COLLEGE PARK, MD—Saying the money would help further researchers’ understanding of the awesome scientific phenomenon, representatives for the American Institute of Physics announced Tuesday that they had received a $10 million grant to melt stuff. “This funding will provide our researchers with the resources they need to put some junk over a really hot flame until it starts liquefying and gets all stretched out and stuff,” said AIP director James Griffith, adding that a portion of the grant would be allocated to making sure the flames were “real big” so that the research team could melt large items, such as desk chairs and lamps. “We already have a number of experiments lined up that will answer such questions as whether laboratory goggles or a digital thermometer melts first, and we’ve scheduled several trials to determine how fast we can melt a whole cafeteria tray. Pending our findings, my colleagues and I will then wait to see if all the melted stuff hardens up, at which point we intend to hold it over the flame and melt it again.” This research follows a $6 million study last year in which scientists were reportedly able to determine that dropping an electron microscope into a huge vat of acid is really fun.
Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives:
Monday, December 1st, 2014 -- a date which will live in internet – a Japan-based multimedia entertainment conglomerate doing business in the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by hackers from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
If you’ve been paying even a small amount of attention to current events lately, you know that drugs have entered the national conversation in a big way. Marijuana legalization has become a rallying cry for many of us, though even the states where it’s already legal may have a complicated battle ahead of them to keep that privilege.
Christmas week is especially hard for young academics trying to get a job, especially in literary studies. The annual rhythm of the job search means that most first-round interviews (the interviews that take place at major disciplinary conferences over the winter) get scheduled during the first half of December. By this time of year, grad students (and recent PhDs) looking for a job are counting the meager number of schools where their applications are still active; they may have applied to dozens of jobs and gotten one or two first-round interviews to show for it.
I was blogging about the police tonight, and about the responses to protests of police brutality. Then I heard about the shooting of two police officers in New York City, so the rest of that post (and some of the others I have been working on) will have to wait.
Two NYC cops, and their killer, joined an average of 82 Americans killed today, and every day, by guns. Brinsley apparently also shot his girlfriend before departing Baltimore for NYC. She survived. If you have seen some web comments you have probably seen the wingnuts of the right are out in force. In interviews on TV they are implying and/or blaming this tragic crime on, Obama, Al Sharpton, Democrat Mayor deBlasio, blacks in general, and of course 'liberals'.
The last time I wrote about Christmas I thought I was being pretty polite, considering the message I was getting from my friends and relatives and neighbors at the height of the War on Christmas. To wit: How DARE you even THINK about not wishing me a Merry Christmas! Which, of course, led me to respond by pleading "not guilty"--which caused me to tell a lie at Christmas since I didn't feel the least bit guilty. Why would I?
Initially, when Sony announced it was yanking the premiere of the Seth Rogen/James Franco comedy The Interview I thought that Sony's marketing people had come up with a way to make lemonade out of the hacking situation. The media giant could easily cut deals with Amazon, Netflix and the larger cable companies to stream the movie so great that North Korean leader Kim Jung-Un sent terrorists to stop you from seeing it.
New York joins a small but growing conglomeration of states and cities which have instituted bans on fracking, including an astounding decision by the city of Denton, in North Texas, about fifty miles from where I live. The bans are highly significant and give me a shot of optimism here at year end especially because citizen activism has played such a huge roll in these bans. I can remember watching Mark Ruffalo on T.V. a few years back elucidating the health dangers of fracking in his native upstate New York, and truthfully, I thought he was a voice in the wilderness---but his involvement changed things.
Hello folks. Our old friend Wolfrum passed on a splendid invitation to me yesterday. In the early-ish days of the blogosphere, a writer named Al Weisel launched a faux-conservative blog under the pseudonym Jon Swift. His hilarious, award-winning satire quickly propelled him to the top ranks of the blog community, but he generously supported smaller bloggers struggling to gain an audience. One of his outreach projects was an annual competition called, "Best Posts of the Year, Chosen by the Bloggers Themselves."
There's been a ton of ink spilled recently about the dearth of women in STEM fields and there's no shortage of people advocating strategies for significantly increasing the number of women who enter these fields. I was thinking about this yesterday while reading Jeff Guo's Washington Post article about the expanding gender gap in the attainment of college degrees and the theory that it's due to career choice. He mentions the speculation (from Goldin, Katz, and Kuziemko) that this is just a result of natural differences making themselves evident. However, like those who discount the idea that the STEM gap is attributable just to 'boys are better at math,' I've always considered it highly doubtful that this is what is really driving the disparity.
Today, David Brooks gives us the requisite "police officers have hard jobs" column. Whenever we discuss police brutality, somebody says this and in the most recent discussions, it's been said quite often, Police officers have hard jobs. Very few of us non-police officers envy their professions. It has few reliable perks. You can use a siren to run red lights.
I have a fun party story about a road trip that went through Texas, way too fast, wound up in a kind of high speed pursuit and ended with a very reasonable ticket. The punch-line is that the story would have been tragic had the trooper searched my car. What also makes the story kind of funny is that while I was driving way too fast I was in total control of my vehicle, on an empty straight-away in the Texas panhandle. My crime was victim free, as speeding cases go. That the punishment was light was, in the end, appropriate.
Ross Douthat frets that Ferguson is now too ambiguous a story for people who are against the militarization of American police forces to use to make their case. Me, I tend to think that supporters of military-surplus policing always seem to find ambiguity. They have not been phased by actions taken by police forces since at least the WTO protests of the 1990s. Some people just love authority.
“You can do many things with a bayonet, except sit on it.” (Talleyrand)
There is never a good or easy time to argue that the United States should begin to completely reset the character of its foreign policy, especially when the argument being made – as here – is that a key element in that resetting must be a reduction in the scale and role of American arms abroad. Anyone making that kind of case invariably touches a deep American nerve, so that any resulting rebuttal often moves quickly from an argument about facts to one about patriotism.
A retired Black disabled vet said,
. "...to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and sing the National Anthem causes conflict within me. I grew up watching Cowboys vs. Indians every Saturday morning, John Wayne war movies, and the Combat TV program. In a nutshell, I knew early on it was my destiny to become a 'fighting man' who would proudly wear the uniform of MY country because I would make my fellow countrymen proud. I would die, with honor. Taps played at my funeral, followed by a rifle volley...
I'm having a hard time believing Darren Wilson's story, particularly where he says that Michael Brown, while struggling for the cop's weapon in a confrontation that lasted less than a minute, said, "you're too much of a pussy to shoot me." This brings to mind the words that George Zimmerman put into the mouth of Trayvon Martin -- all bluster and villainy, the street thug equivalent of Dr. Doom telling Mr. Fantastic that "You'll crumble before the power of my atomic nullifier!" rather than just using the damned thing.
"I want the public to see my email. I asked State to release them. They (the State Department) said they will review them for release as soon as possible," Clinton said in a tweet late Wednesday night.
Experimental drugs and special care helped make Nina Pham Ebola free. But today she fears she may never escape the deadly disease.
The lawsuit filed on Monday in Dallas County against Texas Health Resources asserts, in part, that Ms. Pham became "a symbol of corporate neglect -- a casualty of a hospital system's failure to prepare for a known and impending medical crisis".