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2007 October 04 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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Ig Nobel Prizes Awarded

The BBC reports that the ‘Gay bomb’ scoops Ig Nobel award:

Pioneering research into a “gay bomb” that makes enemy troops “sexually irresistible” to each other has scooped one of this year’s Ig Nobel Prizes.

Other winners included work on treating hamster jetlag with impotency drugs, extracting vanilla from cow dung, and the side-effects of sword swallowing.

Complete list below the fold.
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October 4, 2007   5 Comments

A Puzzlement

Since the Congress of the United States has decided to throw around opinions about this and that, people with an interest in the proper administration of government might want to take the opportunity to ask a few questions.

For example, given the rather clear language in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

How can Congress pass resolutions condemning a newspaper advertisement? Surely such an act is designed to suppress both speech and the press. This isn’t individual members of Congress expressing their views, this is the institution attacking the opinions of a group and the newspaper for printing those views. Isn’t the net effect an abridgment of free speech by the Congress?

October 4, 2007   6 Comments

Free Burma

Buddhist Flag

Today there is a call for bloggers to respond to the situation in Burma in an organized fashion and I believe that pressure should be kept up on the junta. I doubt that the actions of organizations like Amnesty International will have any immediate effect, but it will serve to remind them that they are being watched.

October 4, 2007   4 Comments

Fifty Years Ago Today


On October 4, 1957 people all over the world tuned in to hear the beeping from the first man-made object to orbit the planet, Простейший Спутник-1 [Elementary Satellite 1].

NASA has a WAV file of the sound at their site on Sputnik.

The BBC has a Q&A: Sputnik and check out the Russian Space Web [in English, if you insist].

The Space Race was on, and we referred to the competition as a race, not the War on Space.

October 4, 2007   4 Comments