Saturday, May 14, 2005

---Time Travel Con, Underpass Stain Again, Fools with Bombs, Marburg Continues in Angola, Stray Dogs, Star Trek off the air, and other stories 

Probably with Federal grant money:
From FOXNews.com: "Student Organizes Time Traveler Conference"
Amal Dorai, a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has asked friends to place invitations to his “conference” in obscure library books, among other things.The idea goes that future scientists will find the invitations, presumably while excavating the rubble of the libraries, and travel in time via advanced future technologies to attend.
"The chance that anybody shows up is small,” Mr. Dorai said, “but if it happens it will be one of the biggest events in human history."
Right…like any of our descendants will be speaking to us.

Underpass stain said to resemble the “Virgin Mary” revisited:
From FOXNews.com: "Row Over 'Miraculous' Image on Underpass"
As we saw in our last episode, Mr. Victor Gonzales of Chicago, Illinois has been charged with a misdemeanor for writing “big lie” over the revered stain---which some said resembled a portrait of "Mary" holding an infant John Paul II--- in shoe polish. Mr. Gonzales cited the Second Commandment, the Biblical proscription against worshipping images, as the reason for his actions. Transportation workers later painted over stain and shoe polish with brown paint at the request of police, and were not charged with anything. Still later, two car wash employees voluntarily scrubbed off paint and shoe polish, expertly restoring the stain to its original, uh, stained quality.
I don’t know what else to say, except to point out the painfully obvious irony in who is being punished, and for what.

But at least Hilary hasn’t been elected President yet:
From FOXNews.com: "Iran Confirms It Took Key Nuclear Step"
…and nuclear deterrence still works!

How does that acronymn go?
From Space.com: "Mars Express Probe Suffers Radar Deployment Snag"

Unfortunately, there’s no acronymn for---
Don’t Drive Through Large, Shifting Sand Dunes. Don’t try to pronounce that one at home, either.

The fruit flies were messed up, too
From FOXNews.com: "Gay, Straight Men's Brain Responses Differ"
More studies to “prove” that homosexual men were born that way. The story cites "an expert on brain anatomy and sexual orientation" in Canada (who obviously has a paying job), and researchers in Stockholm and Philadelphia.
Like previous efforts in this direction, these are a waste of time and money. The facts are here and here and here. It is completely irrelevant whether or not such sexual predispositions exist or not. We have all the Power we need to overcome our natures, but we have to choose to use it.

Marburg in Angola, continued
From New Scientist: Marburg outbreak now devastating all age groups"
According to the article, the previous reports on containment of the outbreak seem to have been overly optimistic. The agent may have graduated from transmission by unsafe medical practices---mainly affecting children--- to direct means---by human contact.
We may lose an entire continent of human beings here, folks---to HIV/AIDS and a growing menagerie of almost unstoppable killers.

Stray dog for “Man of the Year”?
From FOXNews.com: "Stray Dog Rescues Newborn Baby"
At the risk of belaboring another obvious irony---
While humans in this country are killing their own children like stray dogs, the stray dogs in Africa are saving children.

Ahem---but I’m sure glad that nuclear deterrence still works!
From FOXNews.com: "North Korea Claims Step Toward Nukes"
Oh, wait….

Trekkers moving on
From Space.com: "'Star Trek: Enterprise' Ends, Along With an Era"
It’s actually the second time that I haven’t made it through the first season of a Trek series. It’s been fun, mostly, but it’s nice to see that people are exercising their sci-fi-related imaginations it new directions. We’ve about used up StarGate, Andromeda became completely incomprehensible several seasons ago, and the new Galactica is interspersing a unique and thoughtfully-developed crisis of command and politics with increasingly egregious indulgences in soft pornography, but at least we’ve outgrown the “transporter” deus-ex-machina/forehead of the week/silly-physics-and/or-biology-plot era. Why exactly do spacecraft need carrier landing decks, again?

But at least Hilary hasn’t been elected President yet:
Yes, boys and girls, if your parents didn’t leave the TV at the curb after learning about “Runaway Bride” toast, they now have action figures.

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