(Click here for posts on geophysics and the energy industry.)
In local Houston news, the Enron trial is about to get underway --
Houston Chronicle: Causey's plea wrecks havoc for Lay, Skilling.
"Richard Causey, who reported directly to Skilling, can help guide prosecutors through Enron's books and the intricate business dealings that contributed to its collapse. And his switch in sides likely means the prosecution will be able to present a less complex case to jurors."
Last week marked the one-year anniversery of the Asian tsunami. This extended narrative was published in the New York Times last month --
NYT: The day the sea came.
"Last Dec. 26, at 7:59 a.m., one part of the planet's undersea crust made an abrupt shift beneath another along a 750-mile seam near the island of Sumatra."
Washington Post: Ethics in Research Debated.
"‘Right now scientific fraud and misconduct is alive and well in this country,’[Adil E. Shamoo, a biomedical ethicist at the University of Maryland] said. ‘We don't have to go to South Korea.’"
Happy Winter Solstice, everyone!
Wikipedia: Winter solstice.
There was a big earthquake in Louisiana yesterday --
> Magnitude 3.0!
Associated Press: Weezer singer extends his celibacy.
"Though he's a lead singer for a popular rock band, the bespectacled Cuomo says it's not difficult to manage restraint.
"‘Abstinence doesn't require as much self-discipline anymore,’ he says. ‘We never had any serious groupies, anyway. Our generation got screwed.’"
> Figuratively, of course.
Reuters: TV switch-over compromise found. Date is in 2009.
"They agreed upon a compromise date that comes after the annual football Super Bowl but before the annual college basketball tournament."
Time: The Good Samaritans.
"For being shrewd about doing good, for rewiring politics and re-engineering justice, for making mercy smarter and hope strategic and then daring the rest of us to follow, Bill and Melinda Gates and Bono are TIME's Persons of the Year."
"... more people are sitting up and taking notice of Pastafarianism, and how easy it is to be regarded as a saint, just for wearing an eye patch and saying Yar."
"Although the new disclosures are being presented as a blow to Korean science, they can also be seen as a triumph for a cadre of well-trained young Koreans for whom it became almost a pastime to turn up one flaw after another in his work. All or almost all the criticisms that eventually brought him down were first posted on Web sites used by young Korean scientists...."
Continental Magazine: Building a Better Role Model.
"All it took for Patricia Galloway to embrace a future in civil engineering was one engaging lecture, plus a slew of people -- including her guidance counselor and her math teacher -- telling her it was a bad career choice for a girl."
Houston Chronicle: Official rules UT student died of alcohol poisoning.
"We usually see one to two cases (of alcohol poisoning deaths) every year [in Austin], and most involve UT students."
Scripting News: New Orleans Coffee Notes
"The waitress at dinner last night said she felt awkward complaining about her situation because the person she's talking with might be worse-off than she is, but no problem talking with an outsider."
Reuters: Scientists, others receive Nobel Prizes.
"An Australian who drank a broth of bacteria to prove a theory on stomach ulcers joined nine other scientists to receive their Nobel prizes today...."
"Marshall became one of the most memorable Nobel prize winners for acting as his own human guinea pig to prove his theory that a bacterium caused stomach ulcers rather than stress, in the face of a disbelieving medical establishment."
Associated Press: Comedian Richard Pryor dies at 65.
Khaleej Times, UAE: Lennon lives on.
Yet another reason why torture is bad --
"The Bush administration based a crucial prewar assertion about ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda on detailed statements made by a prisoner while in Egyptian custody who later said he had fabricated them to escape harsh treatment, according to current and former government officials."
Associated Press: Study finds many Internet users fooled by scam e-mail.
"Of those receiving the phony e-mails ... seven in 10, or 70 percent, were fooled by the e-mails, said the report."
I still have enough boomer in me so that I can't ever pass a Beatles story without reading it --