Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Something Wonderful, At Least I Think So
If you’re not doing anything, right now, on PBS, ugh, they are showing “Hank Williams Honky Tonk Blues.” Give it a look, if you’re so inclined, or investigate your area listings, and check out when it will show.
I’m back to the show.
Superboy Lives, in Germany
“Somewhere in Germany is a baby Superman, born in Berlin with bulging arm and leg muscles. Not yet 5, he can hold seven-pound weights with arms extended, something many adults cannot do. He has muscles twice the size of other kids his age and half their body fat.”
Won’t be long and he’ll be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, as long as the scientists don’t get ahold of him and expose him to kryptonite.
Hanging Em Out to Dry
“UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Facing strong opposition, the United States announced Wednesday it was dropping a resolution seeking a new exemption for American peacekeepers from international prosecution for war crimes.”
Yeah, that’ll draw em in to the military, on a voluntary basis.
Thanks to Steve Brown for the link.
Chewing on Individualism
U.S. News & World Report publishes a piece by Joannie Fischer titled “Those Rugged Individuals,” which scantily reviews the history of individualism, and those who promoted the idea, and then delves into individualism’s metamorphisis over time here in the U.S.
The piece presents a mildly negative view of individualism, especially in regards to the thought that individualists care ought for others, a thought I do not necessarily agree with, but, if you have any interest in individualism, it’s worth taking the time to read.
TV Satire in Iraq
Private teevee has come to Iraq, I read in a Reuters article. The first privately owned Iraqi television station even launched satellite transmission, to more than 90 countries, on June 11. It will be interesting to see how long they can manage to stay up and operating. A taste of the satire.
“A journalist stops a man in a Baghdad street and asks about the security situation. The man cheerfully replies: “Security has vastly improved, we used to go home at 7:30 p.m. but now we can stay out as late as 7:45!”
The satire may not go over big, here, but I hope it does in Iraq. I wish them success.
Part of It Whether They Want To Be, Or Not
Rainbough, over at Somewhere Over the Rainbough, casts her eye on the new class action certified WalMart discrimination suit, that is worth taking the time to read. An excerpt for your consideration.
“I almost got a job at Wal-mart once when a new one opened up in Athens, GA. Now I am glad that I didn’t, because if I had I would now be one of the 1.6 million women “current and former” employees being represented in the class that is suing Wal-Mart, whether I like it or not.
That means that the lawyers will make it appear to the jury that their are actually 1.6 million women who have been wronged, and 1.6 million women who need to be repaired for the damages. The jury if they decide in favor of the plaintiffs will then try to choose an amount to charge Wal-mart both for the actual damages caused (I use “actual very very loosely in this context) and for “punitive damages.” Punitive means they are charging a little (or a lot) extra as punishment to make sure you have learned your lesson.”
The post is titled “No Please, Let Me Pay For That.”
One of the more pressing concerns, in wake of September 11, has been talk of a dirty bomb. Most articles I have read, in various media, have been relatively vague, raising legitmate concerns, with scaremongering language, laced with generalizations.
The FAS Public Interst Report, has available online, a piece on dirty bombs titled “Dirty Bombs: Response to a Threat,” which has more detail than many news reports, but is still somewhat vague, in that the report expresses possibilities of results of a dirty bomb, results that may, or could occur, but may not.
The report mentions the EPA health and toxic material guidelines, in regards to radiation exposure levels, but provides no data as to what those levels are, or, what amount of exposure time would be required to attain an unsafe level of radiation exposure. For that information, one would have to delve into the EPA’s Radiation Publications.
The FAS report makes for an interesting read, but does not adequately explain the nuts and bolts of what levels of radiation exposure are, in fact, dangerous. The report is swimming in generalizations that bear further individual investigation.
Linked via Gene Expression.
The Voynich Manuscript
Jason Kuznicki has an interesting post up regarding The Voynich Manuscript and dissemination of knowledge. Jason provides links to the manuscript itself, just in case you may want to try and decode its message. The post is titled “The Opposite of the Internet.”
Update: Scientific American.com has a new article up titled “The Mystery of the Voynich Manuscript,” with a subtitle of, “New analysis of a famously cryptic medieval document suggests that it contains nothing but gibberish.”
Link to the Scientific American article via J. Orlin Grabbe.