Thursday, July 10, 2014

ISIS captures some uranium; concern over Earth's magnetic field weakening

ISIS (aka ISIL) commandos seized about 88 pounds of uranium at a university in Mosul in northern Iraq.  But it appears not to be highly enriched.  Slate, referring to a New York Times story, say it “probably” cannot be made into a nuclear bomb or dirty bomb, story here.   Vox media has a piece explaining the ISIS caliphate and why the ideology behind it can become dangerous globally, here.  By the way, I am two degrees of separation removed from someone who lived in Mosul. 

There’s another “apocalyptic” story  today . Laura Dattaro has a story for the Weather Channel indicating that the Earth’s magnetic field is weakening much more rapidly than previously thought, and a gradual magnetic pole flip could start much sooner than 2000 years from now (a concept behind the novel “The HAB Theory” by Allan W. Eckert).  The main practical consequence can be that the Earth’s magnetic field protects it much less effectively against solar storms and coronal mass ejections, allowing the power grids to be seriously compromised. 

Update: July 15, 2014

CNN has a story indicating that it unlikely that ISIS could use this material to make either a nuclear or even a "dirty" weapon.

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