Ultraman, Rescue Us. By Daniel Bruno

Posted on Saturday, 7th April 2012 @ 04:15 PM by Text Size A | A | A

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Ultraman… defender of Earth

Origin:  The Land of Light, Nebula M78 Galaxy  Height: 40 meters ( 120 feet )  Weight: 35,000 metric tons  Running Speed: 700 kph ( 320 mph )


The Specium Ray.  His signature weapon… emitted from  forearms crossed Aikido style in the shape of a plus sign. This lethal laser beam is fired from his right hand.

Ultra Slash:  ring beams with serrated edges reminiscent of Tae-Kwon-Do throwing stars. They slice objects in half like a buzz saw.

Ultraman is  the solar powered, red and silver super-hero saviour mech of mankind.  He defeats rampaging, reptilian, dinosaurish monsters from outer space that lurk in the bowels of the Earth.  Impervious to all the tank shells and air-to-surface missiles humans can throw at them, these ogres leave a swath of destruction in their wake.  There is Baltan-seijin (the clawed, insect-like alien), Red King (the rambunctious bully), Seabozhu, Pygmon, Gomora and Dada (the three-faced humanoid creature with distinct black patterns on white).  Finally, there is Zetton, who defeats Ultraman in April, 1967.

Whenever malevolent enemies are on the verge of taking over and humanity is on the brink, Hayata presses the emergency buton of his trusty Beta capsule, a kind of panic buton which sends out an S.O.S.  Out of nowhere,  Ultraman descends from the heavens like Raijin, the mythical god of thunder.  Like Superman, he flies without wings or an apparent source of fuel or thrust.  Once on the ground, he quickly sizes up the situation and gets to work shaming and stopping the more corpulent monsters.  He has exactly three minutes to do so.  Neither nuclear nor fossil fuel powered, the radiant sun is his lifeline and his might fades quickly dealing defeat to wild monsters on the dim Earth's surface.

After every triumph, he doesn't ask for accolades or money.  In fact, he never speaks.  He looks skyward at the sun and disappears towards it in a gigantic leap.  Our hero, Ultraman.

Ultraman wears a buzzer-lamp like pendant on his sternum.  When his three minute time limit is approached it blinks and beeps ever faster like the pulse of a man under duress and emits an alarm of increasing pitch and tempo. Should Ultraman exceed his three minute capacity to dwell on Earth, he will expire.  Forever.  It was a brilliant, tantalizing feature introduced by Dr. Eiji Tsuburaya, the "father" of Godzilla and the mastermind behind  Ultraman.  It kept viewers, mostly small children, holding their breath in suspense.  I was one of those children in the United States.  Sitting in front of a large black and white television with rabbit ears at a day-care center, the opening theme song made me tremble with an astonishment and visceral fear that only a child understands.


UltraMan Original Theme Song - English

Fast forward four decades.  Tuesday, October 18, 2011.

Monsters run amok in the land of the Rising Sun; some people have fled in terror but most bury their heads in the sand, resigned to their fate, whatever that may be.   This time, the monsters have terrifying names that bring comparisons to the horrors of August, 1945.   These names are not Japanese: Strontium ( like a mighty beast)  Cesium  ( could be a Roman gladiator) and Plutonium ( A confirmed extraterrestrial and Lord of the Underworld.  In fact, Plutonium did not have a place on the Periodic Table of Elements until scientists created this, the most deadly substance known to man.)  There's enough Plutonium at Fukushima to kill every body on Earth.  Its out in the open.

News flash: Radioactivity in tea from Tokyo prefecture exceeds provisional safety limit for Cesium. 550 to 690 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium were detected in the commercial teas grown on three plantations .  The Tokyo metropolitan government tested thirty types of tea in early October and Cesium was detected in twenty-nine of them.  Same situation in Chiba and Saitama.

Flash: On November 26, The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology released results of radiation tests done in the wake of the atomic disaster unfolding as a consequence of the Great Tohoku Earthquake that killed 20,000 in March.   The highest combined cumulative density of radioactive Cesium-134 and Cesium-137 was found in Hitachinaka, Ibaraki Prefecture, at 40,801 becquerels per square meter. That was followed by 22,570 becquerels per square meter in Yamagata, the capital of Yamagata Prefecture, and 17,354 becquerels per square meter in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward....

Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward....

Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward....

