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Thomas Paine

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.

Friday, April 6, 2012

6 April - My Feedly

Yemeni protests typical day at Sana'a Universi...Yemeni protests typical day at Sana'a University. Started with few hundreds in February to several thousands in March and hundreds of thousands on April. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Original caption: Protesters march on Avenue H...Original caption: Protesters march on Avenue Habib Bourguiba in downtown Tunis, angry over unemployment, rising prices and corruption, 14 Jan 2011. (VOA Photo/L. Bryant) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A map of Arab Spring countries updated and ref...A map of Arab Spring countries updated and reframed to reflect the independence of South Sudan on 9 July 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
ID: DN-ST-82-01336 Service Depicted: Navy A de...ID: DN-ST-82-01336 Service Depicted: Navy A deck view, looking toward the bow, of the nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine OHIO (SSBN-726) with its missile tubes opened during precommissioning activities. The submarine, built by General Dynamics Corp., carries Trident C-4 (UGM-96) submarin Location: NAVAL SUBMARINE BASE, GROTON, CONNECTICUT (CT) UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (USA) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 17:  Senate Foreign Rel...WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 17: Senate Foreign Relations Committee members U.S. Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) (L) and U.S. Sen. Robert Casey (D-TN) participate in a hearing about the recent popular uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa March 17, 2011 in Washington, DC. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns said that in light of the recent uhevals, the United States should do what it can to support the transition from authoritarian rule to democratic governance, support the emerging governments' economic reforms and continue to urge peace between Israel and the Palestinians. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 17:   Senate Foreign Re...WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 17: Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) questions a witness during a hearing about the recent popular uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa March 17, 2011 in Washington, DC. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns said that in light of the recent uhevals, the United States should do what it can to support the transition from authoritarian rule to democratic governance, support the emerging governments' economic reforms and continue to urge peace between Israel and the Palestinians. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

My Feedly Feed your mind

Dozens of cancer victims settle tainted groundwater suit in Florida.
More than three dozen former factory workers have settled their multimillion-dollar five-year legal battle against Siemens Corp. and General Dynamics Corp. over trichloroethene and other toxic chemicals they allege the companies carelessly dumped into drinking water, causing them to develop cancer.

Chet Raymo, “Diving”
“Diving” by Chet Raymo “For my own part, I am pleased enough with surfaces - in fact they alone seem to me to be of much importance. Such things for example as the grasp of a child's hand in your own, the flavor of an apple, the embrace of friend or lover, the silk of a girl's thigh, the sunlight on rock and leaves, the feel of music, the bark of a tree, the abrasion of granite and sand, the plung
Mideast Leaders Visit US, Seek Support and Understanding
The United States may be seen by some as a declining global power. But that hasn’t stopped several Middle Eastern politicians from visiting Washington this week in hopes of attracting US support — or at least neutrality — for their causes. The visitors included Islamist politicians from Egypt and Tunisia who are at the cusp of taking power in in the wake of the Arab Spring. Also in Washington


“Pink Slime” is Controversial, for More Reasons Than You Might Expect
Treated Ground Beef Filler Raises Troubling Questions about Cultural Norms and Ethical Food Consumption
India’s Coal Crisis
While Crushing Social and Environmental Impacts haven’t Curbed India’s Coal Rush, Harsh Economic Realities May
Why Do Conservatives Hate Public Transit?
In a word, because it’s public


