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Power

Economy Puts US Nuclear Reactors Back In Doubt 392

Posted by Soulskill
from the boo-urns dept.
eldavojohn writes "Remember those 30 new nuclear reactors the US was slated to build? Those plans have been halted. A few years ago, it seemed like a really good idea to build a bunch of nuclear reactors. The environmental impacts of other energy production methods were becoming well known and the economy was tanking. Well, natural gas is now much cheaper, and as a result it looks like building a single nuclear reactor in Maryland is such a risky venture that Constellation can't reach an agreement with the federal government for the loans it needs to build that reactor. The government wants Constellation to sign an agreement with a local energy provider to ensure they'll recoup at least some of the money on the loan, but Constellation doesn't like the terms. So, the first of those thirty reactors has officially stalled, with no resolution in sight. It looks like it'd take an economic meltdown to trigger nuclear reactor production in the US."

Comment: Re:concerns of racism? (Score 3, Interesting) 121

by NotInfinitumLabs (#27260355) Attached to: Review: <em>Resident Evil 5</em>
The game makes no effort to distinguish from zombiefied africans from non-zombified africans, both are presented as "The Other", menacing and dangerous, which plays into the "dark continent" trope you find in so much colonialist literature. It's not like you really ever stop to concern yourself with this, though, since they're constantly trying to kill you and you have to mow them down by the dozens. The only identifiable black character is a ready-for-hollywood light skinned Anglo action chick, "one of the good ones". To top it off, her unlockable outfit is a leopard skin bikini, with an animal tooth necklace and warpaint. All she would need is a bone through her nose to complete this ensemble. Nothing racist about all this, nosiree.

Comment: Article is old, it's much worse than we thought (Score 4, Informative) 114

by NotInfinitumLabs (#26970009) Attached to: <em>Resident Evil 5</em> Dev Talks Demo Feedback
excerpted from here. A game journalist's experiences with the finished version of the game

There's also the spectre of the old racism debate, hovering the background. That debate is only going to get louder and more urgent once the game is released, and is being covered beyond the cosy world of the specialist gaming press, since there's imagery in here that goes beyond the general air of foreign menace that caused a ruckus in the first trailers.

One of the first things you see in the game, seconds after taking control of Chris Redfield, is a gang of African men brutally beating something in a sack. Animal or human, it's never revealed, but these are not infected Majini. There are no red bloodshot eyes. These are ordinary Africans, who stop and stare at you menacingly as you approach. Since the Majini are not undead corpses, and are capable of driving vehicles, handling weapons and even using guns, it makes the line between the infected monsters and African civilians uncomfortably vague. Where Africans are concerned, the game seems to be suggesting, bloodthirsty savagery just comes with the territory.

Later on, there's a cut-scene of a white blonde woman being dragged off, screaming, by black men. When you attempt to rescue her, she's been turned and must be killed. If this has any relevance to the story it's not apparent in the first three chapters, and it plays so blatantly into the old clichés of the dangerous "dark continent" and the primitive lust of its inhabitants that you'd swear the game was written in the 1920s. That Sheva neatly fits the approved Hollywood model of the light-skinned black heroine, and talks more like Lara Croft than her thickly-accented foes, merely compounds the problem rather than easing it. There are even more outrageous and outdated images to be found later in the game, stuff that I was honestly surprised to see in 2009, but Capcom has specifically asked that details of these scenes remain under wraps for now, whether for these reasons we don't know.

There will be plenty of people who refuse to see anything untoward in this material. "It wasn't racist when the enemies were Spanish in Resident Evil 4," goes the argument, but then the Spanish don't have the baggage of being stereotyped as subhuman animals for the past two hundred years. It's perfectly possible to use Africa as the setting for a powerful and troubling horror story, but when you're applying the concept of people being turned into savage monsters onto an actual ethnic group that has long been misrepresented as savage monsters, it's hard to see how elements of race weren't going to be a factor.

All it will take is for one mainstream media outlet to show the heroic Chris Redfield stamping on the face of a black woman, splattering her skull, and the controversy over Manhunt 2 will seem quaint by comparison. If we're going to accept this sort of imagery in games then questions are going be asked, these questions will have merit, and we're going to need a more convincing answer than "lol it's just a game."

Comment: Voter fraud is a myth. (Score 0, Troll) 216

by NotInfinitumLabs (#25459241) Attached to: Dead Goldfish Offered The Vote In Illinois
In their five year investigation of voter fraud, the Bush Administration found 120 prosecutable offenses of voter fraud, out of millions and millions of votes cast. Organized voter fraud is a myth, but organized voter suppression is very real. Republicans know that the higher the turnout, the more likely it is that the Democrat will win. So, they like to spread things like this around to encourage voter suppression efforts Like this one in Ohio.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Prevent Gmail From Emailing Under the Influence 258

Posted by kdawson
from the chili-meter-with-brains dept.
mikesd81 writes "Google has developed 'Mail Goggles,' a Gmail add-on that makes sending email from Gmail more difficult during certain times (which you can set). If you have Mail Goggles installed, it will force you to answer a series of math questions before sending out any new messages. You can adjust the math difficulty and times this option is in effect. If you get any of the questions wrong, Mail Goggles will say, 'Water and bed for you. Or try again.' Of course, if you set the math settings too high, you may have a tough time solving some of those problems in under 60 seconds, even when sober. Then again, if you're sober, you could just turn Mail Goggles off and hit send on that impassioned letter to your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend or that flame to your boss."
Space

Small Asteroid On Collision Course With Earth 397

Posted by kdawson
from the big-kaboom dept.
musatov writes "There's talk on The Minor Planet Mailing List about a small asteroid approaching Earth with a 99.8% probability of colliding. The entrance to the Earth's atmosphere will take place October 7 at 0246 UTC (2:35 after this story goes live) over northern Sudan, releasing the energy of about a kiloton of TNT. The asteroid is assumed to be 3-4 meters in size; it is expected to burn up completely in the atmosphere, causing no harm. As a powerful bolide, it may put on quite a show in the sky. For those advanced enough in astronomy to observe, check the MPEC 2008-T50 and MPEC 2008-T64 circulars. NASA's JPL Small Body Database has a 3D orbit view. The story has been already picked up by CNN and NASA."

"It's when they say 2 + 2 = 5 that I begin to argue." -- Eric Pepke

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