So what is a becquerel?  From Wikipedia:

For a given mass m (in grams) of an isotope with atomic mass m_a (in g/mol) and a half-life of t_{1/2} (in s), the amount of radioactivity can be calculated using:

radioactivity(in Bq) = \frac{m}{m_a}N_A\frac{\ln(2)}{t_{1/2}}

With N_A=6.022 141 79(30)×1023 mol?1 the Avogadro constant.

For instance, one kilogram of Potassium contains 0.12 gram of 40K (all other isotopes are stable) that has a t_{1/2} of 1.248×109years=39.38×1015 seconds, and has an atomic mass of 39.963 g/mol, so the radioactivity is 32. kBq.

Phew, I sure am glad we cleared that up, but somehow, I yearn for clarity.

From M.I.T:

"...regardless of what units we use, how high does the exposure have to be before it produces significant effects? “If only we knew the answer,” ( Dr.) Yanch says. We do know, at the high end, what levels produce immediate radiation sickness or death, but the lower the doses go, the less certain the data are on the effects. “There’s a very large variation in background levels” of radiation around the world, Yanch says, but so far no study has been done that correlates those differences with effects on health, such as cancer incidence. “It’s very hard to get a good answer to how significant low levels of radiation are,” she says. But if those effects were large, she says, it would be obvious, and “we don’t see obvious differences” in health, for example, in regions (such as parts of China) where the natural background radiation is ten times higher than in typical U.S. cities.

Some things are clear: A radiation dose of 500 millisieverts (mSv) or more can begin to cause some symptoms of radiation poisoning. Studies of those exposed to radiation from the atomic bomb blast at Hiroshima showed that for those who received a whole-body dose of 4,500 mSv, about 50 percent died from acute radiation poisoning. By way of comparison, the average natural background radiation in the United States is 2.6 mSv. The legal limit for annual exposure by nuclear workers is 50 mSv, and in Japan that limit was just raised for emergency workers to 250 mSv.

The highest specific exposures reported so far were of two workers at the Fukushima plant who received doses of 170 to 180 mSv on March 24 — lower than the new Japanese standard, but still enough to cause some symptoms (reports say the men had rashes on the areas exposed to radioactive water).

Everything we know about radiation suggests that if you get a certain dose all at once, that’s much more serious than if you get the same dose over a long time,” Yanch says. The rule of thumb is that a dose spread out over a long period of time is about half as damaging as the same dose delivered all at once, but Yanch says that’s a conservative estimate, and the real equivalence may be closer to one-tenth that of a rapid dose."

Basic conversions:

1 gray (Gy) = 100 rad 1 rad = 10 milligray (mGy) 1 sievert (Sv) = 1,000 millisieverts (mSv) = 1,000,000 microsieverts (?Sv) 1 sievert = 100 rem 1 becquerel (Bq) = 1 count per second (cps) 1 curie = 37,000,000,000 becquerel = 37 Gigabecquerels (GBq)

O.K.   I am reminded that tiny, tiny things come in very large numbers better expressed in scientific notation.  But me, myself and I all put together equal only one; as in one brief life to live at the end of the second millenium and the start of the third.  As Three Dog Night put it, one is the lonliest number that you will ever do.  Then again, zero is even lonlier.  So what are the odds that I will go from one to zero because of a very large numbers of tiny body snatchers wreaking havoc inside me?

From ENE News:

"The peak value in Ibaraki Prefecture was 970,000 times larger than the cumulative fallout density of 0.042 becquerel per square meter in 2009, found in an earlier nationwide sampling before the Fukushima disaster."

This means the study found nearly a million times more radiation in an Ibaraki sample of soil than there was two years ago.

Uh-oh.    Now I feel an amazement and visceral fear that only adults can understand.   Its a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, akin to the unease of a turbulent flight...every time you take a sip of water.  Its a burden on one's shoulders and fortunately I have the luxury of throwing the yoke off.  The people around me bear the load of heavy, invisible chains that make it impossible to leave Japan.

But wait a minute.  Didn't the Wikipedia and M.I.T. sources indicate that the human body has 4400 bq of naturally occuring radiation ( not quoted above) and a kilo of pottasium has 32,000 bq?

This monster is invisible, silent and confounding.  As another famour rocker said, confusion in your brain is the nature of his ( the devil's) game.  But the busy people of Tokyo seem to be going about their business like there's nothing to worry about.  Or is that just a front?  I think it is.

