05 January 2006

Today in the Science News

Grooves in teeth give new meaning to the phrase "Like a Viking":
The marks, which were cut deep into the enamel, are often found in pairs or triplets and appear precisely made. They might have marked certain men as members of a group of tradesmen or warriors, or signified their ability to withstand pain.
Vikings were nuts.

Concealed lie detector:
My favorite part of this article is the hysteria.

But Steve Wright, a conflict analyst at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK, raises the prospect of people identified as suspects by the device being captured and subjected to secret "prisoner rendition" as a result. And he warns that the RPA could introduce a "chill factor" into everyday life.
The odd thing is that the lie detector aspect appears to be the least valuable part of this device. Apparently, it will also be able to find "fighters hiding in a combat zone," by which I am fairly certain New Scientist actually means "terrorists hiding in a mosque," which I would think would be very useful on the ground.

Pluto colder than expected:
Who cares about Pluto's temperature? The only reason I link to this article is this phrase: "[Pluto's] status as a planet is currently being debated." Yeah? Well, around here, there's no debate, because Pluto isn't a frickin' planet. I know everyone agrees with me because I left it out on my model of the solar system, and not only have very few people noted its absence, but the one person who did commended me for having the courage to speak truth to power.


New Mexico Spaceport:
But the real question is whether droids will be allowed in the bar.

Seriously, I'm very excited about the prospect of commercial spaceflight. Of course, Congress is putting a damper on my fun.

iPods can cause hearing loss:
Well, duh.

Folks, your hearing is precious. Protect it, or be forced to suffer the indignity of climbing into a small booth and trying to repeat the garbled speech of some moron on tape once a year. I swear, I can understand him only because I know what he's saying. "Baseball" sounds like "bayshbull." But the worst is when he makes a sound like a guttural grunt. All I hear is "Vuuuhhhh!" The audiologist wants me to tell her what word it sounds like. Well, I'm sorry, but I don't speak caveman.

Ben Franklin turns 300:
I would say happy birthday, but I'm still bitter about the electron thing. Because of you, Benny-boy, I have to pretend that positive charge moves, when in fact it doesn't (except in an aqueous electrolytic solution). And you spent the whole Constitutional Convention asleep in the corner, while real men like James Madison were doing the work of the nation. Mmm, James Madison.

Well, that's about it for today's science news. Have a great day, everyone.


Blogger Jack Michaels said...


It's a planet, baby.

Sure, you have your fancy KBO's, and your Oort clouds, and all that jazz.

And, sure, Pluto's orbit is eccentric. And, yes, Charon is unusually large compared to it.

But it will always be a planet.

After all, to deny Pluto it's status is to allow the terrorists to win.

And you don't want that? Do you?

4:08 PM  

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