Our Visual Aid for Confirmation of a Ketchup-like Slow Leak In Radioactive Waste Tank at the Hanford Nuclear Reserve

A handy dandy visual Aid for Hanford Nuclear Reservation managers confirming a leak in AY-102, which they say, however, is slow, like ketchup

We have been watching the news about the AY-102 tank at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State, to see what would develop. Yesterday, a friend send me this article in which the leak of the inner shell of the 44 year old tank is confirmed, but we are assured that the radioactive material is not reaching the environment and is, indeed, a slow leak.

Like ketchup.

Tom Fletcher, one of the top managers, reports, “I would say I’d say it’s more like ketchup,” he explains. “This is not a water like consistency material. It’s moving very, very slow.”

Despite the assurance the radioactive material isn’t reaching the environment, I told my friend the “ketchup” remark was begging for a visual aid. So I asked my 14 year old son, Aaron, to prepare one.

He did, and here it is.


H.o.p.’s New Film Short, “Phobia”

Inspired by Psycho (which he has yet to see in full) and silent films he was watching over the weekend, Aaron finished another film yesterday. All shot on his iPhone–he directed his dad on how to shoot him, and enlisted a friend, George, to put in a cameo. He put it together in iMovie and conscripted his dad to compose silent film sounding music for it. I think he did a really nice job with the composing of shots and the editing. Not too shabby at all for 14.

He says he’s next going to do a comedy. I’ll believe it when I see it. Maybe. We’ve been reading absurdists together and he’s finding them hilarious. Did Ionesco last week and finished “Endgame” today.

More of his art at his blog.

Special Moments at 2011 DragonCon

H.o.p. and Ralph Bakshi. 2011 DragonCon.

Long before H.o.p. was born I was taping those Ralph Bakshi episodes of “The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse” to make sure I had them when they were no longer airing.

Then here was H.o.p. and it was obvious he was on the art track. I pulled out those Bakshi tapes and made them a big part of his animation appreciation from early on. I put them on. Said, “This, now this is some great animation, courtesy Ralph Bakshi.” And he loved them, memorizing all the episodes that I had.

This was H.o.p.’s third year at Dragoncon. And who was there this year? Ralph Bakshi. Talk about dreams come true. All H.o.p. could think about was how Bakshi was going to be there. Every day was planned around when Ralph Bakshi would be presenting. H.o.p. had me sit down and watch “Wizards” with him in preparation. He made it an official, totally devoted screening of “Wizards” so we could discuss it together. He wasn’t going to let me be distracted by anything else. And discuss it we did. He kept stopping it to talk about it.

He was determined to buy Bakshi merch, too, to help support Bakshi’s new animation. H.o.p. has seen how we try to support in our little ways what other artists do, and I don’t know if that’s influenced him or if he’s a natural for it but all he could talk about was wanting to buy Bakshi merch to help out.

He did a drawing for Bakshi.

H.o.p.’s going to remember 2011 Dragoncon for a long time to come, as can be attested by this photo of him with Ralph Bakshi.

I had no idea those many years ago when I was taping those Mighty Mouse episodes that one day there would be H.o.p. and he would be a Bakshi freak, would meet Bakshi at 2011 DragonCon, and that Ralph Bakshi would turn out to be such a fantastic soul!!!

Thank you to Ralph Bakshi for such great, educational presentations and for taking the time out to give encouragement to a devoted Bakshi fan and hopeful future animator.

Wish I could have been there but DragonCon is expensive so H.o.p’s dad has always taken DragonCon duty for some good father-son time. Maybe next year.

P.S. You can order Wizards through Bakshi’s website. And the New Adventures of Mighty Mouse is now available at Amazon.

Wikipedia vs. Britannica

H.o.p. is reading up on lemmings today as he has developed a lemming villain for a comic. “Do you know they commit suicide?” he asked.

“Where’d you read this?” I asked, knowing the lemmings suicide pact is a myth.


Which was selective reading on his part as Wikipedia clearly states this is myth, but he admitted he thought it was more interesting and better for his comic if they did commit suicide.

Whether Disney was aware what the filmmakers of its 1958 documentary “White Wilderness” were up to is unknown, but action footage of the animal kingdom is a moneymaker, and the numbers of lemmings shown leaping into the ocean were actually herded off as well as launched overboard by means of a turntable. Wikipedia relates this, which was uncovered by “Cruel Camera”, a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation production.

Having never seen “White Wilderness”, I looked it up on Youtube. There they were, cute lemmings (“They’re related to gerbils,” H.o.p. said) wildly throwing themselves off cliffs then swimming into the great unknown.

Then I noticed further down the page the film short, “Lemming Migration Along the Norwegian Coast” placed there by Encyclopaedia Britannica. Clicked on that and it begins with, I guess, a Norwegian narrator talking over footage I’ve not previously seen, but the new narration continuing over, we soon have the Disney footage, lemmings launching themselves over the cliff and swimming toward their doomed horizon.

We happen to have a subscription to the online Britannica which I got when H.o.p. was about 4 years of age, and which we never use. We’ve ended up relying on Wikipedia, which H.o.p. prefers. I signed in to Britannica, looked up lemmings, and, sure enough, the video was primo content attached to the article on lemmings.

Just yesterday, I was telling my sister that I keep intending to unsubscribe from Britannica as we never use it, I have compared it a number of times to Wikipedia entries and it has come up short. Nor has Britannica made itself attractive with good multimedia content.

I asked H.o.p. to make a little cartoon to accompany this post and here’s what he handed me after about ten minutes.

P.S. H.o.p. also put up a post on his blog on it.

Some of H.o.p.’s Sculptures

H.o.p. is expressing an interest in his blog again. We’ve been putting his creations up there but I thought I’d post several pics here today.

Ultra Metal Sonic
Ultra Metal Sonic

Nack the Weasel

The Dark Dragon
The Dark Dragon

It was impossible to get a good angle on the Dark Dragon, which was too bad as it’s fun with lots of red dots all over its body and meticulously done toes and claws. H.o.p. is realizing he needs to make armatures. This one he started to make without wire and then realizing the heads and necks wouldn’t be at all supported, so he took it apart and implanted wire.