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Scientists Made Vodka From Chernobyl’s Radioactive Zone. They Say It’s Safe to Drink.

ATOMIK Vodka is the first consumer product to come from Chernobyl’s radioactive exclusion zone since the region was devastated by a nuclear disaster.

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ATOMIK Vodka
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(TMU) — Typically when a new brand of vodka is rolled out, manufacturers like to promote the pristine nature of its ingredients: the highest quality grains, the mineral-rich artesian mountain spring water, the meticulous distilling and filtering process.

But for one new brand of vodka, its team of makers have found a different promotional approach and are stressing that this is the first “artisan vodka” that originates from a nuclear disaster site.

Introducing ATOMIK Vodka, the first consumer product to come from the forbidden zone of Ukraine’s Chernobyl since the area was devastated by a nuclear disaster in 1986.

The vodka is the result of years of work by a group of researchers who have long worked in the exclusion zone, tracking the recovery of the land surrounding the disaster site.

The faulty nuclear reactor near the city of Pripyat remains surrounded by 1,003 square miles (2,600 square kilometers) of restricted access, known as the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and the Zone of Obligatory Resettlement. New investment and use of agricultural land remain forbidden within the zone.

But according to the team of scientists behind ATOMIK, the new liquor is completely safe for consumers to drink—in moderation, of course. The researchers spent three years looking into the transfer of radioactivity to crops in the restricted zone.

Professor Jim Smith of South England’s University of Portsmouth, who has worked alongside the team, hopes that proceeds from ATOMIK can further boost the economic recovery of communities living in the blighted region. The Chernobyl Spirit Company manufacturing ATOMIK plans to give 75 percent of all profits back to local communities.

https://twitter.com/winksgaming/status/1166908102270013440

Smith noted:

“After 30 years, I think the most important thing in the area is actually economic development, not the radioactivity.”

While the team did detect radioactivity in the grain, the vodka remains entirely safe to drink. A spokesperson at the University of Portsmouth explained:

“Strontium-90 is slightly above the cautious Ukrainian limit of 20 Bq/kg.

But, because distilling reduces any impurities in the original grain, the only radioactivity the researchers could detect in the alcohol is natural Carbon-14 at the same level you would expect in any spirit drink.”

The team used mineral water from an aquifer deep in the town of Chernobyl to dilute the distilled alcohol. The water, which was found to be free of contamination, had similar chemistry from the famously immaculate groundwater in France’s Champagne region, where the famous sparkling wine originates from.

Smith told the BBC:

“[ATOMIK] is no more radioactive than any other vodka.

Any chemist will tell you, when you distill something, impurities stay in the waste product. So we took rye that was slightly contaminated and water from the Chernobyl aquifer and we distilled it.

We asked our friends at Southampton University, who have an amazing radio-analytical laboratory, to see if they could find any radioactivity. They couldn’t find anything—everything was below their limit of detection.”

Smith hopes that the new liquor which he sees as “the most important” in the worldcan help carve out some space for development that would benefit locals. He explained:

“We don’t think the main Exclusion Zone should be extensively used for agriculture as it is now a wildlife reserve … But there are other areas where people live, but agriculture is still banned.

33 years on, many abandoned areas could now be used to grow crops safely without the need for distillation.

We aim to make a high-value product to support economic development of areas outside the main Exclusion Zone where radiation isn’t now a significant health risk.”

Oleg Nasvit, the first deputy head of the State Agency of Ukraine for Exclusion Zone Management, has welcomed the findings by Smith and his team. Nasvit said:

“It is important that we do everything we can to support the restoration of normal life in these areas whilst always putting safety first.”

As far as ATOMIK’s quality as a vodka is concerned, Nasvit is similarly supportive but offers a caveat:

“I’d call this a high-quality moonshine—it isn’t typical of a more highly purified vodka, but has the flavor of the grain from our original Ukrainian distillation methods—I like it.

Only one bottle of ATOMIK has been produced thus far as proof of concept, but the team at Chernobyl Spirit Company hopes to produce about 500 by the end of the year to sell to the influx of tourists who are flocking to the exclusion zone.

By Elias Marat | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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FBI Seizes Capitol Building LEGO Set From Alleged Rioter’s House

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Many of us know, either from our childhood or even our adulthood, that building and collecting LEGO can be a fun hobby that allows us to tap into our creativity in a relaxing, stress-free way.

But what if someone’s LEGO hobby is something much more nefarious – or even seditious in the eyes of the government?

Such may have been the case when special agents with the FBI confiscated a fully completed LEGO set of the U.S. Capitol Building from the home of Robert Morss, 27, whom they allege participated in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, according to court documents published by The Smoking Gun.

The large LEGO set is comprised of 1,032 pieces and was released in 2016 and is no longer available for retail. The agents seized the finished set along with other items matching those they believe Morss had in his possession when he allegedly stormed the building – including a neck gaiter, a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, a military-style satchel, a black tourniquet, and military battle dress uniforms.

