifty recorded a historic 8,741 points as overall macro outlook and optimism over forthcoming budget continue to buoy investor sentiment. The Sensex ended the day’s trade at a record 28,888.86, up by 104.19 points or 0.36 per cent from its previous close.
Polish pay TV operator nc+ is to change its line-up of Canal+ channels in May, adding Canal+ Discovery and Canal+ Sport 2 and replacing other services.Existing channel line-up Canal+, Canal+ Sport, Canal+ Film, Canal+ Film 2, Canal+ Family and Canal+ Family 2 will be replaced by a line-up comprising Canal+, Canal+ Sport, Canal+ Film, Canal+ Seriale, Canal+ Family and Canal+ 1. The two new channels will be added at the same time.