12 October 2006

Legos rock

Suddenly, I want to find and rebuild all my old Space Lego sets.

It's sad that Legos have been cheapened by stupid Star Wars and Harry Potter franchises. The more custom parts they make, the less genuinely Lego and cool it is.

09 October 2006

Nuclear North Korea

Well, it appears that North Korea has entered the nuclear arena. This is not a good thing.

Worst case, according to our resident nonproliferation expert professor, is NK weapons increase --> Japan weapons increase --> Russia weapons increase --> US weapons increase and we have another cold war on our hands.

According to the USGS, the nuke-induced quake registered about 4.2 on the Richter scale. I actually get to use something I learned in my 1-hour survey course about nonproliferation: a formula that converts earthquake magnitude to nuclear device power in kT. Assuming it's "well-coupled" (they're not using a large cavern or anything to mask its magnitude, which would be silly at this point in their program), mag = 4.01 + 0.79*log(yield). This gives a yield of about 1.7 kilotons.

The first U.S. nuclear test, the plutonium-based implosion device Trinity, measured about 20 kT. Maybe North Korea's first test was a fizzle? It might also just be a small test.

Regardless, the world is notably less stable today than it was before the weekend.