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Subject: Scientific American grovels before Kaku's anti-Cassini pseudoscience
Date: Thu, 02 Sep 1999 15:40:10 GMT

Unbelievable.  Simply... unbelieveable.

"Scientific" American magazine, on page 13 of the September 1999 issue,
in an article penned by Mark Alpert, provided a platform for Michio Kaku
to expound on his pseudoscientific claptrap -- a steaming heap of
thoroughly refuted, recycled garbage arguments against Cassini's RTGs
fished straight from the bottom of the heap of worn-out objections that
were shot down in this newsgroup and elsewhere in the weeks leading up
to Cassini's launch.

Did they mention that the pro-Cassini demonstrators at the White House
outnumbered the antis, who apparently didn't care to brave the light

Did they mention that the plutonium is in a ceramic form with a melting
point measured in the thousands of degrees, making it extremely
difficult to "blow the plutonium around," as Kaku put it, in all but a
matter-antimatter launch explosion?  Did they ask themselves when they'd
last inhaled a broken coffee cup?

Did they mention that the iridium-wrapped pellets of ceramic are encased
in a carbon-bonded carbon-fiber shell with an even higher melting point
and penetration resistance?  And that inside this is a set of graphite
impact shells?

Did they mention that many more highly radioactive and biologically
active elements, in far more chemically active forms than an inert
ceramic oxide, were created in the fierce nuclear fires at the cores of
hundreds of atmospheric atomic bomb tests and scattered to the winds
*without* Kaku's predicted mass die-off?

Did they mention that during Kaku's anti-Cassini campaign, he was also
promoting a newly-published book ?

NO, they did NOT!!  They didn't mention *any* of these facts.  They
appeared to exert an effort to achieve "balance" in the story.  Well, a
pound of cow manure weighs exactly the same as a pound of gold.

Michio Kaku is a theoretical physicist, not a health physicist, nor a
mechanical engineer, nor a nuclear engineer.  Yet he passes himself off
as a well-schooled expert of RTG technology in his effort to demonize
and degrade anything and everything having to do with the utilization of
atomic energy.  Nothing will satisfy the Cassini protestors until all
atomic power plants are demolished, meats are laced with thriving
salmonella and E. Coli colonies, and we're all wearing sandals and
straw hats and scratching out our subsistence on organic farms and
dying of cancer for want of radiation therapy.

Check the archives of National Public Radio's Science Friday program, in
the weeks leading up to the launch of Cassini, and you will have the
opportunity to listen to Kaku make an utter fool of himself "debating"
the President of the Health Physics Society, Dr. Otto Raabe -- the man
who wrote the book on the health effects of plutonium inhalation.  You can even listen to Dr. Kaku
cravenly rush to squeeze in a plug for his new book at the very end of
the show.

Kaku, and his ilk, are the enemies of future human exploration and
prosperity.  Scientific American and Mark Alpert deserve a harsh
scolding for their credulity in their dealings with him.

    -Michael Pelletier.

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