Daily Archives: 09/09/2004

A Jolly Good Idea

Wired News: Bacteria Turn Toxins Into Plastic

Irish scientists have isolated a bacterium that can convert toxic waste from the creation of styrofoam in a biodegradable plastic. The bacteria convert styrene into polyhdroxyalkanoate. This bacteria could remove 55 million pounds of toxic waste produced in the U.S. every year, and turn it into a useful end product. Excellent.

Thud

Genesis crashes to EarthThe best laid plans of mice and men.

Genesis Space Capsule Crashes in Utah – Apparently the explosive charges to deploy the parachute failed to fire and the return capsule hurtled into the Utah desert. Initial reports indicate that the capsule was broken open and the return samples were damaged as well. So much for opening the capsule in a sealed clean room and examining pristine solar particles.

NASA was hoping to snag this return capsule while it was still airborne. Hollywood stunts pilots were mobilized and in the air, but there was never any chance to snare the probe.

Palau Looks To Oil Drilling

“Hmmm, this place is one of the wonders of the world. What do you say we drill for oil here?”

No, it’s not the ANWR, it’s Palau. In one of the stranger things I’ve read in the newspaper lately, yesterday’s PDN contained a long story about how the government of Palau is considering drilling for oil in the waters surrounding the country. I would take a long hard look at allowing this to occur in Palau. And Palauan president Tommy Remengasau sent the legislation authorizing this drilling back to the Olbiil, expressing concerns with the bill and its environmental ramifications. The ocean and reefs around Palau is the lifeblood of the islands, and messing around with oil drilling is just asking for trouble. An editorial today also advises caution.