(Click here for posts on geophysics and the energy industry.)
Space.com: Hubble Makes Best Mars Globe Photos Ever.
"NASA released a pair of highly anticipated Mars portraits from the Hubble Space Telescope today as the observatory's operators took advantage of a proximity to the red planet not equaled in 59,619 years."
Bloomberg Business News: Do not call registry deadline closes in.
"U.S. residents can block telemarketing calls by listing home and mobile telephone numbers at www.donotcall.gov."
The Guardian: Mike May's Journal.
"Three years ago, Mike May's sight was partially restored by a pioneering transplant using stem cells." ...
"‘It is quite unsettling looking into someone's eyes, especially when you aren't used to it.... I can't fathom how sighted people go around seeing each other's eyes without being flustered too.’"
"The wandering of the planets will bring Mars closer to Earth this month than at any time in nearly 60,000 years."
Star Trek theology --
Jim Holt, Slate: My So-Called Universe.
"Just a century ago, our puny Milky Way was thought to comprise the entire cosmos."
> Reading this article, I realized that over the years I've gradually, subconsciously, adopted the chaotic inflation theory (and the multi-verse) as my personal belief about how it all began. It's pretty speculative, but it's very appealing on a philosophical level.
> I've never bought into the "many-worlds" interpretation of quantum theory; intuitively, it seems like too blatant a violation of conservation of energy. I guess that is also true of chaotic inflation, though. The whole creation paradox is that somehow you have to create a whole lot of something from nothing.
> Incidentally, this article is kind of silly in its emphasis on the possibility that somewhere there might be an "exact copy" of our world. So what? If you look around Houston, you could probably find a dozen middle-aged white guys who were similar enough to me to be mistaken for replicas.
Wired: PowerPoint Is Evil.
"Particularly disturbing is the adoption of the PowerPoint cognitive style in our schools. Rather than learning to write a report using sentences, children are being taught how to formulate client pitches and infomercials."
Simon Benson, News.Com.AU: Whale flatulence stuns scientists.
"The researchers claim this is the first photograph of a minke whale letting one go in the icy waters of Antarctica. It was taken from the bow of a research vessel."
Jane Galt: Back Online.
"It was amazing to find out just how big a hole our electronics leave in our lives -- every ten minutes someone would try to turn on a light, or think of looking up some disputed fact on the web."
Associated Press: Iraqis' top 10 tips for enduring blackout in the heat.
"‘When the power goes out, I curse everybody,’ said Emad Helawi, a 63-year-old accountant."
> Leading up to the war, it was really fascinating reading the anonymous journal entries that were being posted by the so-called Baghdad Blogger. Now he is apparently writing for The Guardian.
Fad alert --
San Francisco Weekly: Attack of the Smartasses.
"It's almost impossible to go to a bar these days and not hear the word ‘Friendster’ floating up from an overheard conversation."
Nature: Kind people catch yawns.
"Those impervious to the infection also struggle to put themselves in other people's shoes, psychological tests showed. For example, they might be less likely to recognize that a social faux pas or insult could cause someone else offence."
Gamespot: Real Life: The Full Review.
"In one of the stranger design decisions in the game, for some reason you have no choice in determining your character's initial starting location, appearance, or gender, which are chosen for you seemingly at random."