Forget sequestration a minute, and worry about helium
OK, I know that sequestration is the dish of the day, and I'll have a post about that right after this one.
But I've been posting occasionally on the HELIUM CRISIS ever since I first heard about it, and Congress is trying to take action to avert the worst of the HELIUM CRISIS.
I am not kidding! The HELIUM CRISIS is real. We, globally, as a human race, could run out of helium, and helium does a darned lot of things for us besides filling up birthday party balloons and Buzz Lightyear in the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.
"A new bill hopes to address issues with the system, and would continue
current sales for another year and then
again in a second phase lasting until about
2020. But even if the bill becomes law, the helium reserve will be gone
roughly 15 years."
"... the wispy gas has several properties that make it indispensable for
myriad high-tech uses. It's
the only element that remains a liquid at absolute zero, so it's the
only thing that can serve as a cryogen to cool the superconducting
magnets in MRI
machines and particle accelerators such as Europe's Large Hadron
Collider. The supremely inert gas is also indispensable for the
production of microchips
and optical fibers."
But here's the worst part:
"For the second time in 8 months, a congressional committee is
considering a bill that would avert a calamitous shortage of helium
that's sure to take place
this year if Congress does nothing."
Since this is a Congress that specializes in doing nothing, it looks like a HELIUM CRISIS is a sure bet.