(Click here for posts on geophysics and the energy industry.)
Slate: W.'s Greatest Hits. The top 25 Bushisms of all time.
"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
Washington Post: Mars Vents Methane in What Could Be Sign of Life.
"Even if turns out that the Martian methane is from non-biological processes -- a far less dramatic prospect -- that would nonetheless reshape thinking about the planet, which scientists thought to be geologically dead and chemically unlikely to produce much of the gas."
Science News: Milky Way As Massive As 3 Trillion Suns.
"... the Milky Way is about 50 percent heavier than [previously] calculated, bringing it up to par with Andromeda" ...
"The radio observations yielded another surprise.... From these observations, the team deduced that the Milky Way must have four spiral arms: two dominant ones that include both new stars traced by the VLBA observations along with old stars seen by Spitzer; and two other arms that contain only newborn stars. "
"The first robot, named Spirit, landed on 3 January, 2004, followed by its twin, Opportunity, 21 days later. It was hoped the robots would work for at least three months; but their longevity in the freezing Martian conditions has surprised everyone."
Dave Barry, The Washington Post: The Year in Review.
"How weird a year was it? Here's how weird:
"O.J. actually got convicted of something.
"Gasoline hit $4 a gallon -- and those were the good times.
"On several occasions, ‘Saturday Night Live’ was funny."
Wikipedia: List of common misconceptions.
"It is sometimes claimed that half, or more than half, of all humans who were ever born are alive today.... [E]ven adopting conservative values regarding the origins of humanity, a significantly lower proportion of the human population is currently alive."
John Stump: Faeries Aire and Death Waltz.
"Release the penguins!"