Thursday, October 7, 2010

Scientific explanation

The 'China Syndrome' refers to the most drastically severe meltdown a nuclear reactor could possibly achieve. In this case, the reactor would reach the highest level of superficiality for a sustained period of time, resulting in the melting of its support infrastructure (meltdown). The uranium in the core would behave in a similar manner to a delta-class fire, self-sustaining temperatures in excess of 2000°C. Since these temperatures would melt all materials around it, the reactor would sink due to gravity, effectively boring a hole through the reactor compartment's floor.

The China syndrome becomes fictional in the hypothesis of it boring a hole from the United States to China, or any other part of the world (the opposite side of the earth from the USA is not China, but the Indian Ocean). Most obviously it is impossible because the Earth's gravity would only pull it towards the core of the planet and no further. Additionally the uranium core would not exceed more than 10 meters of 'boring' due to natural passive safety; the surrounding ground beneath the reactor would absorb the heat and transfer it inductively to the surrounding area, thus preventing the ground directly beneath the core from 'melting'. This manner of spreading heat collectively through the ground is proposed for use in General Atomic s' Gas Turbine Modular Helium Reactor for regular operation and passive safety, which aims to eliminate the possibility of a meltdown.

History and usage

The large size of nuclear power plants ordered during the late 1960s raised new safety questions and created fears of a severe reactor accident that would send large quantities of radiation into the environment. In the early 1970s a contentious controversy over the performance of emergency core cooling systems in nuclear power plants, designed to prevent a core meltdown that could lead to the China Syndrome, was discussed in the popular media and in technical journals.

In 1971, nuclear physicist Ralph Lapp used the term "China syndrome" to describe the burn-through of the reactor vessel, the penetration of the concrete below it, and the emergence of a mass of hot fuel into the soil below the reactor. He based his statements on the report of a task force of nuclear physicists headed by Dr. W.K. Ergen, published in 1967. The dangers of such a hypothetical accident were popularized by the 1979 film, The China Syndrome.

The name refers to the idea of the nuclear material burning a hole from the United States to 'the other side of the world', i.e., China.[4] Despite several meltdowns in both civilian and military reactors, such an extreme meltdown has never taken place. China is a metaphor, as the opposite side of the globe from the USA is actually the Indian Ocean.

China Syndrome

The China Syndrome is a fanciful idea of an extreme result of a nuclear meltdown in which molten reactor core products breach the barriers below them and flow downwards through the floor of the containment building. The origin of the phrase is the fictional concept that molten material from an American reactor would melt through the crust of the Earth and reach China. Although the phrase has been commonly used in popular discussion of nuclear power, no such meltdown has ever occurred.

China Syndrome The King of Queens

China Syndrome is the series finale of the long-running US American sitcom The King of Queens. The finale has the length of two regular episodes, being counted as the 12th and 13th of the ninth season, running about 44 minutes without commercials. It was taped March 15, 2007.

After Doug has learned that his wife Carrie  has not given up the apartment in Manhattan as she had promised (in the previous episode Single Spaced), he is furious with her and does not want to attend her father Arthur's wedding with Ava St. Clair (Lainie Kazan), which takes place in Poughkeepsie. However, his best friend Deacon Palmer takes him there anyway, during the middle of The Price Is Right (although the show's name is never mentioned, Doug rants that "Ensign Curtis here just cost himself a trip to the Showcase Showdown").

When Ava St. Clair learns that Arthur is not gay as she thought, she leaves the ceremony. She had wanted a companion, not a regular husband. Arthur, who is upset because Ava left him at the altar, has his mind set on getting married and proposes to Veronica Olchin (Anne Meara) in the men's room, and she accepts. Carrie and Spence, their respective children, are flabbergasted by the spontaneous decision. The ceremony is performed by Rabbi Feldman (Josh Cooke), because the original bride Ava was Jewish, although neither Arthur nor Veronica are Jewish. Veronica reveals to Arthur that she is Albanian Orthodox (to which Arthur replies: "What the hell is that?"), and Arthur lets the rabbi continue his prayer. The wedding ends with Arthur smashing a glass with his foot, while everyone cheers, "Mazel tov!"

Immediately afterwards, Carrie is notified that the baby she and Doug wanted to adopt is waiting for them in Beijing. However, Doug does not want to have a baby with her anymore and they split up. A very pregnant Holly (Nicole Sullivan) also shows up at the wedding, as does the Heffernans’ neighbor Lou Ferrigno. At this point, it is also revealed that Holly's husband has left her. When Lou tries to cheer everyone up with "Such a happy day," he is greeted by very unhappy expressions.

Doug, who sits outside in the back of the building where the ceremony is performed, makes an offer to Spence to become his new roommate, since he is divorcing Carrie, but later rescinds the offer when Holly tells him her story. Very drunk, he challenges each of them to a wrestling match, but falls asleep while fighting with Holly. When Arthur learns that Doug will not toast him as his best man, he pitches the role to Spence, who turns it down, and ultimately, Deacon is forced to make the toast.

Spence tries to move back in with Doug's cousin Danny because Arthur will be living with his mother Veronica now. He learns, however, that Danny has a new girlfriend Sandy (Jillian Bach) who is living with him. In the end, Spence and Danny patch up their friendship and become roommates again.

Meanwhile, Kelly points out to Carrie that she shouldn't feel so guilty about keeping a secret from Doug. After all, Doug let Carrie down a lot in the past. Carrie is convinced and tells Doug off.

Both decide that they want to get the Chinese baby for themselves and board the same plane, although Carrie leaves the house first, and Doug has to find his passport, which Deacon finds in the vegetable crisper. Doug later surprises Carrie by greeting her with a gruff "Hello!" and showing her his passport in triumph. He also adds that "Deacon's BLT was delicious, as is my revenge."

