Liar’s Poker and Other Games of Chance

According to the Urban Dictionary, Liar’s Poker is an American bar game played with one-dollar bills. Each player picks from a pile of face-down bills, and uses the eight-digit serial number on the face of the bill (kept private) to shape a playing strategy. This is a consecutive bidding game where players “bet” on the … Read more

Of Pandora and Prometheus

The myths of Pandora and Prometheus are some of the most interesting of the Greek myths. What I didn’t realize until recently is that these two myths are related. Prometheus—whose name means “forethought” or “forward thinker”—was a Titan who helped to create humans and stole fire from Zeus and the rest of his Olympus gang … Read more

A love letter to Engineers

Popular media describe engineers in two ways: 1. Bumbling white male nerds in ill-fitting garb and thick glasses with only a vague awareness of the world outside our books, computers and equations. Not evil, but frequently patsies of more worldly people like James Bond. 2. Active evil-doers in cahoots with the evil scientists, helping to … Read more

RIC NRC – Part 1

I was at the NRC’s Regulatory Information Conference in Washington, DC this week. Every March, a couple thousand nuclear industry professionals, journalists, and members of the public come to the conference center across the street from the NRC’s headquarters in Rockville to hear the NRC discuss issues that concern them. Many, if not most, of … Read more

Global Warming or Not, Methane Is A Bad Plan

Last year at the end of January, spring was already beginning to be felt in my little corner of the world and I was writing about my spring flowers. This year the scene is quite different. As I sit and write this column, we are hunkering down for a storm of nearly epic proportions for … Read more

Kill the Goose That Lays Golden Eggs

Once upon a time, a poor state named Vermont hosted a nuclear power plant called Vermont Yankee. Vermont lacked the money to do many needed things. But it wanted to spend money on luxuries, like cleaning up a lake and generating electricity as expensively as possible. The power plant, meanwhile, lacked the state’s permission to … Read more