I read this morning that a private citizen detected Gamma rays in soil at Tokyo Tower, just meters from my apartment.   I catch the morning sun on my balcony and I can't help but wonder if the dust on the railing is radioactive, nine months after Fukushima blew up.

I'm enraged that this has been done to Japan.  This is not a natural disaster, this is man made catastrophe with origins in a 1969 General Electric Mark IV nuclear plant built in a known earthquake zone with back-up generators in the basement, below sea level, just meters from the sea shore.  A design worthy of Bart Simpson and a sleep-walk into the abyss ennabled by legions of Japanese bureaucrats and technicians unable to stray from kata, unable to question authority, unable to deviate in the least from what has been handed down to them from above and what has gone on before.

Japan, known for sushi, is utterly dependent on sea food.

From the Examiner:

"Health risk looms as Pacific seafood accumulates radioactive poisoning."

"After Japanese Prime Minister declared the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe under control Friday, The Asahi Shimbun newspaper released calculations Monday showing at least 462 trillion becquerels of radioactive Strontium have leaked into the Pacific Ocean since Fukushima's No. 1 nuclear power plant catastrophe began, making it one of the world's most severe marine pollution cases in history. According to Greenpeace independent research, government and retailors are not adequately protecting the public from dangerous radioactive contaminated Pacific seafood, still sold unlabeled in Japan and on the international market, including to the United States due to a secret pact between Secretary Clinton and the Japanese Prime Minister.

"Because Strontium accumulates in bones and can cause bone cancer and leukemia, health experts have called for extensive surveys on the amount of leaked Strontium so measures can be developed to manage the problem. "Because Strontium exists with Cesium, and its volume is estimated to be less than 10 percent of that of Cesium, few surveys have been done to gauge the volume of Strontium in marine life."   The Fisheries Agency is conducting a sampling survey to assess accumulated radioactive materials in marine life.   Reports previously stating that radioactivity in seafood is low are dangerously misleading according to Satoshi Katayama, a professor of marine resources ecology at Tohoku University.   Katayama explained, "Strontium easily accumulates in creatures, even if its concentration level is low."   Last month, Greenpeace's Japan Oceans Campaigner Wakao Hanaoka, took seafood samples from five supermarket chains - Aeon, Ito Yokado, Uny (Apita), Daiei and Seiyu - [DW1] as featured in the first round of research, taking 15 samples from each. Of the 75 samples, radioactive cesium 134 and 137 were detected in 27.   "There was no company whose products were not contaminated," Greenpeace reported.   "Despite being below these limits, the contaminated seafood still represents a health risk, particularly for pregnant women and children, and it is putting those far beyond Fukushima at risk as the seafood is shipped to supermarkets far and wide."   Greenpeace reports that Japan’s seafood is not being labeled so having no idea if it has been screened, consumers are unable to make informed decisions about their seafood purchases.   In August, Deborah Dupré reported that "the US government has deliberately minimized the catastrophe, partially due to a pact Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed with Japan.

"In April, the month after the powerful tsunami and earthquake crippled Japan including its nuclear power plant, 'Hillary Clinton signed a pact with Japan that she agreed there is no problem with Japanese food supply and we will continue to buy them so we are not sampling food coming in from Japan,' according to [Arnie] Gundersen."

"Contrary to what the Japanese Prime Minister has declared, the government's Japan Atomic Energy Commission has said it will take over 30 years to decommission the Fukushima reactors.   The Japanese government has been hiding bodies according to Yoichi Shimatzu, former editor of Japan Times last month who also revealed on Rense Radio that government is not reporting number of deaths by nuclear radiation."      Now we have a consipracy of silence.  Or is it yellow journalism?

Why does the mass media concentrate on the stupid and banal and largely ignore what is possible. For example, this car that uses air as fuel:

  Why go through all of the stress and dislocation of nuclear and carbon energy when Ra the sun god generously spreads his limitless bounty to all earthlings willing to partake of it? Ultrman did.  Plants sure do and they dont even have brains.  What kind of civilization produces thousands of tons of unimaginably deadly Plutonium that endure for tens of thousands of years and can not be burnt or frozen or killed or blasted into space or stored safely on Earth...all for the purpose of boiling water to turn turbines that generate electricity? Will it be cars that run on air or airheads?

