Thursday, June 21, 2018

"Ultrasonic Noise Gets New Scrutiny" WSJ


Remember the US embassy staff who suffered sustained brain damage while in Cuba? Cuba denied involvement.

Here is an account of what happened that should raise eyebrows

Robert Lee Hotz (2018, June 16). Can Ultrasonic Noise Make You Sick? The Wall Street Journal, http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/print/WSJ_-A011-20180618.pdf

The article is worth reading because it describes both the ubiquity of ultrasonic noise in our environment and potential neurological effects. Yikes. For example, the article notes that advertisers "embed ultrasonic tones into commercials to track consumer behavior"  - no wonder the noise of commercials drives me crazy!

Humans will probably drive themselves into extinction even if global climate change doesn't deplete food supplies.

What stupidity to assume our invulnerability.


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

US to Withdraw from UN Human Rights Council in Response to Condemnation


This is another example of the fundamentally illiberal government we are seeing from the Trump administration, but also from other governments under "strong men" across the world.
Matthew Lee and Josh Lederman (AP) (2018, June 19) US poised to announce exit from UN human rights council. Yahoo. Available https://www.yahoo.com/news/us-poised-announce-exit-un-human-rights-council-155923454--politics.html
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is set to announce Tuesday its departure from the United Nations' main human rights body in its latest withdrawal from an international institution.... No country has ever dropped out voluntarily.
No more liberal internationalism in the government of human rights?


There is a fundamental shift in governance occurring across many terrains, including energy, weapons development, and human rights.

If you aren't worried then you aren't paying attention.

Let's take the example of immigrant child separations. In the past, under Bush and Obama, immigration contractors would use separations as a threat to get detainees to cooperate. I described the detention facilities owned by contractors incarcerating immigrants in my book Governing Childhood here.

Now, that tactic formerly deployed only (or at least primarily) for punishment has become encoded as a routine operational logic.

What does it mean when punishment is the strategic objective? What can it mean for social life in a context of ecological disarray?

Human rights, however limited, are now under threat of dissolving altogether in many different social fields.


Monday, June 18, 2018

Strong 6.1 Earthquake Near Osaka Japan


https://www.jma.go.jp/en/quake/


No reports on any nuclear effects. Fukui Prefecture, marked in the map below, is not too far from the earthquake activity. Fukui Prefecture (see map below) has 13 commercial nuclear reactors according to an article in the Japan Times (here), although only 2 reactors are reported to be in operation 
Location of Fukui Prefecture

Here is a map from Wikipedia of the location of Japan's nuclear power plants


It looks as if the Takahama and Oi plants are the closest operating plants to the reported earthquake activity.

One news report states that "no irregularities were detected at the Mihama, Takahama and Ohi nuclear plants to the north of Osaka, Kansai Electric Power said." (CNBC here).

The Monju research reactors - breeder reactor - is offline but located also in the vicinity.

No word on its condition.