Romney Using Ethics Exception To Limit Disclosure Of Bain holdings
By Tom Hamburger, Updated: Thursday, April 5, 11:10 AM The Washington Post Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney, whose wealth has become a central issue in the 2012 campaign, has taken advantage of an obscure exception in federal ethics laws to avoid disclosing the nature and extent of his holdings.By offering a limited description of his assets, Romney has made it difficult to k
Obama Campaign Leaves Mitt Romney Trailing As Focus Shifts To November
The Guardian Ed Pilkington in Tampa and Amanda Michel in New York guardian.co.uk,             Wednesday 4 April 2012 12.05 EDT A ‘for lease’ sign hangs outside Romney’s campaign office in Manchester, New Hampshire, four days before the primary.   Shackled by the internal battle for the GOP nomination, Romney has been closing offices in key battleground states while the president has been firi
Mitt Romney Tries To Self-Deport Everything He’s Ever Said About Immigration Reform
Mitt Romney on immigration: January 23, 2012 vs. April 2, 2012 Daily Kos Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 06:50 AM PDT by Jed Lewison Now Mitt Romney blamesPresident Obama for Republican obstruction on immigration reform: “This has always been a priority for the President he chooses to do nothing about,” Romney said. “Let the immigrant community not forget that, while he uses this as a political weapon, he ha
Obama Opens Big Gender Gap In Swing States
By Charles Dharapak, AP USA TODAY Mar 30, 2012 By David Jackson, USA TODAY Updated  3d 8h ago Another poll, another big lead for President Obama in a swing state — and more evidence he is benefiting from a growing gender gap.Obama leads Mitt Romney by 52%-35% in Wisconsin, according to a new NBC News/Marist Poll — thanks in large part to a 25-point lead among women voters, 55%-30%. The preside
The Gender Gap: Three Decades Old, as Wide as Ever
Pew Research Center Released: March 29, 2012 The gender gap in presidential politics is not new. Democratic candidates have gotten more support from women than men formore than 30 years. Even so, Barack Obama’s advantages among women voters over his GOP rivals are striking. In the Pew Research Center’s most recent national survey, conducted March 7-11, Obama led Mitt Romney by 20 points (58% to 3
WINNING: The 10 Best Achievements Of Obama’s Presidency So Far
Via: MoveOn.org Posted on March 29, 2012 by Angie SOURCE

Corbett Report Radio 105 – The Depop Agenda
Tonight on the program, James goes over the latest overpopulation alarmism from the Club of Rome and their planned depopulation / economic crash agenda. We also take your calls on a range of issues as James Evan Pilato takes a week off from the Food World Order update. Works Cited: Henry Kissinger and football’s longest unsolved riddle Next Great Depression? MIT study predicting ‘global economic c
New World Next Week – 2012/04/05
Welcome to http://NewWorldNextWeek.com — the video series from Corbett Report and Media Monarchy that covers some of the most important developments in open source intelligence news. This week: Story #1: ICC Rejects Palestinian Bid to Investigate Israeli War Crimes During ‘Cast Lead’ Gaza Operation http://ur1.ca/8wxg7 Related: Israel Navy Chief Scolded Over April Fools’ Prank http://ur1.ca/8wxg9 S
Interview 492 – New World Next Week with James Evan Pilato
Welcome to http://NewWorldNextWeek.com — the video series from Corbett Report and Media Monarchy that covers some of the most important developments in open source intelligence news. This week: Story #1: ICC Rejects Palestinian Bid to Investigate Israeli War Crimes During ‘Cast Lead’ Gaza Operation http://ur1.ca/8wxg7 Related: Israel Navy Chief Scolded Over April Fools’ Prank http://ur1.ca/8wxg9
Interview 491 – Michel Chossudovsky on Sarkozy l’Américain
The first round of voting in the French presidential elections will take place on April 22nd. As that date approaches, more attention is being focused on the strange turns that have taken place in this election cycle, from the Strauss-Kahn sex scandal to the Toulouse attacks. Joining us to break down these developments and connect the dots between Sarkozy and the aims of Washington’s power players
Interview 490 – Kevin Ryan on the Call for 9/11 Transparency
Prolific 9/11 researcher Kevin Ryan of the 9/11 Working Group of Bloomington joins us to discuss his recent article, “Secret Service Failures on 9/11: A Call for Transparency.” He outlines some of the unusual behaviours displayed by the secret service on 9/11 and points out discrepancies in the 9/11 timeline. We also discuss the Toronto Hearings on 9/11 which took place last year on the 10th anniv
Corbett Report Radio 104 – Removing the 9/11 Blindfold with Teace Snyder
Many of us have felt the frustration of trying to counter the cognitive dissonance people have when encountering 9/11 truth for the first time. The short film “Blindfold” presents this struggle in fictional form by portraying the events of a widower father whose pre-teen daughter gives her elementary school class a presentation about the demolition of the twin towers. Tonight on Corbett Report Rad

