Monthly Archives: April 2012

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William Long discusses neutron absorber material for used nuclear storage

The issue with used, formally called spent, nuclear fuel is what to do with it. No politically acceptable process of recycling is available in the United States. Beginning with the Carter Administration, recycling nuclear fuel worried Congress as it makes plutonium and nuclear materials that can be used for bombs. Meanwhile, other countries recycle their used fuel, even if only partially. “Don’t ever think you can get away from politics,” said William Long of Engineered Materials Insights. Long, who received his BS at the SUNY College of Ceramics at Alfred University and received his MS from the University of Illinois in ceramics has extensive experience with boron carbides (B4C) and discussed how they are used in nuclear storage. He provided background information on the different types of nuclear reactors before discussing what to do with the waste.

Headlines from around the world: 4-30-12

The Secret Service is looking into a new report that a group of its agents partied at a strip club in El Salvador and hired prostitutes prior to a visit by president Barack Obama. The report is coming out after an agency scandal involving twelve Secret Service agents who hired prostitutes and took them back to their hotel rooms in Cartagena, Colombia. Eight of the agents were forced out, one is having his security clearance revoked, and the three others have been cleared of serious wrongdoing but face disciplinary actions. For this investigation, the strip club’s owner confirmed that Secret Service agents were at the club prior to Obama’s visit. He also mentioned that FBI agents, DEA agents, and U.S. Embassy employees in San Salvador frequent the club.

This Week in Colorado History: Faculty flub and city cleaning

Generally, the faculty of the Colorado School of Mines are a group of brilliant scientists and engineers, capable of explaining even the most complicated concepts. This week in 1913, one professor proved he was not such a genius, though. Electrical lab instructor Ralph Knowles “escaped death by a miracle, when 11,000 volts of electricity passed through his body,” reported “The Colorado Transcript.” Knowles had been in the Golden Illuminating Company transformer house pointing out parts of a mechanism to students. Unfortunately, he was using a lead pencil. “A great blue spark” jumped from the equipment and knocked Knowles unconscious. Although the students initially believed their professor was dead, he emerged with only a few burns on his hands and feet. This was not Knowles first brush with death; during the fall of 1912, he had almost blown himself up when “preparing to put in a shot with giant powder… using a nail.”

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Community Spotlight: Snarfs

Recently opened on Washington Avenue in the space next to Starbucks, a small banner denotes a quirky little sandwich shop named Snarfs where delicious sandwiches are served up daily. Named “Best of Boulder” every year since 1997, this small chain that was founded in Boulder has received compliments from Longmont Times-Call and Yellow Scene. They have since expanded from their start in Boulder to eleven locations in Colorado, two in Chicago, and one in St. Louis.

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Square offers a new way to pay

There is a new way to pay in the Denver area that is revolutionizing how small business is conducted.

Say you walk into the local Read, Write, and Brew coffeehouse, but you forgot your wallet or purse. With no cash and no credit card, you may think you are going to have to walk all the way back to your car or home before you can buy anything. Now, thanks to Square, that is not necessary if you have an iPhone, Android, or iPad on you (which are all much too important for a college student to ever leave behind, right?). You can just click open the “Pay with Square” app on your phone that is linked to your card and then open a tab at the coffeehouse. Jefferson, the friendly owner of the Read, Write, and Brew, will then see your chosen profile picture on his iPad cash register, verify that it is you, give you your favorite drink, and all you have to do is say, “put it on my tab!”

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