They use the long flight to sort out their problems, and eventually, they get back together. After getting little Ming-Mei from the adoption agency, Carrie finds out that she is pregnant. She is scared about the changes to come, but Doug is optimistic that they will be able to handle it together.

The episode fast-forwards one year and shows Doug and Carrie with their two small children in their living room. Arthur comes in with a suitcase, announcing that "it didn't work out".

The episode ends with a three-minute montage of scenes from the show's nine seasons to A Million Billion's song Milk & Honey.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Collecting the Dirty Words

Collecting the Dirty Words We have collected dirty words and short phrases from several different sources and in several different languages to add to our database. These were then annotated manually with various types of information. The original intended use was humor generation and humor recognition in English and Japanese, so these two languages received the most focus. The single largest source of dirty words was a list collected by George Carlin1, containing about 2,400 dirty word expressions in English. Most of these are euphemisms, tending towards joke like expressions, for example “trouser anaconda”. For Japanese we extracted all words in the EDICT dictionary (Breen, 1995) marked with the “vulgar” flag, and also added various short lists of dirty words found on the Internet. We also had several native speakers of Japanese simply write down a lot of dirty words that they could come up with by looking at the other words in the list. We have also found useful information in the Alternative Dictionaries2, the Swearsaurus3, andWikicurse4, which are

Aristotle in China

Aristotle in China explain the absence from one language, and thus from one philosophical tradition, of whole departments of enquiry energetically pursued in another. At this juncture a cardinal principle must be introduced, one flouted regularly in the literature, just as the basic requirement of thorough knowledge of the languages in question is only partially satisfied at best. Again and again participants in these discussions adduce supposedly striking and decisive instances of what might be labelled linguistic ‘dissonance’ or ‘shock’, that is, alleged examples of baulked translation whose intractability is to be ascribed (the story goes) to structural divergence. But the fact is that much of this evidence constitutes, if anything, a set of counter-examples to ‘the guidance and constraint hypothesis’. That some philosophical thesis can be formulated in ancient Chinese or ancient Greek or modern English or French only by creating or adapting terminology, by novel definition or redefinition, or even by speaking in what might be felt as an alien idiom, establishes that the philosophy is expressible – albeit at the expense of considerable ingenuity, prolixity or both. Sinologists impressed by the trickiness of getting certain European philosophical texts into Chinese should take note of how elaborately hedged about is, and must always be, the study of ancient Greek texts in English translation. When the complex of Chinese language and thought is set against the Western model, the linguistic explanation of their differences is supposed to be fundamental, and where, as is customary, the contrast is with ancient Greek, the foundation is taken to be whatever differentiates Indo-European from all other language groups. As a result, registering examples of ‘shock’ and ‘dissonance’ will hit home if and only if they demonstrate a real inability, in principle and as a consequence of basic structure, to get something from or into Chinese: mere occasions for ingenuity will not suffice. In several works5 Angus Graham took up ‘the guidance and constraint hypothesis’ and adapted it to the large-scale evaluation of Chinese philosophy.6 His Disputers of the Tao is a text to which I shall return again and again. Since Graham’s unparalleled linguistic expertise was explicitly set to philosophical work of great force and scope, both the particular form of ‘guidance and constraint’ he advocated and his objections to rival versions will amply repay study. Graham’s exploitation of ‘dissonance’ appears to hover unstably between exaggeration of its significance and willingness to moderate his own linguistic determination strategy. Citing what he sees as Plato’s and Anselm’s ‘confusion between existence and 5 Most notably appendix 2 to Disputers of the Tao: Philosophical Argument in Ancient China(Graham 1989). 6 Although various earlier, interesting formulations of Graham’s position are easy enough to find scattered throughout his voluminous writings, which do not simply repeat themselves on this score, the fact remains that in all essentials appendix 2 is the definitive, final enunciation of his thesis.


Structure In the dictionary the words are annotated with the following information: how to write the word, how to pronounce the word, the meaning of the word, the nuance of the word, whether the word is ambiguous in the sense that it has nondirty meanings too, what language the word comes from, and the part of speech of the word. The dictionary also contains many multi-word expressions, though they are treated like one unit and we will refer to these too as “words” in this paper except when talking specifically about the number of words in the expressions. The only information that is mandatory for a word is how to write it. All other fields can be left unspecified, though so far all words are also annotated with the language they come from. Pronunciation is currently only provided for the Japanese words, for which it can be non-trivial to figure out the reading of the ideographic characters used for writing. The same ideographic character sequence can have several different readings, some of which can be dirty words while others are not. The meanings are specified by links to special “interlingua” like objects. These describe the general meaning of a word using English (though adding explanations in other languages too is of course also possible). Currently only the general meaning is given, such as what part of the human anatomy a word refers too or that it is some form of fornication. More detailed classifications can be done later if it is found to be necessary for a specific application. These interlingua meaning objects are also grouped into three general groups: sex related, bodily functions, and insults. The meanings of some words do not fit into any of these three categories, in which case what group the meaning belongs to is left unspecified. An example of an interlingua object is “cuss word interjection” for things such as “dammit”. The nuances of words indicate if a word is a clinical word used for instance in doctor patient conversations, if it is a “cute” word used when speaking to children, if it is a euphemism, or if it is an “extra bad” word (very rude), etc. We have found use for this type of information ourselves in other experiments, for instance in humor generation where really bad words tended to offend rather than entertain, and clinical words did not sound very funny either. This type of information could also be useful for instance when selecting from different translation candidates, so as to find a translation with a similar nuance in the target language. Nuance can of course be hard to determine for some words. Words can be perceived as very rude by some people