Generating enough solar electricity to power our technologocal civilization is easy to do.  Don't believe the bull they feed us that solar and wind can't supply an energy hungry world.   Did you ever use a palm sized magnifying glass to burn a hole in a piece of paper in 5th grade science class?  This same technique is now being used by a solar farm in Spain to create as many Watts as any  nuclear plant:

From The Guardian, July 2010:

"Spain has opened the world's largest solar power station, meaning that it overtakes the US as the biggest solar generator in the world. The nation's total solar power production is now equivalent to the output of a nuclear power station.

"Spain is a world leader in renewable energies and has long been a producer of hydro-electricity (only China and the US have built more dams). It also has a highly developed wind power sector which, like solar power, has received generous government subsidies."

"The new La Florida solar plant takes Spain's solar output to 432MW, which compares with the US output of 422MW. The plant, at Alvarado, Badajoz, in the west of the country, is a parabolic trough.

"With this method of collecting solar energy, sunlight is reflected off a parabolic mirror on to a fluid-filled tube. The heated liquid is then used to heat steam to run the turbines. The mirror rotates during the day to follow the sun's movement. The solar farm covers 550,000 square metres (the size of around 77 football pitches) and produces 50MW of power.

"Protermosolar, the association that represents the solar energy sector, says that within a year another 600MW will have come on-stream and projects that by 2013 solar capacity will have reached 2,500MW."


And a group of enterprising young Americans have developed a solar road to keep electric cars powered up:

"Covering the 25,000 square miles of roads, parking lots and driveways in the US with solar panels would produce three times as much power than the country is using. Roads are collecting heat anyway - why not collect the power and make the roads into an electric grid? The technology to do this already exists."

Imagine that the American government folded its losing hand in Afghanistan and quit its endless military expeditions and conquests for the sake of the oil oligopolies...diverting its awesome resources away from empire, if only temporarily... and towards supporting this and a thousand other American start-ups with grants, and putting millions of other Americans back to work building intelligent highways and solar farms that collect the source of Ultraman's power...

How many hundreds of generations of humans will have to deal with the madness and expense of nuclear waste...that is, if there is no nuclear monster that extinguishes our species first?    With 1300 spent fuel rods, the accumulated waste of forty years' of nuclear fission, Fukushima has the potential to give every person on Earth a fatal case of thyroid cancer.  This is not yellow journalism.   This is not science fiction.  There is nothing that Ultraman or an army of Ultramen can do to subdue radiation that has been released into the environment.  Once it gets into body tissue, it cant be removed.    This is science, this is reality, just as catastrophic climate change is quickly becoming a reality.  One need not be a scientist to understand these things.


Dr. Helen Caldicott, nominated for a Nobel Prize by Linus Pauling:

"Few people know that the Pacific Northwest got whacked hard by fallout from the Fukushima disaster with radiation rates hundreds of thousands of times higher than normal background radiation.  The damage from this is not something that the corporate media or the government is talking about.  It mysteriously disappeared from the radar almost immediately."

Dr. Caldicott refers to this as a process of “cover-up and psychic numbing.”


That three minute timer is ticking.  If we, collectively, don't get a grip and abandon nuclear and carbon energy, a cataclysm will fall down on Earth unlike anything in the history of the world. it will be violent, it will shock and awe and it will destroy billions of people.   It will be too late to do anything about it except hide in caves.    Along the road to doomsday, great nations will be reduced to dust.  Japan is one after-shock away from becoming an uninhabitable wasteland where everyone and everything dies of cancer.  Wonder what that will do for Japan's GDP.   A generation ago, the mighty Soviet Union dissolved in the wake of Chernobyl, a stalled economy and follies in Afghanistan, follies that America inexplicably seems hell-bent on repeating.   America, ever more polarized, Orwellian and authoritarian, could suffer the same fate as the ossified U.S.S.R.  A nuclear meltdown at another G.E. Mark IV, the Vermont Yankee, not far from New York City, could be the catalyst that ends America and brings chaos to global financial markets in a matter of days.  Is it worth it?


My guess is that human societies being what they are, it will take  unprecedented destruction and the loss of millions of lives in a wealthy country to force the switch to renewable energy.

Ultraman can stay home and watch the carnage on TV.


Daniel Bruno

November 15, 2011

Roppongi, Tokyo


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