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New National Science Lab? 16

Schwamm writes: " has a story about a possible new national science lab that would be built in a soon-to-be abandoned gold mine in South Dakota. The only catch is that the bills need to get through Congress by the end of the year, when the current owner of the mine will abandon it. This would be an awesome lab--the "Cape Canaveral of Physics.""
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New National Science Lab?

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  • Thoughts (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ( 152591 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @02:53PM (#2620301) Homepage
    Does anyone else READ the science category anymore, except for me!?!?

    I'm not sure that any legislation not directed at "terrorist" activities will even be bothered with this session. Now, if someone could find an anti-terrorism use for the facility, it might be snapped up in a heartbeat.
  • Cape? bah! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I hardly think that Canaveral would be the best metaphor if you are looking for the epitome of scientific comparisons....

    It looks more comparable to Poker Flats, AK; certainly not to Johnson or Kennedy (canaveral).
  • On the plus side, it should practically pay for itself, right? :)
  • The world could always use more science, and this looks like it could be partly funded by tourism. The abandoned mine makes it safer, and it won't be full of old stuff since it is being made new!

    Now, if everything passes....

  • Can you say pork? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @05:02PM (#2621072)
    Guys, look, this is in South Dakota, which
    is the home state of the Senate Majority Leader,
    Tom Daschle.

    In return for turning over this property to the
    government Homestake Mining gets a waiver for environmental
    damage that was almost certainly done, AND gets
    paid hundreds of millions for the privilege.
    • Bullshit.

      I live about 30 miles from Homestake, and this has been big news around here for the last year. First off, while Daschle does have influence to push legislation thru, it is not needed. Physics experiments have been going on in the mine for about 30 years, and it was the researcher's idea to develop a full blown lab. Secondly, Homestake has an EXELLENT environmental record over its 125 years of operation (unlike some mines which have caused untold damages). In fact, the Sierra Club has awarded Homestake for it's work to protect the environment. The waiver that Homestake will recieve is from any damage that the Lab might make in the future. They will also be providing $75 million for any damage which might need to be cleaned up. This special waiver is needed, because current legislation makes them liable, both criminally and civily, for any future damage, whether it is pre-existing, or created by the new lab. As for the "gets paid hundreds of millions for the privilege" comment, I don't know what you are smoking, but the only advantage for Homestake may be tax write-offs of the land value.

      The proposal is an excellent idea, with much of the infrastructure in place. The lab will be build, either here or in California. The difference is here, the lab would be renovating existing excavation and in California, they would dig a whole new set of tunnels.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @06:47PM (#2621798)
    Remember George Armstrong Custer? Got his butt whipped by some Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho warriors at the Little Bighorn in Eastern Montana? The fight was all about the Natives determination to hang onto the Black Hills of South Dakota, a place with some serious religious significance to these people. Seems, however, that there was gold in them thar hills, making it a place of serious religious significance to the white folks as well.

    Now remember William Randolf Hearst? You might know him as the publisher of the San Fransisco Examiner during the late 19th century, the father of "Yellow Journalism," and one of the worst rascists in U.S. history. Hearst's father was a millionaire miner and the original owner of the Homestake mine.

    So basically Custer died in order to help a bunch of wealthy rascist gold miners steal a sacred site from the natives. The Sioux and other tribes still hold the Black Hills as sacred. They have seen their church desecrated with mines, idiot tourist traps such as Mt Rushmore, beer drinking hog drivers during the annual motorcycle rally, and Army and Air Force bases.

    My father was a physicist, so I have a lot of sympathy for the idea of an underground physics lab. But not at the expense of the rightful owners. Clean up the Black Hills and give them back to the rightful owners.
    • Yes, giving the Black Hills back to the Native Americans sounds like a nice idea, but people live there (I am one of them), besides who are the rightfull owners anyway? I don't clame to know anything, but every country has a history of one people group taking over another for whatever reasons (usually bad ones like greed, somtimes for better ones like freedom) and settleing there. You might as well ask that everyone leave the U.S. and go back to their country of origin. If you go back far enough people who live in a certian country probably decended from people who conqured that area long ago, and we might as well say they are not the rightfull owners of the land they live in.

