Wednesday, December 20, 2006

---Israeli Nukes?, Miss USA, The Christmas Goat, The Universe, an Other Stories 

I'm several weeks behind in my venomous criticisms of world events..but I'm catching up.

My Way News - Israel Nuke Comment Sparks Controversy
We're not supposed to know that Israel has those. The dichotomy between policy and truth is especially treacherous these days.

Here's 35¢....
My Way News - Trump to Miss USA: 'You're Not Fired!
Call somebody who....Oh, never mind....
Maybe we can finally set this cultural delusion aside. Maybe now a lot of young women can go on to find something more productive to do.

Now this is important...
My Way News [AP]- Swedes Guard Christmas Goat From Vandals
Evidently, the way to tell when it's Christmas time in Sweden is from the smoke of the annual burning of the Christmas Goat. I guess there are worse end-of-year traditions around....

SPACE.com -- Why Are We Here? Theoreticians Debate the Fundamentals
Science continues to battle fiercely to avoid the obvious. The argument here, as far as I can understand it, is that we can infer physical properties of our Universe from the fact that----by a freak stochastic hiccup of 11-dimensional superstring something-or-others---this Universe includes us, and other life. If we weren't here, it would be because the necessary properties didn't exist in the right mixture, or something.
This is Steven Weinberg's so-called “anthropic” principle, and it dawdles dangerously close to the most unacceptable taboo in modern science---the notion that our Universe was Designed to make life, and us.
The fact that science can have taboos which cause theoretical physicists to hyperventilate so, means that all of this pretense to hyper-rationalism is of no more inherent use than the clutter of mysticisms it intends to replace.
A pity, too---it makes some really great fiction. (Which reminds me that I need to catch up on the SF reviews.)

Spaceflight Now | Breaking News | NASA focuses on lunar base concepts for exploration
I haven't been paying attention, apparently. Is it budget time already?

The Flame Trench space blog by Florida Today:’" Orbiter in good shape for landing "
After bolting some more stuff to the International Space Treehouse and finally stomping an old solar array back into its box, Discovery has passed final safety inspections for its return to Earth on Friday.

The Blog Conversation Project
An interesting concept that showed up in my SiteMeter stats. Apparently another attempt to aggregate some sort of general concept of how weblogs work, and the near-mystical forces which shape our mass delusions of knowing what's going on.

China Tightening Control of Online Games
“The latest crackdown was prompted by "a rash of problems with imported online games, some of which contain sensitive religious material or refer to territorial disputes," Xinhua said. It said some were criticized as pornographic or too violent.”
...which mostly means references to troublesome religions, and Taiwan.

Mountains on Titan
Cassini has returned data for IR composite images of a large mountain range on Saturn's moon, Titan.
Catalog Page for PIA09032
This is thought to imply the existence of tectonic forces in the moon's crust:
Catalog Page for PIA09033

Why can't I think of this stuff?
YouTube - Red Rover
YouTube - Mars:2020:Springtime
Some other peoples' extremely cynical---and coincidentally hilarious---views of remote Mars exploration.
“How many feet in a meter?! How many feet in a meter?!” Whump!

FOXNews.com[AP] - Hybrid Marijuana Flourishing in Mexico Resistant to Pesticides
In spite of opposition by eco-sensitive groups, GM agriculture is catching on. The result here is pot crops which can be planted at any time of the year, and can't be killed by the usual applications of herbicides.


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