The Death of Dimitris Christoulas
If you haven't heard, Dimitris Christoulas killed himself on Tuesday evening in protest of the policies of austerity that are brutalizing the people of Greece: An elderly man who took his life outside the Greek parliament in Athens , in apparent desperation over his debts, has highlighted the human cost of an economic crisis that has not only brought the country to the brink financially, but also
Protesting Students Pepper Sprayed at Santa Monica College
There are reports that approximately 30 students were sprayed. From NBC Los Angeles: Priscillia Omon, 21, said she was standing behind the police officer when he pulled out the pepper spray and fired it in the mouths and eyes of people standing arm’s length away.She described a man next to her convulsing and spitting up foam after being hit with the pepper spray. A family, including a 4 year old
OccupySF Occupies 888 Turk Street
UPDATE 2: Meanwhile, Jessica Hollie of Occupy Oakland was assaulted by a federal marshal while ustreaming the federal raid on the Oaksterdam marijuana dispensary in Oakland. The officer assaults her at the 22:00 mark of the ustream. Raucous scenes as the crowd is outraged over the force used during the raid and subsequent arrests: Video streaming by UstreamUPDATE 1: 75 arrested at 888 Turk Stre


Obama's Signal to Iran - So Much for That
Yesterday David Ignatius told us that President Obama sent a message to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei via Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that the United States would accept an Iranian civilian nuclear program if the program was safeguarded and transparent enough to show that it was not directed toward nuclear weapons. This would be a big step toward an agreement between Iran and
Bits and Pieces - April 4, 2012
Driving Inside the Soviets’ Secret Submarine Lair.Living in a nuclear hell. The Soviets were very casual about disposing of the kinds of nuclear waste that was put into tanks at Hanford and Savannah River in the US: they just poured it into the river. Clarifying some terms that have to do with the US oil supply.It has bothered me for some time that so much of Science magazine is behind a paywall.
The Israel-Iran-US Information War
News scoops may happen because of hard work by reporters. That hard work may be supplemented by government officials wanting to leak information that might not be as effectively released through official channels.Governments may also release information officially that is not true. Both seem to be happening in the case of Iran, Israel, and the United States. The motives seem to be many and not ent
Photo: Helmut


The Pre-Butterfly Effect
Gee, I can’t imagine why the gender gap between the Democratic Party and the GOP has widened into a yawning chasm: HUNT: Let me ask you this. The Democrats of course say you are waging, the GOP is waging a war on women. I know you don’t agree with that, but looking at the polls, you have a gender gap problem. Recent polls show a huge, huge margin for Democrats among women voters. How big a proble
On Strike? Nope. I’m back.
@fernhilldammit @DrDawg @Heading_West @Prog_Blog You’re supposedly adults too. Witch hunts against fellow progbloggers is so 2006. — Saskboy K. (@saskboy) April 6, 2012 Some things (and some douche-sombreros) never change. Y’know what else is “so 2006″? Blog aggregators. Cough.* But enough about buggy-whips and the fauxgressives who stubbornly wield them (along with equally-antiquated notions re:

Anonymous’ hacks China’s Websites: The Real Identity of the Hackers’ Group
While in the recent years, the US has repeatedly accused China and North Korea of hacking the official websites of the United States, but Anonymous said that it attacked and hacked China’s websites on Thursday, though Chinese government officials denied the websites were ever hacked. However, Anonymous left the message, Dear Chinese government, you are not infallible, today websites are hacked, to
Execution-like style shooting at religious college in Oakland leaves seven people dead
A shooting spree at a small religious college in Oakland, California, left seven people dead and three wounded on Tuesday. The police of Oakland has taken in custody, one Goh, a 43-year-old former student for questioning, while Goh told the police that he was mentally upset at Oikos University for dismissing him. Police also said that the seven victims were killed in execution-like style in one cl
US Self-contradictory Approach towards Pakistan
While joint session of the Pakistani parliament has been reviewing its relationship with the United States, and after the positive meeting between the President Obama and Prime Minister Gilani in Soul in the sidelines of the Nuclear Summit, and after the recent visit of the US Central Command Chief General James Mattis along with the Commander of International Security Assistance Force in Afghanis
Malpractices of Indian Generals
By Sajjad Shaukat Malpractices and scandals in connection with the Indian civil officials have already come to surface from time to time, but these are not confined to them, even Indian armed forces are also plagued with corruption. Although lower-ranking officers of the Indian Army were found involved in various kinds of malpractices, yet involvement of the highest-ranking officers like generals,


DPRK GDAE Stationery
When the Washington Post published a letter, purportedly from Jon Byong Ho to AQ Khan, we had a lively debate here about whether or not it was real. Some of the questions related to font, kerning, stationery and even how Jon signed his name. In trying to reach some sort of judgement about the veracity of this document, I was struck by how few examples of official DPRK stationery I have seen.  I w
Saudi Storm Shadow Sale Confirmed
Thanks to Wikileaks (not work safe!), we now know that the UK did, in fact, sell the Storm Shadow cruise missile — an MTCR category I system if I’ve ever seen one — to Saudi Arabia. LtG Abdulrahman Al-Faisal, Commander of the Royal Saudi Air Force, confirmed the sale to US Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro in October 2009. Regular readers know that I have long beli
Hedley Bull
Hedley Bull is probably the least well-known founding father of the theory of modern arms control. He’s not very well known because he toiled under three considerable disadvantages. First, he was an Australian based in the United Kingdom, when the primary action was in the United States. Second, his important book, The Control of the Arms Race: Disarmament and Arms Control in the Missile Age (1961
The NPT, the NSG, and the AAAS
Steve Miller is a friend, a colleague, and an authority on the Sangiovese grape in central Tuscany and on the chunky red wines of the Piemonte. He also happens to be a tenured professor at Harvard who has just published this essay for the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Read it, please, for a thoughtful tour d’horizon of where things stand right now with the NPT and the nonproliferation reg


I’m doing an IAmA on Reddit
As part of my election campaign to Edinburgh Council, I’m doing an IAmA on Reddit. For those of you who didn’t understand the previous sentence, reddit is a popular discussion website. One of its sub-reddits is called IAmA, where people post saying “I am a (whatever), ask me anything”. So hop over to Reddit and ask me stuff!

Sustainable palm oil is good for business – WWF study
Protecting the environment by producing certified sustainable palm oil is also good for the bottom line, according to a groundbreaking new report released today. Profitably and Sustainability in Palm Oil Production is a first-time study that comprehensively examines the financial costs and benefits of producing sustainable palm oil under the guidelines set out by the Roundtable on Sustainable Pal
Virunga communities concerned about oil development
Residents living near Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Virunga National Park last week expressed their renewed concern over the prospect of oil exploration in the area. Many community members rely on fishing in the park’s biggest lake for their food and income, but parts of the lake have been granted to European oil companies for possible development. Civil society leaders issued a communiqué
Record Earth Hour draws to a close
Sydney, Australia: As a record Earth Hour wraps up across the world, the I Will If You Will campaign has been adopted by hundreds of thousands of people from all corners of the globe, turning their symbolic lights off action into an ongoing commitment to a sustainable planet. Earth Hour has now completed a record journey across more than 6,525 cities, towns and municipalities in 150 countries and
Earth Hour Becomes Unstoppable As Social Media Fuels Passion To Save The Planet
Sydney, Australia: The global community has come out in force for Earth Hour as social media has energized and inspired communities across the Middle East, Africa and Europe to unite for a common cause – the protection of the planet. From former war-torn countries to the great cities of Europe, Earth Hour is being celebrated by all walks of life as it offers an hour of inspiration to change our
Nelson Mandela tweets his support as Earth Hour sweeps Asia
Sydney, Australia: As the largest ever Earth Hour wraps up across Asia, Nelson Mandela has taken to Twitter to express his support for the cause to unite the world to protect the planet. "Let us stand together to make of our world a sustainable source for our future as humanity on this planet" #NelsonMandela #EarthHour”, the anti-apartheid hero and former President of South Africa tweeted. At


TEDx Event 2012
‘Rethinking Pakistan’ [and my expression goes LOL and I will explain why] was the theme of the conference which took place at margalla hills Islamabad on March 31st 2011 organized by TEDx, lets just summarize here what TEDx is; before we further dig into the “theme” and happenings of this conference. TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) and ’x’ denotes the independently organized events unde