      Being fair sounds nice, but is too complicated, besides what is fair? Our history (Human history that is) is full of waring and conquring and atrocities, to right one by giving back the Black Hills to the Native Americans may only create another one by making all of the residents of that area leave their homes and find a living somewhere else.

      I am not saying that it is right for the U.S. to have broken treaties over and over again, or to have taken land that wasn't theirs, however the only way we can right this wrong is to apologize to our fellow Americans who are of Native American decent. I for one do apologize for the attrocities and wrongs, and hope to never see anything like that done to any people group by another people group again.

    • Lets smoke some crack then post to slashdot....excelletn idea. As a Native South Dakotan I am pretty offended that this gets 4 insightful. The Battle of the Little Big Horn was not in SOuth Dakota was Not about Native determination to hold onto the Black Hills and the Arapaho were not involved (I took a college course at the University of Wyomingwhere we did 3 lectures on the Battle of The Little Bighorn. That battle was actually about Custer trying to show off how big hisnuts were and to go hunting for scalps. if you need some suggested reading on this subject I'll FedEx you one of my textbooks, highlighted with my class notes.

      Actually William Hearst was NOT the original owner of Homestake, he bought the claim form the origianl discoverers, I'll find their names in a book and repost it.

      The Lakota, Nakota, Dakota and othe tribes (Sioux means "Snake in The Grass" and is actually a deragatory term for these tribes that was originated by the Arapaho) held the Black Hills as sacred and would not camp or live there, the Black Hills were used as a holy place and a hunting grounds by the Native Tribes that lived on the high plains. And IF we are going to give the Black Hills back, lets give the Adriadacks, the Smokies, the Whites, The Rockies.... etc. back to the Native Americans, hell lets just all move the Hell out of the US since wee are all immigrants.

      As for your other ingrate comments about Mt Rushmore, the Rally and such. I have spent 3 years filming for the Sturgis Rally, and I can honestly say that Bikers are some of the most polite, nicestest, most real group of people I have spent time around, I would rather hang with bikers than egotistical geeks.

      Most of us who live here in SD think the Physics lab is a great thing. If the federal government takes responsibility for the Homestake open pit at least it won't turn in to a giant acid leaching SuperFund site like many of the other gold mines in the Hills. Check the EPA Website and read about all the mines that are Superfund Sites. The other caveat of making Homestake a Physics lab is the fact that it brings needed employment for the 250 citizens of Lead SD that would otherwise have to move. Please read and understand a topic before spout of as an AC on Slashdot, and get some better crack that stuff your smoking is obviously some bad shit.
    • Mod this dude down, he is clueless
  • by The Iconoclast ( 24795 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @08:11PM (#2622233)
    Apart from the trolling about pork barrel politics and which mine is an ancient indian burial ground (no offense), there is a definate need for a national underground physics lab. Many different experiments out there need the low background of deep sites for cutting edge physics. There are neutrino obsrvatories, a la SNO and Super-K, also Dark Matter searches, like CDMS, proton decay experiments, and plenty of other stuff. There is even non-physics related stuff that can be done there like biology and geology.

    Sorry to be short on the links to these experiments, but I'm sure you could google for them. just came from a marathon session of class and my brain hurts, so i can't think well. ;-)
  • I've read the article and except for a dim refference to subatomic physics , and then other references to just about all the branches of science there's nothing worthwile (specific) in this crappy article.

    what are the scientists proposing (and who are "they" anyhow ?) is this to be a neutrino detector ? other experiment shielded from cosmic rays ? what are the theories tested ? why will this be a better experiment than others ?

    Or is this just a sophisticated case of an
    "for sale; used mine" add ?

"Let every man teach his son, teach his daughter, that labor is honorable." -- Robert G. Ingersoll