Sunday, December 18, 2005

---Iranian President Says Holocaust a 'Myth', Missouri Reservoir "Rubble", DirectTV Fined, Stem Cell Results Faked , and Other Stories 

Iranian President Calls Holocaust a 'Myth' [FOXNews.com/AP]
“IslamoFacism” has developed a disturbingly literal parallel to the original. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says that the Holocaust was fabricated as an excuse to plant a Jewish state in the middle of the Islamic world, and frothed volumes of other excreable drivel on the subject in a public speech. Now, where are those nuclear facilities? Oh, and by the way, Russia just sold these vicious, psychopathic thugs a billion USD worth of weapons....

Retaining Wall of Missouri Reservoir Substandard [FOXNews.com/AP]
Another civil engineering disaster---The section of the reservoir wall which failed last week, injuring several people as it sent a billion gallons of water surging through a state park, was made of soil and broken rock fill material instead of the granite specified when it was built in the ‘60’s. Investigators expressed “shock” when they discovered the composition of the embankment.

Hamas Wins in West Bank [FOXNews.com/AP]
As the Palestinian Fatah party splits up, the murderous thugs of Hamas have gained ground in local elections.
During our European trip early this year, when the BBC was the only English-language news available, I was forced to listen to the British correspondents gushing about Hamas as a force for political stability in war-ravaged Palestine. It appears, at least for now, that Israel and the U.S. will have better sense.

DirectTV fined for Do-Not-Call Violations [FOXNews.com/AP]
The FCC has fined the satellite TV purveyor $5.35 million because its telemarketing associates ignored the Federal Do-Not-Call lists when calling listed consumers. Hopefully they will serve them with the notice during dinner time.

Hayabusa Return Delayed [MSNBC.com Space News ]
[ Spaceflight Now ]
Japan’s troubled asteroid probe has missed its window for return to Earth because of a critical fuel leak and resulting loss of control. The delay prolongs the return by something like three years. Contrary to earlier announcements, the probe apparently also failed to actually obtain any samples during multiple contacts with the target asteroid.

Cloning Pioneer Faked Stem Cell Results [NewScientist.com]
[ FOXNews.com/AP ]
Woo Suk Hwang published a paper in May that claimed to have produced 11 lines of custom-tailored stem cells for 11 patients, with implications for future stem cell therapies free of rejection worries. Now Hwang has asked the magazine Science to retract his paper, as a colleague announced publicly that most or all of the results were faked.
According to Sung Il Roh, “Of the 11 stem cell lines, at least nine are faked and the veracity of two others has yet to be confirmed.” Hwang apparently pressured another colleague into faking photographs of some of the cell lines.

Interview on String Theory [NewScientist.com]
If you didn’t grind your teeth when the NextGen Enterprise hit a “Cosmic string fragment”, this is going to be even less intelligible for you than it is for me. Okay, the Cosmological Constant in our fragment of the “multiverse” is non-zero, and our tiny portion of “everything” favors the existence of life because we’re here to argue about it? ---And if theory forces science to conclude what seems fairly obvious upon casual inspection---that the Universe was designed to produce life---scientists will be in “a very awkward position”?
“One might argue that the hope that a mathematically unique solution will emerge is as faith-based as ID.”

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