This Movie Works Whether You Play It Backward or Forward — A visual palindrome. (Via David Goldman.)
A Winter Olympics Venn Diagram — Hahahahah.
How to Design an Interstellar Communications System — If we want to communicate with other civilisations, it turns out that the laws of physics, the nature of interstellar space and a little common sense place surprisingly strict bounds on how this communication can take place.
Satellites Spot Whales From Space — This new method could help researchers remotely count and keep track of whale populations. Mmm, space whales.
Giant leap for nuclear fusion as scientists get more energy out than fuel put in — 150 picoseconds of scientific breakthrough, though “ignition” remains a distant goal.
Probe to use Prehistoric Pigment Shield for Solar Plunge — European scientists designing the upcoming Solar Orbiter — a mission that will swoop deep inside the sun’s atmosphere (the corona) to carry out an unprecedented solar observing campaign — didn’t turn to science fiction for help, however. They’re using a technology that was available during prehistoric times to protect the spacecraft from the sun.
Ancient native boy’s genome reignites debate over first Americans — And then there’s Kennewick Man.
Southeast U.S. Battered by Another Winter Storm — This storm doesn’t disprove global warming any more than it getting dark at night disproves the existence of the Sun.
Dear Creation Museum, all science is “historical science.” Here’s why — The sort of selective reasoning—miracles don’t happen when there’s lab equipment nearby, but they have made anything more than a few centuries old completely inaccessible to scientific analysis—quite reasonably raises questions about whether researchers who hold this view can be relied on to do solid science, as does their lack of self-awareness that keeps them from recognizing that they are doing historical science. Their apparent willingness to throw the scientific method under the bus as soon as it conflicts with their personal beliefs is concerning as well.
Christian School Faulted for Halting Abuse Study — For decades, students at Bob Jones University who sought counseling for sexual abuse were told not to report it because turning in an abuser from a fundamentalist Christian community would damage Jesus Christ. Administrators called victims liars and sinners. Tell me again how atheists are immoral? Help me understand why this version of the Christian worldview is somehow better than simple, honest humanism? ‘Cause I’m really not seeing it here.
Kentucky must accept out-of-state gay unions — “Assigning a religious or traditional rationale for a law does not make it constitutional when that law discriminates against a class of people without other reasons,” wrote Heyburn, an appointee of Republican President George H.W. Bush. The very same people who threaten to take up arms over every perceived possible slight to their freedoms ought to understand that. But they don’t. Even so, another bigotry domino falls, another step forward for freedom, justice and American values.
U.S. Takes a Sharp Drop in World Press Freedom Rankings — The United States took a nasty drop in the World Press Freedom rankings, released on Wednesday by the media group Reporters Without Borders, falling 14 spots to the 46th best country for journalist freedoms. Of the 180 countries ranked, the home of the First Amendment now sits snuggled between Romania and Haiti.
How Obama Officials Cried ‘Terrorism’ to Cover Up a Paperwork Error — A crazy story about everything that’s wrong with our National Security regime. Headline is a bit misleading, as the problem started in 2004 in the Bush administration, but the Obama administration continued to cover it up. (Via David Goldman.)
How a Purse Snatching Led to the Legal Justification for NSA Domestic Spying — Because security! (Via David Goldman.)
Senate passes debt-ceiling plan in blow to conservatives — The profoundly unpatriotic nihilists in the House GOP caucus take on on the chin. A very modest victory for good government and good sense.
Rand Paul v Barack Obama: A prelude to 2016 — As much as Rand Paul is a profoundly unpatriotic nihilist as well, he’s got a point about the surveillance state. Not that moderates and progressives haven’t been crying foul.
Is one of “the crazy ones” behind a threatening email sent to House Republicans? — What makes “the crazy ones” crazy, in fact, is that they genuinely believe the cynical lies — about government debt, global warming, taxes, healthcare, immigration, Democratic Party fiscal policies and so on — that the non-crazy ones have been feeding the rubes for years. Mind you, “one of the crazy ones” is a description by a House Republican of other House Republicans.
?otD: Have any Cardassian laundry lists?
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 9.5 hours (mostly solid)
Body movement: 20 minutes stationary bike (resuming exercise post-operative)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block who aren’t descended from monkeys: 0
Currently reading: n/a