UN’s World Food Programme, to buy fish from Japan, to feed school children, in poor countries
A year on from Fukushima, Japan is struggling to convince consumers that fish from contaminated areas is safe. With new limits imposed on radioactive substances in food, the government is sending canned fish to developing countries to feed children. ­A year on from Fukushima, Japan is struggling to convince consumers that fish from contaminated areas is safe. With new limits imposed on radioactive

“The hunt for ‘plan B’, by Labott; Syria Needs a George Washington; Syria could become like North Korea; “The Burial Brigade of Homs,” by Putz
The hunt for ‘plan B’ – planning for ‘the day after’ in Syria By Elise Labott, CNN Foreign Affairs Reporter Expectations are low for Sunday’s Friends of Syria meeting in Istanbul, where representatives from more than 70 nations and international organizations will gather to discuss ways to hasten the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad. The reason is simple. The most critical piece is missing: Pl


Disaster – Genius Needed
I am sorry for the blog hiatus, but I follow a method of historical research a bit akin to method acting! I am absolutely immersed in the world of Burnes. I am in Bhuj at tne moment, and yesterday was at Mandivi looking at the shipyards and harbours where Burnes procured his boats to sail up the Indus – they are still made today. Much larger than I had realised. In Mumbai I identified a “lost”

Why is this Open Thread different from all other Open Threads?
by Doctor Science ... because it's being put up by me! Pewter Seder Plate, made in Germany in 1771, Victoria and Albert Museum For your LOLz, alternate versions of The Four Questions: In the style of Elizabeth Barrett Browning:Why -- Do I ask thee? Let me count the queries. I ask thee of the length and width and height Of a crumbly, flakey matzo slice; I ask thee of the bitterness of herbs Ing
Random Internet Walk: Hindle Wakes
by Doctor Science I'm working on a post for tomorrow or maybe the weekend which is hella depressing, so instead today you get: Today's Random Walk Through the Internet! Featuring: silent movies and self-directed women. Tamara de Lempicka's "Auto-Portrait." Perhaps the first woman artist to make herself into a *brand* -- no wonder Madonna is a fan. SF writer Sherwood Smith was watching Clara Bow
Universal values?
by liberal japonicus A few folks have lamented the absence of foreign policy posts, so I thought that some of you may be interested in discussing this article about the problems of US NGO's in other countries. A few grafs: The Times reports that the United Arab Emirates has shut down the offices of the National Democratic Institute, a nonprofit U.S. agency whose mission is to promote democrac
The Mind-Killer
by Doctor Science danah boyd just put up for comment the text of a presentation she did at SXSW on "The Power of Fear in Networked Publics". She argues that because the limiting resource on the Internet is attention, people online are ever-more-inclined to monger fear, that great attention-grabber. I disagree: it seems to me that, compared to old media (especially TV) the Internet is *less* fear
Emperor for the day
by liberal japonicus McT, who along with dr ngo, is poised to join the expanding granddaddy demographic here, suggested that a more general thread on the Trayvon Martin shooting about the issues raised by bobbyp and russell. This is not exactly that thread, but I've just landed at Haneda and have a bit of time to burn, and being in the air or at airports for almost 26 hours and thinking about
Your target demographic Friday open thread
by liberal japonicus 20+ years ago, I wanted my folks to meet the woman who would become mrs lj (I was on the west coast, they were in South Mississippi) and my mom said How about Las Vegas and I came to learn that the Hawaii side of my family, a few years earlier, had a family reunion and while both my mom and dad were dubious, they had a great time there, and had gone back a couple of times and


