Nature magazine endorses Obama


Cognition and Language Lab blog points out that Nature science magazine endorsed Barack Obama, but not because of his science policy. Instead they like him because he listens to a diverse group of advisers.

On a range of topics, science included, Obama has surrounded himself with a wider and more able cadre of advisers than McCain. This is not a panacea. Some of the policies Obama supports — continued subsidies for corn ethanol, for example — seem misguided. The advice of experts is all the more valuable when it is diverse: ‘groupthink’ is a problem in any job. Obama seems to understands [sic] this. He tends to seek a range of opinions and analyses to ensure that his opinion, when reached, has been well considered and exposed to alternatives. He also exhibits pragmatism — for example in his proposals for health-care reform — that suggests a keen sense for the tests reality can bring to bear on policy.

Coyote Crossing: Obama and extinction


Chris Clarke, at his relatively new blog Coyote Crossing, has written about the U.S. election issues: what is and isn’t getting much mention. You can read it here: “Obama and extinction“.

Freedom of speech: you’re doing it wrong

Get this man a sense of irony, stat!

Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures
see funny political pictures

Prehistoric toy found at Stonehenge

Stone pig facing right

Stone pig, snout at right

An archaeological dig was held at Stonehenge in August and September.

Archaeologists say that this carved hedgehog or pig, found buried at Stonehenge, England beside a prehistoric baby, may be Great Britain’s earliest known toy. …the 2,000-year-old Bronze Age toy [is] carved in chalk.

According to Pajamadeen blog,

Mike Pitts, editor of British Archaeology magazine, agrees that the toy most likely was “made for a child as a personal toy.” …Pitts strongly believes that the toy represents a pig, rather than a hedgehog. Noting that domestic and wild pigs were widespread in the Salisbury Plain region , he added: “I would say it’s without doubt a pig…And once we get into historical times, we know the pig is quite important in Celtic mythology, though not—to my knowledge—hedgehogs.”

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Shroedinger’s Tube

The less famous Shroedinger’s Tube:

funny pictures of cats with captions
more funny animals

Who is Barack Obama?


Eric Saveau has a nice summary in “Midnight on the Firing Line“:

Let’s begin with Obama himself and take a look at his history. Contrary to wingnut memes that have been forcibly embedded into the media over the last several months he is an extremely accomplished man who has consistently demonstrated a measure of intelligence, learning, judgment, temperament and leadership that the Founding Fathers themselves would have regarded with approval. His work and education at Harvard, his teaching and community organization in Chicago, his work in the Illinois State Legislature and the United States Senate were all logical outgrowths of an upbringing that endured hardship and tragedy but was supported by a strong and loving family who valued hard work, learning, and community.


Going to the sun

The sun is roughly 93,000,000 miles away. It’s hard to grasp how far that really is.

A million seconds is about two weeks. So if you flew at a mile a second, it would take about 93 million seconds or 47 weeks to get to the sun, i.e. about 11 months.

If you flew at mile a minute (60 mph) it would take about 55 years. And no pit stops! Amazing, n’est-ce pas?

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