Josh Melnick and Walter Murch in Conversation — Cinema, neural processing, and the human reflex to blink. Fascinating piece. (Via Curiosity Counts.)
Are Successful People Nice?
The FBI files of the rich and famous
What Should Scare You More: Sharks or Big TVs?
US approves first new nuclear plant in a generation — What could possibly go wrong?
Motion Pictured: How an Earthquake Warps a Landscape
Cancer’s First Step — A single mutant cell breaks free of its neighbors in the early stages of cancer development.
Zebra stripes evolved to keep biting flies at bay — Warning: Facts not valid if you're sufficiently willfully ignorant to believe that the Earth is only 6,000 years old.
Linking correlation to causation with power laws and scale free systems
Why you should care about Lake Vostok — If scientists find life in Antarctica's Lake Vostok, an ancient freshwater body locked beneath two miles of ice, it will greatly boost hopes of the existence of life on other worlds.
Study: Himalayan glaciers melting more slowly than thought, but seas are still rising — A study of satellite data has found that thermal expansion and ice loss from Greenland and Antarctica account for most of the planet's rising sea levels, with melting glaciers from the Himalayas contributing less than previously thought. Ah, climate change. The thing about a scientific theory is that new data can shift the perspective. Ideological conviction is immune to facts, except those it finds supportive. If climate changes denialists were the least bit intellectually honest, they would acknowledge the outcomes of the BEST study, which they certainly hailed at the onset.
Same Sec Marriage: Public Opinion vs. the Law — One of the reasons we live in a republic and not a pure democracy is that the people are not always right. Where was public opinion on Brown vs. Board of Education? The Civil Rights Act of 1964? On Griswold vs. Connecticut? Being dragged down by conservative paranoia, yet in every case, wrong, and eventually more enlightened. Letting public opinion decide a basic human rights issue such as gay marriage is nothing more than empowering the loudmouthed, well-funded bigots on the Right. See California's Proposition 8 for a clear example of this.
Tales From the Kitchen Table — Catholic doctrine prohibits women from using pills, condoms or any other form of artificial contraception. A much-quoted study by the Guttmacher Institute found that virtually all sexually active Catholic women of childbearing age have violated the rule at one point or another, and that more than two-thirds do so consistently.
Whose Conscience? — An obvious starting point is with the 98 percent of sexually active Catholic women who, just like other American women, have exercised their own consciences and availed themselves of birth control at some point during their reproductive lives. So it’s important to be clear that the conscientious objection to the regulation comes from an institution rather than from those whose consciences it purports to represent. As usual. this issue is rank political opportunism by conservatives, completely ignoring the policy aspects in favor of stirring up the Republican base. Unfortunately for the sane quarters of America, they're damned good at this kind of shit stirring.
Santorum amplifies faith in way GOP rivals don't — After almost two and half centuries of being a decidedly secular nation (c.f. the First Amendment), just what we need. A theocracy. Not just any theocracy, like, say, a benign dictatorship of Unitarians, but an American Taliban of willfully ignorant, narrow-minded Christianist bigots.
They're back: Social issues overtake US politics
Mississippi rep introduces the "Gulf of America" bill —
Want to Understand Republicans? First Understand Evolution — This is both hilarious and sobering.
?otd: Why me?
Writing time yesterday: 1.25 hours (WRPA)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 8.0 (solid)
Currently reading: Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal