The Effects of European Settlement on Aboriginal Australia during its Early Exploration and Colonization denied the Aboriginal people of any form of rights to their ancestral lands. Dutch, Spanish, French, and British ships first sailed into Australian waters in the 16th and 17th … Continue reading
French general Napoleon Bonaparte invaded and conquered Ottoman Egypt in 1798 and the Ottomans would later take over what is now Southern Sudan. The Ottomans retook Egypt in 1801, but the French invasion sparked important changes in the province. A … Continue reading
Music Video: Forever Young by Jay Z
Numb and Encore-Jay Z ft Linkin Park live on stage
|Blood Alcohol concentration (%)||Effects|
|0.02||Mild alteration of feelings, slight intensification of moods.|
|0.05||Feelings of relaxation, giddiness, lowered inhibitions. Judgment and motor skills are both slightly impaired.|
|0.08||Muscle coordination and reaction time impaired. Face, hands, arms, and legs may tingle and then feel numb. Legally intoxicated in Canada and some U.S. states.|
|0.10||Clumsiness, uncoordinated behavior. Impairment of mental abilities, judgment, and memory. Legally intoxicated in most U.S. states.|
|0.15||Irresponsible behavior, euphoria. Some difficulty standing, walking, and talking.|
|0.20||Motor and emotional control centers measurably affected. Slurred speech, staggering, loss of balance, and double vision can all be present.|
|0.40||Drinker is usually unconscious.|
|0.45||Respiration slows and can stop altogether.|
|0.50||Death can result.|
|Source: National Safety Council and California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs|
As can be observed above, the effects of alcohol as shown in the blood alcohol concentration indicates that the higher the concentration the greater the risk of discomfort, unconsciousness and possibly death at the worst.
Out of a global population of 6.5 Billion people only 793 are billionaires. Bill Gates for example is making a lot more money while sleeping than most of these Hollywood guys make in a whole movie. Donald Trump sues for being called just a millionaire instead of a billionaire. Mark Cuban bought a Dallas mansion for fifteen million in 2000 without ever laying a head on it. With 24000 square feet, Billionaires don’t want next door neighbours. In his Seattle home, Bill Gates bought surrounding houses just to make sure he doesn’t have neighbours. With their mega yachts, they have a homelike environment at sea. Their private jets is completely converted into an apartment like mansion.
Living with the Monster
Near the end of a half-mile-long hallway connecting the four reactors of the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant, graph bars and squiggles flash on a monitor.
Only a few yards away rises the concrete-and-steel sarcophagus sheathing the remains of reactor No. 4, which blew up on April 26, 1986. An estimated 180 tons of uranium fuel remained in the rubble, scattered or fused with melted concrete and steel. Ten tons of radioactive dust coats everything.
Sensors relay information from the debris: neutron activity, radiation, temperature. In the monitoring room the situation report appears on the screen in traffic-signal colors. As I watched, the display was green. If the debris warms up, the monitor shows orange. “If all the indicators turn red, it’s dangerous,” shift Chief Anatoly Tasenko said. “It happens sometimes.” He added this nonchalantly, wanting me to know he’s a pro.
At condition red, engineers turn on sprinklers, spraying a boron solution that reduces neutron activity and thus the release of radiation. So far, it works.
A new study suggests that the explosion threw out 100 million curies of dangerous radionuclides, such as cesium 137—twice as much as previous estimates. The World Health Organization reckons that 4.9 million people in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia were affected. But the consequences, though obviously tragic in some aspects, remain unclear.
What is clear at Chornobyl, monitor Tasenko’s nonchalance notwithstanding, is that the monster is far from tamed.
One major concern of the engineers and physicists watching No. 4 is the sarcophagus itself. Hastily erected after the accident, the 24-story-high shell is leaky and structurally unsound; conceivably it could topple in an earthquake or extreme winds. The reactor building walls, explosion damaged, are unstable too. And the 2,000-ton reactor lid leans on rubble. “If it fell, it could shake everything loose,” said physicist Vadim Hrischenko.
In particular, it would shake loose the radioactive dust, which is increasing as the rubble breaks down. A violent upheaval would spread the dust over the countryside—though not so widely as the initial accident, which also contaminated parts of Western Europe.
Finally, experts know that still-working reactors Nos. 1 and 3 are unsafe. No. 2 was shut down after a fire in 1991; its companions continue to run because Ukraine’s energy shortage is so dire.
The Chornobyl (in Russian, Chernobyl) power complex, 65 miles northwest of Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, is ground zero in a fenced 40-mile-wide circle. Cleared of its 116,000 residents, it is called the Zone of Estrangement.
Featherbedding, a familiar Soviet labor practice, also prevails at the power station, where engineers admit that the workforce—5,600—is twice as large as needed.
Some workers relish zone jobs because the tasks are challenging, and some, surely, for the recklessness of it all. I put my driver, Sasha, in the latter category when he told me, “I’ve got boar steaks in my refrigerator.” To dine on Chornobyl pig is to dine on cesium and other radionuclides that concentrate at the top of the food chain. But most people work here because, as one woman said, “We’ve got to work somewhere.” In economically crippled Ukraine the choices are few.
The bloated payrolls are one more burden for the Ukrainian government, already pressed by Chornobyl-related expenses such as health care for victims and early retirement pensions for the “liquidators,” the hundreds of thousands who cleaned up and raised No. 4′s shelter. In all, Chornobyl’s aftermath
consumes 15 percent of Ukraine’s budget.
Beyond Chornobyl city, which is nine miles from ground zero, I passed through a checkpoint with changing rooms. Workers issued me a gauze mask that would filter radioactive particles, plus shoes, pants, jacket, and gloves, so that my own clothes wouldn’t take contamination home.
Soon I stood 300 yards from the sarcophagus, listening to the agitated buzz of my radiation meter. If I stayed about two months, I’d receive the five rem of radiation permitted yearly for a U. S. nuclear worker. Many Chornobyl workers have received far more; to hold down the cumulative dose, most work only two weeks in a month.
The sarcophagus is the highest structure on this flat landscape, a sore thumb rising gunmetal gray at one end of the long concrete building that houses reactors and turbines. Perhaps it stands out, too, because the landscape has been thoroughly scalped. Cleanup workers not only trucked away contaminated soil for burial in some 800 sites around the zone but even knocked down and interred nearby pine forests killed by radiation.
I came upon a reminder of the desperate cleanup effort—a motor pool posted off-limits with red-and-yellow radiation signs. Armored personnel carriers bore slabs of lead that had helped protect their passengers. From tanks poked not cannon but cranes for lifting “hot” debris. Thousands of tons of such equipment still await burial, one more task in an onerous chain reaction triggered by the accident.
In the power station I was admitted to the control room of reactor No. 3, where white-smocked engineers watched a wall of gauges. It is virtually identical to the control room of No. 4, where other operators triggered the 1986 disaster while reducing reactor power.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, exonerating truths emerged. The graphite-core reactor had, as suspected, serious design flaws. And manuals made no mention of its ironic instability at low power.
Now the rules prohibit operators from dipping below one-quarter power. Some safety improvements have been made—but not enough, contend Western experts, who to no avail have recommended backup water systems for cooling and such fire-protection measures as steel doors.
“It’s ridiculous that the reactors are still operating,” Valentin Kupniy, deputy zone administrator, acknowledged. His hands are tied on that; it’s a decision for the Ukrainian government, which last spring announced its determination to shut down Chornobyl—but not until other ways are found to meet the national energy shortage.
New in his job when I met him, Kupniy hoped he could do something about other problems. The first, surely, is inertia. “Years have passed,” he said, “and we’re just starting to talk about what needs to be done.” For example, dikes must be built to block runoff from fields; it carries cesium, albeit in modest quantities, to the Dnieper River, the Kiev drinking supply. To safely bed down No. 4, a super-sarcophagus needs to be built over the present one. Officials hope an international agency such as the World Bank will provide the necessary billion dollars or so.
One day in the zone, I met some “partisans.” That’s the name given to such people as Nikolai Pavlenko, one of 700 evacuees who have come home. Wrinkled and 71, Nikolai resides in the log house that he built as a young man in the village of Opachychi, 15 miles from ground zero.
Removed to a town many miles distant, he and his wife, Katia, came back three years later. “Everybody wants his own home,” Nikolai said simply, as if the matter needed no further explanation. Zone officials have treated the partisans tolerantly, knowing that their families had dwelled for centuries in these now collapsing villages.
Nikolai grows potatoes and cabbages and fishes the streams. “When I need something, I just sort of help myself,” he said, nodding toward the empty houses. Radiation? “We don’t feel anything,” he said.
On the outskirts of Kiev, in a former tuberculosis sanatorium converted to a hospital for Chornobyl children, I met a “firefly.” That’s the name thoughtless kids apply to evacuees such as 15-year-old Roman, as if they might glow from radiation.
“I have dizzy spells and headaches,” Roman told me. And: “My heart hurts.”
“It is stress,” Dr. Evgenia Stepanova, the chief pediatrician, said later. “He feels his heart racing. He can’t run or play sports.”
Roman told me wistfully, “We had a nice apartment in Chornobyl—six rooms. It was beautiful there.” Evacuated, his family ended up in a Kiev suburb. “They gave us a three-room apartment. We’ve been trying to get more space because there are three children. They keep offering lousy apartments on the first floor, where it’s cold.” His father has ulcers, his mother headaches.
Dr. Stepanova intended to calm Roman’s racing heart with tender care, rest, and a nutritious diet. It’s about all the hospital can offer.
According to rumors circulating in Kiev, 5,000, even 10,000 Ukrainians have died from various ailments somehow connected with the accident. But because records were carelessly gathered or may not exist, the medical arithmetic can’t be summed. Cautious researchers say only: “We don’t know how many died.”
One of the most tragic consequences evident thus far is a large increase in thyroid cancer in children. In Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia this once extremely rare condition totals more than 300 cases. What other afflictions radiation exposure will bring is a matter of debate. Estimates of the future number of cancer cases range from 5,000 to 20 times that.
I beheld one consequence in a Kiev laboratory under the microscope of Dr. Maria Pilinskaya: chromosomes, magnified a thousand times, broken and mangled. “It is serious,” she said. “It indicates risk of leukemia or other cancers.”
She discovered this chromosome damage in blood samples from children in seven towns outside the zone. All the towns had been sprinkled with radiation, but because the quantity was presumed not to be serious, people were not evacuated. It is impossible to say how many people are so affected. Dr. Pilinskaya could sample only 25 to 30 children per town; most of them were seriously damaged.
For now, according to Western as well as Ukrainian investigators, stress such as afflicts Roman is a more serious concern than cancer or chromosome damage. The psychological and social problems stemming from disrupted lives and radiation phobia lead to real diseases, several researchers told me, including chronic bronchitis, digestive-system problems, and hypertension, and may compromise the immune system. This may explain why, as is reported to be the case, the death rate among irradiated people is far higher than average. By one estimate, 70 percent higher, which indeed would translate into thousands of deaths.
No town I saw was so full of stress—and aching hearts—as Narodychi, whose whitewashed houses stand 45 miles west of ground zero. “Our parents and grandparents built these houses with their own hands,” a nurse said. “Let the house be little, but it was ours. It will never be the same anywhere else.”
Narodychi is one of the many towns beyond the zone where the local fallout was not considered serious. Then thyroid disorders appeared in children, and Dr. Pilinskaya detected chromosome damage.
So, finally Narodychi was emptying. On a somber winter day I came on a family loading furniture on a truck. “There’s no future here,” said a woman bringing out dishes. “There’s no food to buy, and it’s not safe to eat anything you grow.”
Across the way, an old man named Sasha, pouring generously from his flask of samohon—moonshine—said defiantly: “The only place I’m going is the cemetery.”
No one received greater doses of radiation than the first of the liquidators, the Chornobyl cleanup army that may have numbered as many as 750,000 workers. Some got more than 200 rem, enough, physicians say, to cause acute radiation sickness, a breakdown of body systems characterized by nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Survivors face an increased risk of cancer.
Other liquidators got little radiation but nevertheless presumed that they were terribly afflicted. In a group of Russian cleanup workers tracked by researchers, stress led to suicides and alcohol abuse. “Everybody told them that because of radiation they couldn’t have a normal sex life,” a doctor said. “It’s a case of bad information causing death.”
Dr. Ilya Likhtarev, Ukraine’s expert on dosimetry, knows of 3,000 liquidators who received more than the “acceptable” onetime dose of 25 rem, and of 400 who received 75 rem or more. “That multiplies the chances that they will have cancer,” he told me.
For most of the liquidators, doses are simply unknown. These include army recruits who did some of the most dangerous work; for example, removing debris from the reactor building roof. “They didn’t have radiation badges to record what they received,” Dr. Likhtarev said. “So their lieutenants estimated the dosage. But they were under orders not to report a dose of 25 rem, to hide the seriousness. So the dose was recorded as 24.9. It came to be known as the ‘administrative dose.’”
Dr. Likhtarev would like to know how these men fared. “But they left the army and went back to Kazakhstan or wherever. Some may have had acute radiation sickness and not known what was wrong.” Some may be dead.
