Archive THOSE WHO MAY CARE
September 29, 1997: Basic Math and More

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* This is only meant to be "slightly" amusing                             *
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Countdown at Cape Canaveral.  Tentatively set for this upcoming October 
15th, we'll all get our big chance to play the latest Florida Lottery (btw/
odds of winning - 1 in 13.6 million).

NASA will be launching Cassini, a Saturn bound spacecraft loaded up with 72
pounds of plutonium-238.  This 72 pounds of Pu-238 (very "hot") is
roughly the equivalent of all the nuclear waste generated by one nuclear 
power plant during the course of one year.

If all goes well, this notice will have been a waste of your time.  If not, 
here are the numbers...

NASA's estimates of an accident leading to "terrestrial" damage have ranged
from 1 in 1000 to 1 in 1,000,000 (still better than Lotto).  Is that 
optimistic?  Well, the failure rate of the Titan rocket (which will carry 
this payload into space) is 1 in 20.  You went to elementary school, do 
the math.

A little history.  NASA's initial estimates of a Space Shuttle accident: 1 
in 100,000.  Revised current figure, 1 in 72.

Back to the present.  NASA's environmental impact assessment of an accident
involving Cassini:  2,300 casualties.  General scientific community 
estimates:  200,000.  High-end estimate (Ernest Steinglass, Radiological 
Physics, U of Pittsburgh) is 30 to 40 million.

Another interesting figure:  an accident could involve 30,000 times more 
radiation than was released at Three Mile Island.

This is no hoax, check the NASA web site or call NASA, if you wish.  Why 
have you likely not heard of this yet?  Any statements concerning major 
networks being owned outright by Westinghouse & General Electric (nuclear 
engineering and parts suppliers) would be purely speculative and too 
theoretical.

As if this isn't enough, once that puppy is safely in space, it's only 
going to whip around the earth about 312 miles above the surface at 
roughly 42,300 mph before it goes on it's merry way.

Be sure to buy your Lotto ticket before going to bed that night, though 
your odds of waking up a loser again will be much better than those of 
truly becoming a loser.

Source:  Fairfield County Reader & Karl Grossman


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* And now, for something lighter .. Celebrity Authors                     *
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Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spock) in his volume of Poetry, "Warmed by Love."

Rocket Ships

Are exciting

But so are roses

On a birthday....

Kenny Loggins (the musician) in his new book, "The Unimaginable Life:  
Lessons Learned in the Path of Love."  Begins a section  where Loggins 
reveals that he met his love, Julia, when she administered "colon 
hydrotherapy" to him in 1984.

"It was her eyes that penetrated me."

Source: Vancouver Sun


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* Natural Selection takes Place                                           *
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Derrick L. Richardson, 28, was charged in April in Minneapolis with the 
third-degree murder in the death of his beloved cousin, Ken E. Richardson.   
According to police, Derrick suggested a game of Russian Roulette and put a
semi-automatic pistol to Ken's head instead of a revolver.  [For those 
unschooled in guns:  There is much less mystery to the game if played with 
a semi-automatic, in which the one bullet automatically goes to the firing 
chamber.]

Source:  News of the Weird


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