Mutant Flowers From Japan’s Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

I’ve read a number of post-nuclear-war novels in my day, and I did always wonder if radiation would create the mutations imagined by the authors of those books.

In case anyone is wondering about the possibility of genetic mutations after a nuclear war, I submit to you these photos of flowers growing near the Fukushima Nuclear Reactor in Japan, which leaked radiation after the 2011 tsunami.

While the flowers are beautiful in their own odd way, its much creepier to see the effects of radiation on fruits, vegetables and butterflies.

After the 1986 Chernobyl I don’t remember seeing anything about the effects of radiation on the wild animals there, although there are a few creepy videos. This one looks like a headless moose:

In this video, biologist Timothy Mousseau has been studying the flora and fauna around Chernobyl and he is finding the radiation is still causing mutations and declines in animal populations. A few animals, however, are returning in greater numbers than expected.

Hacker Killed by Drone was “Secret Weapon”

Sometimes true events come with better headlines than a fiction author can come up with. Case in point, this Wall Street Journal article:

Hacker Killed by Drone was “Secret Weapon”

Junaid Hussain was a British citizen who joined the Islamic State, becoming a chief in their ‘electronic army’.

He was killed by a drone strike to a car in which he was traveling.

ISIS considered him a secret weapon because of the technical skills he possessed, showing how digital warfare has become nearly as important as the physical kind.

Mr. Hussain drew attention from U.S. and British intelligence and military agencies in part because of his efforts to recruit and incite violence, said one U.S. official. His importance to Islamic State made him a legitimate target, the official said. “Leadership: That is what gets our attention.”

Hussain had hacked the email of an assistant to the then-Prime Minister of Britain and revealed personal information about Prime Minister Tony Blair. Eventually, Hussain fled to Syria and hooked up with the Islamic State. There he wrote malware and taught others how to hack, including revealing the personal details of a number of U.S. military personnel.

August 2015 Summary

I thought I would create a monthly summary of my writing, reading, (and some films) to give you an idea about where my thoughts and progress are.

Writing

In August, I wrote 11,078 words, not including show notes for our Typehammer podcast.

I currently have three pieces of work in progress.

  • Stonelair is a short story. I am working on the second draft.
  • Dispossessed is another short story. It is set in the Battletech universe and I plan to submit it to them for publishing. I’m working on the first draft.
  • Working title: hobo is a novel. I am writing the first draft.

Reading

You can also follow me on Goodreads to see what I’m reading.