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RIP Mr. Wizard 1917-2007

A month short of his 90th birthday Donald Jeffrey Herbert, better known to Boomers as Mr. Wizard, died today. The Associated Press has a short obituary.

For a lot of us, this was our first taste of science, and you could do it in your kitchen without a lot of equipment or special ingredients. He was responsible for a lot people entering science, and was a hell of a teacher.

Update: NPR has a remembrance by Ira Flatow and links to clips of the show.

June 12, 2007   4 Comments

Thank You Notes

One of the complaints I heard reported in discussions by Russian officials about the proposed deployment of the “Tinker Bell anti-missile parasol” was the failure of the US to demonstrate any appreciation for the efforts of Russia to gain access to bases in the former Soviet central Asian republics for the attack on the Taliban. The Russians were annoyed that the US has never acknowledged what they did.

This is the same complaint heard from Iranian and Syrian officials – we helped after 9/11, but the US has never even said thank you, and now threatens us.

This has been the pattern of this administration. People play nice, and the Hedgemony acts as if it is their due, and you don’t thank the lower classes for rendering homage to our greatness. This is the attitude that got the US kicked out of Uzbekistan, and will soon cost us our use of the base in Kyrgystan. These are sovereign governments and they aren’t going to put up with US arrogance.

The entire foreign policy seems to be: do it our way or we’ll bomb you. That’s not exactly a path to peace and stability.

June 12, 2007   2 Comments

A Note On Commenting

To prevent Spam the system holds comments with more than 3 links and flag posts that contain certain words, that I selected from several spam storms. Comments on any post are closed after 30 days.

New posters have to be approved once, but if you change your name or e-mail address, you will get flagged as new and will have to be approved again before appearing in the comments.

I don’t edit or change posts, unless requested by the individual.

For the individual who used the identity “ahmedinajad”, I have no problem with what you wrote, but it was over 2100 words and contained 12 links. If you don’t feel you can edit it down, how about posting the entire thing somewhere, and then post a condensed version with a link to the expanded version. I pay for my bandwidth and storage, and there are plenty of free blog sites out there. I don’t have a problem with people promoting their content in a relevant comment thread.

If you are using graphics, please copy them to your site, or let me know you’re are linking to them. If I own the copyright I don’t have a problem with it.

June 12, 2007   Comments Off on A Note On Commenting