Egypt presidentials: Suleiman in, Abu Ismail out?
Egypt's presidential election will be on May 23rd and already things are out of control. Not only did deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood Khairat El Shater suddenly enter the race this week -- reversing a pledge on the group's part that they wouldn't field a member, creating a fair amount of internal disagreement and showing his hand as the group's real boss... But creepy Mubarak spy-master Omar
Egypt's constitutional crisis
The Islamist majority in the Egyptian parliament appears to have badly overplayed its hand with its attempt to rush the formation of the constituent assembly and impose a majority of its own pre-selected candidates without negotiation. Liberal, secular, labour and other representatives (including those of the Coptic Church, Al Azhar and the Supreme Constitutional court) have withdrawn from the ass
Universities in Iraq
I was traveling last week so I didn't get around to posting this when it came out, but I recently wrote an article about Iraqi universities and the challenges they face for The Chronicle of Higher Education. The article is behind the subscription wall, but here's the beginning: Eight years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq and a few months after the withdrawal of the military forces from the countr
Voter poll in Egypt
Here are the results of a poll of 1200 likely voters by the national Al Ahram newspaper: 1. Amr Moussa, former head of the Arab League: 31.5%  2. Salafi sheikh Hazem Salah Abu Ismail: 22.7% 3. Mubarak-appointed (and short-lived) interim prime minister Ahmad Shafiq: 10.2% 4. Mubarak intelligence chief Omar Suleiman (who has not officially announced his candidacy): 9.3% 5. Former Brotherhood leader
"Curveball" confesses to lying about WMDs
Man whose WMD lies led to 100,000 deaths confesses all - The Independent A man whose lies helped to make the case for invading Iraq – starting a nine-year war costing more than 100,000 lives and hundreds of billions of pounds – will come clean in his first British television interview tomorrow. But Mr Janabi, speaking in a two-part series, Modern Spies, starting tomorrow on BBC2, says none of i
The Saudis and Syria
I don't get it — does Saudi Arabia support a ceasefire or a continued insurrection in Syria? It can't be both! Syrian official takes hard line on troop withdrawal ‘‘I believe we all agree on the need for an immediate cease-fire to the systematic killing,’’ Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said at a joint news conference with Clinton. He said arming the Syrian opposition is a ‘‘duty’’
( Translation : they work to our advantage


Houston Parade For Iraq Veterans On Saturday, April 7—You Can Go And Still Not Forget That The War Was A Lie
There will be parade in Houston on Saturday, April 7 to honor those who served in Iraq. Here are details of this parade— “The parade, sponsored by the City of Houston in partnership with the Astros 2012 opening weekend festivities, will step off from the corner of Texas and San Jacinto at 4 p.m. and then proceed east on Texas to Crawford and then north (left) on Crawford to Congress, ending at Min
Houston Mayor Annise Parker Blind To The Symbolism Of The Anti-Food Sharing Ordinance—The Shadow Sells The Substance
Below are specifics of the anti-food sharing ordinance as reported by Mayor Annise Parker’s office. The Mayor’s office was able to post these rules on the day in-between the anniversary Martin Luther King’s death and Good Friday, to tell folks how sharing food with the homeless will now be regulated. One  of the two most disturbing things about this in my view, is that public property is seen as h
Streak Over—Lou Gehrig
For the first time in a maybe a couple of years, I did not post on the blog yesterday. I just had to show myself that I could go a day without a post. It’s not something I’m looking to quit like someone trying to quit smoking. It can simply be annoying to feel internally compelled to do something each day, no matter how productive you hope you are being with what you are doing. Either you run the
Martin Luther King Reading & Reference List
(Blogger’s Note—Today is the 44th anniversary of the day Martin Luther King was shot. That is not so pleasant. Better is my Martin Luther King Reading & Reference List that I update each year here on the blog. There is always something hopeful and useful to learn from the life of Martin Luther King.) While it is always instructive to watch a rebroadcast or listen to a recording of the I Have
Supreme Court Allows Strip-Searches Of All Who Are Arrested—Another Conservative Attack On Our Liberties
The five radical conservatives on the Supreme Court have allowed strip-searches to be conducted on any person who is arrested. From the New York Times— “The Supreme Court on Monday ruled by a 5-to-4 vote that officials may strip-search people arrested for any offense, however minor, before admitting them to jails even if the officials have no reason to suspect the presence of contraband….The proce
An Uncertain Landfall—It Is In Everyday Things That We Best See Life
I’ve got a creative project I’m working on, and I take a lot of pictures when I go out and about in the Houston-Galveston area as part of this project. I’ll have more to say about this project in the days and weeks ahead. Above you see a picture I took last week in Galveston. In this picture you see the ocean shoreline, and, also, a shoreline of seaweed. This reminded me of something I recently r


