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Links for 2020-12-17

  • Rocky Flats

    Absolutely bananas Twitter thread — it is frankly miraculous that they didn’t have multiple criticality incidents on their hands. TIL about “infinity rooms”:

    ‘They made plutonium “pits” for nuclear bombs, either from new plutonium sources or reprocess parts of old bombs, from 1957 until 1988. In 1988, the EPA investigated the site, shrieked in horror, and shut the place down. the DOE stuck their fingers in their ears and went LA LA LA DON’T WANNA DEAL WITH IT for about five years afterward, but finally started cleanup in ’94. Among the tasks: cleaning 13 “infinity rooms” – areas so radioactive that plant instruments went off the scale, and were just sealed in place. One had been welded shut and abandoned as far back as ’72. One had been piled full of contaminated equipment and filled with concrete. US Gov: your task is finding the 1,100 pounds of plutonium that somehow became lost in ductwork, drums and industrial gloveboxes. The amount of missing plutonium at Rocky Flats is enough to build 150 Nagasaki strength bombs. “Occasionally you’d feel a drip on your head and you’d be contaminated with plutonium nitrate,” DeMaiori said.”‘

    (tags: infinity-rooms horror military-industrial-complex us-politics nuclear nuclear-weapons plutonium environment history bombs epa doe)

  • How to Send SMS Messages with Google Sheets and your Android Phone – Digital Inspiration

    Particularly impressive demo of MIT AppInventor, which lets you build an Android app with block-based GUI programming

    (tags: appinventor apps android mit coding blocks gui sms google-sheets texting)