Alarm over drinking-water safety hits the news again
NIST recommends that buildings be constructed to burn out without collapsing
It's a recommendation from a report on the collapse of Seven World Trade Center, one of the collateral losses on September 11th (that is, it wasn't hit by a plane, but it was destroyed anyway). The building burned for seven hours before it collapsed, by which time it had been completely evacuated. That contributes to the controversy over the recommendation: How often could such an event be expected to occur? Is it worth the additional costs for new buildings to be so sturdy they don't collapse even under such rare conditions? The debate, of course, is unique to a society in which we have the resources to even consider doing such things and the freedom to weigh the costs and benefits of those choices.