A Closer Look at the Titan Airplane
Yesterday’s discussion of the AVIATR mission to Titan inevitably brought up another prominent Titan mission concept: Titan Mare Explorer (TiME). I’ll have more to say about this one next week, as today I want to continue talking about AVIATR, but you can once again see how Titan enthralls us with its ‘Earth-like’ aspects. Need a thick atmosphere around a moon? Titan is your only play, and if, as w
AVIATR: Roaming Titan’s Skies
Each of our highest priority targets in the outer Solar System offers something unique, from Europa’s internal ocean to the geysers of Enceladus. But Titan exerts the kind of fascination that comes from the familiar. The imagery of lakes and river channels reminds us inescapably of our home world, even if the temperature on the Saturnian moon averages a brisk 94 K, which works out to -291 degrees
Plutonium-238 and the Outer System
Powering up a spacecraft is a lot easier to manage in the Sun-rich environment inside the orbit of Mars than it is out past the orbit of Jupiter. Solar panels provide plenty of power for a satellite in near-Earth orbit, for example, but moving into the outer system invokes the need for RTGs — radioisotope thermoelectric generators — powered by radioactive decay. If you read through the specs on th
Planets Around an Ancient Star
The idea of ‘deep time’ exerts an abiding fascination. H.G. Wells took us forward to a remote futurity when his time traveler looked out on a beach dominated by a red and swollen Sun. But of course deep time goes in the other direction as well. I can remember wanting to become a paleontologist when I discovered books about the world of the dinosaurs, my mind reeling from the idea that the world th
Re-Thinking The Antimatter Rocket
Once when reading Boswell’s monumental life of the 18th Century writer and conversationalist Samuel Johnson, I commented to a friend how surprised I had been to discover that Johnson didn’t spend much time reading in his later years. “He didn’t need a lot of time,” replied my friend, a classics professor. “He tore the heart out of books.” That phrase stuck with me over the years and re-surfaced wh
Correction re WISE
Last week I reported on information from a source on the WISE mission that no new red dwarfs had yet been discovered out to a distance of 10 light years. This past weekend I received an email from my source apologizing for mis-typing. He had meant to say no brown dwarfs — not red dwarfs — out to a distance of 10 light years. And as I mentioned with the earlier post, the data analysis continues and


Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need New Roads
Interstate 70 in Colorado, one of the nation's best-known arteries, is the latest thoroughfare to incite an archetypal fight. Running at capacity as it cuts through Denver, this gateway to the Rocky Mountains is about to be expanded over the objections of residents whose low-income neighborhoods will be sliced apart. No doubt, the road will probably win--as roads almost always do in these battle
Katniss: Heroine of the Great Recession
It's not hard to see metaphors in The Hunger Games. Since its film adaptation was released earlier last month, people who've seen it have done little else. The premise of Suzanne Collins' young adults book series is simple: A televised, state-sponsored fight to the death between 24 randomly selected teens, where survival depends not just on your willingness to bludgeon people to death, but on whet
Why America Needs the Left
From the beginning of the American republic, most of the country's thinkers and politicians have argued that our nation neither had nor needed a Left. Historians of the so-called liberal consensus school argue that the United States has simply always enjoyed agreement on such matters as private property, individualism, popular sovereignty and natural rights. Others claim that the country never de
The Assault on Public Education
Public education is under attack around the world, and in response, student protests have recently been held in Britain, Canada, Chile, Taiwan and elsewhere. California is also a battleground. The Los Angeles Times reports on another chapter in the campaign to destroy what had been the greatest public higher education system in the world: "California State University officials announced plans t
How Green Is the Green Economy?
A "green recovery" is being championed as a solution to both ecological and economic crisis, but the sanguine rhetoric has not always been matched by progress toward a more sustainable U.S. economy. Growth in "green jobs" has so far included waste incineration and offshore manufacturing of electric sports cars along with weatherization of homes and expansion of public transit. While the Right and
Adam Curtis: Conspiracist of Long-Lost Facts
Some of the most radical and searching historical interrogations on film in the last few decades are being performed at the BBC, and chances are you've never seen them. The hair-raisingly provocative presence of producer/director Adam Curtis in the world's most famous hyper-acculturated state media machine is nothing less than astonishing, particularly when you look at his work starting with 1992
The Never-Ending Crusade
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