Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Potpourri CLIV

The blog inbox has gotten seriously out of control, but I'll slog away as best I can. Enjoy my scattershot reading as you see fit.

First up, something from Mom: a site showing 360-degree pictures of the summit of Mount St. Helen's. Note that in the later pictures, MSN is smoking a wee bit more...

Next, something from Father Dan: a multipurpose "clock" of various statistics. A bit sobering, but interesting to watch.

From Lin:
  • This story is old, but it amused me. Apple tech guru Steve Jobs reportedly got pulled over by Japanese security personnel from smuggling shuriken (ninja throwing stars) aboard his private jet. That'll teach him.
  • Castro tried to retract this statement, but the word already got out there, perhaps via old age, perhaps via Freudian slip: an admission that communism doesn't work.

From Kate Down Under:
  • Australians are developing a beer for space. Huzzah!
  • A Battle of Midway Roundtable site. The Battles of the Coral Sea and Midway were the first naval battles in the Pacific Theater of World War II, and were of great concern to Australia--if the U.S. had lost, Oz stood a good chance of being invaded by Japan. I once met a veteran from the U.S.S. Lexington, which was sunk at Coral Sea. He had just returned from Australia, where he was given a hero's welcome. Some folks still remember.
From Tracy: 
  • report on commercial space activities.
  • NASA's video recruitment YouTube site. The video seems a little long to me, but maybe I just have a short attention span.

Just found this through random surfing: a story about one case where a Muslim woman got more legal protections under sharia law than she could get under the U.S. domestic court system.

Started reading this one, but haven't finished it yet: a Dinesh D'Souza editorial on how Obama approaches economic policy.

Not sure what to make of this: in case of an emergency, ladies, you might want to remove your bra.

Here's an interesting site: an online source for elementary school-level lectures.

In addition to the Dynetics-led team I wrote about awhile back, there is another Huntsville-based team vying for the Google Lunar X Prize.

Caveat visor (fake Bartish Latin for "reader beware"): I haven't read all of this yet, but it's an open letter to Christian leaders on the potential impact of theology on "transhumanism."

This guy reportedly operated alone, but tried to plant a bomb half a block from Wrigley Field. This sort of thing makes my hair stand on end.

Science fiction writer Joe Haldeman has some interesting things to say about "unplugging" in order to do creative writing.

This is a form of technical writing humor to the extent that "humor" equals "terrifyingly bad technical jargon getting in the way of clear communication."

I probably addressed this before, but wanted to add a couple of other comments. This interview with SF writer Kim Stanley Robinson is part of why I've been working with Darlene the Science Cheerleader, who seeks to increase public involvement in the sciences. Robinson, whose Mars trilogy I admire, nevertheless is a dedicated socialist utopian with no serious understanding of how economics works, as this interview makes clear. There are alternative views to how science can be enacted in society, and they are not all leftist. He glosses over so much evil that has been done by communist elites with “science” on their side that it’s truly terrifying. The point I would make to rebut KSR's points is simply that science is a method of understanding the physical world--it is not and should not be--a means of ordering society or concentrating political power. In fact, the more people who have scientific and technical knowledge, the less likely it is that some scientific elite will be able to force their ideas upon the populace.

Speaking of Darlene and citizen science, some amateur astronomers observed objects impacting with Jupiter.
And, because I've forgotten why I've cared or I just got tired of looking at them, I've deleted a whole bunch of links for your sanity and mine. Have a pleasant evening.

No comments: