Sunday, February 18, 2007

Not Authorized for U.S. Submarines

New UN radiation symbol

The new symbol (shown above) will be concealed in normal use, apparent only when someone attempts to open a housing shielding a large source of ionizing radiation. The improved symbol will supplement the familiar three-cornered trefoil, which has little intuitive meaning, or recognition value to those not educated to its significance. . It will not appear on building access doors, transportation packages or containers. Testing in 11 countries validated the new symbol,
intended for IAEA Category 1, 2 and 3 sources defined as capable of death or serious injury, including food irradiators, cancer therapy, and industrial radiography units.
Robotic Rare Bird Watcher (RRBM)
A deliberately conspicuous radiation hazard sticker is displayed on the RRBM as a warning to prevent hunters from using it for target practice. Ornithologists in Arkansas have deployed a robot to spot elusive ivory-billed woodpeckers. The RRBM (photo in this article) uses two video cameras aimed skyward to capture continuous, two-megapixel images for evidence of the rare birds. Advanced algorithms analyse each frame, discarding images without birds and saving those that may capture one. It's been running for three months continuously now and it only keeps one image in every 10,000 it collects, said Dr Ken Goldberg of the University of California, Berkeley, who developed the system.
White House menus showcase U.S. Wines
More than 30 heads of state and the nation's governors among others, have dined with President Bush, on such delectables as rack of lamb with pistachio nut crust, celery broth with crispy shrimp and warm pear souffle with caramel sauce and chocolate macaroons.

At the White House, the best of everything is expected. Such elaborate meals are prepared by executive chef Cristeta Comerford, who also whips up more casual fare in her role as chief cook for the president and his family. Menus feature heavy use of American ingredients. The wine choices include some boutique labels not widely available, such as 2001 Paloma Merlot and 2003 Greg Norman Chardonnay. Diligent research will reveal others. Finding them for sale reasonably be the fun game.


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