The documents also note that he “had three different firearms including a handgun, a shotgun and a rifle” in his possession.

According to LEGO, the United States Capitol Building setfocuses on the structure’s neoclassical style facade, steps and lawns” and is “finished with a decorative ‘US Capitol’ nameplate.” In 2019, the product was “retired” – which has less to do with politics and more to do with the limited availability of the company’s unique product lines.

Morss, who is from Pennsylvania, was arrested last month on a range of federal charges. According to the Department of Justice, his alleged crimesinclude assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers; obstruction of an official proceeding; civil disorder; and robbery of personal property of the United States.”

An FBI investigator’s affidavit notes that Morss joined rioters in direct confrontations with officers guarding the Lower West Terrace doors of the Capital in “an intense and prolonged clash between rioters and law enforcement.”

Law enforcement officers claim that they also found a notebook in Morss car that had instructions on a “Step by Step to Create Hometown Militia” that included a list of names, equipment, and sections on “ambush,” “battle drills,” and “formations.” The notebook also contained notes that said “bring assault rifle,” “4 magazines,” and “bring kit/body armor.”

However, the court documents do not indicate whether the LEGO set was deployed in tactical drills prior to the botched uprising.

The DOJ says that roughly 465 individuals have been arrested on charges related the events of Jan. 6.

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Neptune, the Roman God of Water, ‘Emerges’ From Waves in Photo During UK Storm

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If we were to believe our eyes, it would seem that the ancient Roman god of water himself made an appearance on the shores of New Haven, England, on a day of especially rough surf.

What appears to be the “face” of Neptune was captured on Tuesday when photographer Jeff Overs of the BBC was taking photos of waves crashing over the harbor wall in the port city.

Of course, one is free to believe that the ferocious deity emanated from the depths of the sea to remind us puny humans of his wrath.

But alas, it was likely a simple example of pareidolia – the phenomenon of seeing faces and figures in otherwise random or ambiguous everyday objects.

The photographer snapped the shot amid high tide and winds exceeding 50 miles per hour (80km/h), namely because of the violent nature of the shore.

“It’s become a popular location for photographers because the sea ‘boils’ in high wind against the sea wall,” Overs explained.

“The waves splash into the high wind and when blown back occasionally make patterns that look like ghoulish faces.”

Overs added that one of the small foreground waves even resembles a hand – albeit a pareidolic one.

“It’s a straight shot and I haven’t manipulated the image at all,” he added.

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Lunar New Deal: GOP Lawmaker Suggests Altering Moon & Earth’s Orbit to Stop Climate Change

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Texas Republican Congressman Louise Gohmert raised the eyebrows of his Congressional colleagues on Tuesday after seemingly suggesting that climate change could be combatted by changing the orbit of the moon, or even altering “Earth’s orbit around the sun.”

Gohmert, who has been decried as the “dumbest member of Congress” for his past absurdly anti-scientific comments regarding the ongoing pandemic and a number of other issues, has been a vocal opponent of progressive legislators’ attempts to put a “Green New Deal” on the government’s agenda.

However, his apparent suggestion of a “Lunar New Deal” to mitigate global warming could take the cake as his most hare-brained idea yet.

The comments came during a House Natural Resources Committee hearing on four pending bills while questioning Jennifer Eberlien of the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, reports NBC.

“I understand, from what’s been testified to the Forest Service and the B.L.M. [Bureau of Land Management], you want very much to work on the issue of climate change,” the Texas congressman began.

“I was informed by the immediate past director of NASA that they’ve found that the moon’s orbit is changing slightly and so is the Earth’s orbit around the sun,” he continued.

“We know there’s been significant solar flare activity,” Gohmert said. “And so, is there anything that the National Forest Service or B.L.M. can do to change the course of the moon’s orbit or the Earth’s orbit around the sun?”

“Obviously that would have profound effects on our climate,” the lawmaker added.

Responding, Eberlein said with a smile: “I would have to follow up with on you on that one, Mr. Gohmert.” 

“If you figure out there’s a way in the forest service you could make that change, I’d like to know,” Gohmert responded, without any trace of irony.

Longtime critics of the conservative legislator were besides themselves with bewilderment and mockery over the out-of-this-world suggestion.

On the opposite side of the aisle California Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu suggested that perhaps Marvel Comics superheroine Captain Marvel was up to the task.

“She can alter planetary orbits with her superpowers. I’m going to work on a bipartisan resolution asking for her help,” Lieu wrote on Twitter.

According to NASA, the Earth’s climate has changed throughout history for various reasons, including small variations in the planet’s orbit.

However, the agency’s website notes that this doesn’t discount the fact that anthropogenic or human-caused activities are the culprit of the current warming.

“The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over millennia,” the site says.

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