Teeth may help scientists construct estimates of the doses that victims received, since radiation causes measurable changes in the enamel. Researchers are collecting teeth from dentists to evaluate enamel’s usefulness as an exposure meter.
“If dose and health can be correlated, it would help in the future,” said Armin Weinberg of the Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, a participant in one of the several Chornobyl studies now under way. “We’re sure to have more accidents.”
At Eastertide, tradition demands that Ukrainians visit their forebears. So back to the zone, with government permission, just for a day, came busloads of villagers who had been scattered far and wide—people of communities atomized, in more ways than one.
In the hillside cemetery in Opachychi, shawled babushkas placed tokens of remembrance—decorated eggs and Easter cakes—among the crosses. Families sat upon the graves, the traditional communion. They ate chicken and drank samohon, greeted friends and cousins, cursed the atom, and wept.
In late afternoon thunder rumbled and raindrops drilled the earth. The people looked about wistfully, policed the trash, and streamed down from the hill that holds their fathers and mothers and their hearts and these devastations explains the effects of Chornobyl disaster.
Source: National Geographic, August 1994.
It was only after the 1880s, once most Aboriginal opposition had been crushed in eastern Australia, that Australian colonies began passing oppressive legislation to control Aboriginal people in the name of protection. Between 1886 and 1911 the colonies (and, after 1901, the states) introduced laws that restricted the movement of Aboriginal people to government reserves and controlled most aspects of their lives, including where they could work and whom they could marry. These reserves were, for the most part, small, circumscribed areas where residents could not lead independent self-sufficient lives. Reserve residents lived in makeshift housing and worked on cattle and sheep stations, or, if there was no work, lived on government rations. White officials oversaw the reserves, sometimes living in a nearby town rather than directly on the reserve. In the remote central and northern parts of the continent, reserves were more institutionalized, with schools, health clinics, and a general work regime overseen by missionaries.
In the early 20th century the colonial governments began instituting policies of removing many Aboriginal children, especially those of mixed race and lighter skin color, from their families without parental consent. These children were placed in state institutions or adopted by white families, where they were raised as Christians and educated as white Australians were. Only “full-blooded” Aboriginal children were permitted to remain on the reserves. Child-removal policies grew out of the desire of white Australians to merge Aboriginal people into European culture, thereby extinguishing indigenous traditions and preventing the growth of the Aboriginal population. The practice was officially discontinued in the late 1960s.
Children who had been removed would later become known as the Stolen Generations. Their exact number remained unknown due to poor record keeping. In 1997 the national Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission concluded an inquiry into past child-removal policies. According to the commission’s report, Bringing Them Home, at least 100,000 indigenous children had been forcibly removed from their families and communities from 1910 to 1970.
Gerontologists study the social and behavioral effects of aging. The biological effects of aging, such as the loss of flexibility in some tissues and the decline of organ function, can influence these social and behavioral effects. For example, the heart becomes less efficient as a person ages, making exercise more difficult.
|Organ or System||Natural Effects of Aging||Accelerating Factors|
|Skin||Loses thickness and elasticity (wrinkles appear)||Process accelerated by smoking, excessive exposure to sun|
|Bruises more easily as blood vessels near surface weaken|
|Brain/Nervous System||Loses some capacity for memorization and learning as cells die||Process accelerated by overuse of alcohol and other drugs, repeated blows to the head|
|Becomes slower to respond to stimuli
|Senses||Become less sharp with loss of nerve cells||Process accelerated by smoking, repeated exposure to loud noise|
|Lungs||Become less efficient as elasticity decreases||Process accelerated by smoking, poor air quality, insufficient exercise|
|Heart||Pumps less efficiently, making exercise more difficult||Process accelerated by overuse of alcohol and tobacco, poor eating habits|
|Circulation||Worsens, and blood pressure rises, as arteries harden||Process accelerated by injury, obesity|
|Joints||Lose mobility (knee, hip) and deteriorate from constant wear and pressure (disappearance of cartilage between vertebrae results in old age ‘shrinking’)||Process accelerated by injury, obesity|
|Muscles||Lose bulk and strength||Process accelerated by insufficient exercise, starvation|
|Liver||Filters toxins from blood less efficiently||Process accelerated by alcohol abuse, viral infection|
In view of the above, it is obvious that a healthy lifestyle and exercise especially during the early stages of development and maturity could minimize where necessary some of the problems and effects of aging.
This article discusses the effects of El Niño, a serious dislocation of the world’s weather system that occurs every few years. In 1982 and 1983, El Niño was particularly severe, and this account describes the damage it caused in many … Continue reading