In the previous century, America, through public and private cooperation and investment built an unrivaled infrastructure. We became the country that invented the things of a new and exciting world, and we built those things. We put in place a social safety net. We weren’t perfect, but we tried, and We looked to the future with excitement and anticipation, but today, we seem to be in a rush to go backwards as far and fast as possible. We fear everything, and demand absolute security, and think it can be found in some nostalgic past.
This is a general category for items about science, scientists or scientific discoveries.
Well, Bobby Jindal succeeds, yet again, in making an idiot of himself. He apparently decided that he should tell President Obama what the President should and shouldn’t say during his visit to New Orleans. An article on Think Progress discusses Jindal’s fear that actual facts and science might be discussed in Louisiana this week.
I finally had a chance to watch the debate between Bill Nye (the Science Guy) and Ken Ham of the Creationism Museum. Ken Ham, and anyone who still believes in creationism should be ashamed. What a sad commentary that we have digressed in this country to the point where we even have to have this discussion.
Apparently, some Republicans didn’t get the memo from Gov. Bobby Jindal about not being the “stupid party.” Because if you live in Montana, you can thank state Rep. Steve Lavin (R) for taking the Supreme Court’s misguided notion that “corporations are people” to new heights of stoopid. Lavin introduced a bill to allow corporations to vote in local elections. Under Lavin’s bill, under the proposal, “if a firm, partnership, company, or corporation owns real property within the municipality, the president, vice president, secretary, or other designee of the entity is eligible to vote.”
Despite the fact that the Big Bang has sort of been going on for billions and billions of years, Janna Levin, a professor of physics and astronomy at Barnard College of Columbia University, explains it in this two-minute video about The Big Bang. This is part of a new series called the Briefly series. Taking theory and presenting it in it’s most concise form.The producers started with the Big Bang because the theory is important and amazing, but often misunderstood.
More than 100 years ago a salt shaker sized object made of platinum and iridium was forged in London. This was then shipped to Paris where it was shaped and polished and carefully weighed until it was exactly one kilogram (about 2.2 pounds). By international treaty, this then became the international for the exact weight of a kilogram. The problem is, the mass of the cylinder may be changing.
It seems the patients have once again taken over the asylum that is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. HHS is reviewing a draft regulation that would deny federal funding to any hospital, clinic, health plan or other entity that does not accommodate employees who want to opt out of participating in care that runs counter to their personal convictions, including providing birth-control pills, IUDs and the Plan B emergency contraceptive.
Here’s our last installment of the weekly tid bits for 2007. We’ve got a guy stuck in his septic tank on Christmas Eve. And leave it to Fred Phelps to end the year on some wing-nuttery as he blames the tiger attack in San Francisco on gay people. A wyoming woman stabbed her husband for opening presents early, and a bluetooth headset and cell phone foiled a robbery in Columbus, Ohio. We also have some Spanish scientists postulating that time might be slowing down.
Summary of odd news items for the week ending June 17, 2007.
I’m posting the weekly news round up early this week, May 20, 2007. I have to be in Orlando tomorrow morning (Sunday) at 8am to attend a software conference.