Thursday, December 29, 2011

Why everyone hates the media

Why everyone hates the media FRIDAY, DEC 23, 2011 4:00 PM EST by Kevin Canfield — "The cover of Jonathan M. Ladd’s new book shows a pair of newspaper vending boxes that have been vandalized. “Lies,” reads the graffiti scrawled across the machines.

Lots of people seem to agree with the sentiment expressed by this anonymous street-level press critic — even if most of us are more apt to express this by screaming at the TV.

When I first read the title of this article I thought, "Because the media are a bunch of lying, arrogant asses." After reading the article I came to the conclusion that, while the aforementioned statement is true, it isn't the complete story. The problem is much more complex that just the media. It is partly our own fault but much of the blame lies with the political parties and their (mis)use of the media.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

600-Million-Year-Old Microscopic Fossils Upend Evolution Theory

600-Million-Year-Old Microscopic Fossils Upend Evolution Theory December 23, 2011 — "A remarkable new fossil discovery of amoeba-like micro-organisms that lived 570 million years ago could make scientists rethink some widely-accepted theories about how complex life on Earth first evolved from a single-celled universal common ancestor."

Cool stuff. It seems things are never completely understood in nature. Just when we think we have a handle on it something comes along to remind us that we're still just scratching the surface of the universe.

Friday, December 23, 2011

How my book became part of the "satanic sex stabbing"

How my book became part of the "satanic sex stabbing" - Writers and Writing - - SATURDAY, NOV 26, 2011 8:00 PM EASTERN STANDARD TIME — "On the night I heard about my connection to a “satanic sex ritual stabbing,” I had just finished the dishes with my wife. It was about 10 p.m. on a Wednesday, my 2-year-old daughter was asleep in bed, and I was in the living room, casually catching up on email. “I assume you’ve seen this,” a friend wrote. The link took me to a headline on

“Satanic Sex Ritual Threesome Not as Awesome as It Sounds.”"

This is a glaring example of the truth getting in the way of a good story. Now, with the 'Net and the instantaneousness of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, the "story" spreads even faster with the "truth" sometimes never catching up. There's an old saying... Believe none of what you hear and half of what you read. Social media is like gossip. It falls under the classification of what you hear.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Earth Must Have Another Moon, Say Astronomers

Earth Must Have Another Moon, Say Astronomers Thu Dec 22, 2011 09:15 AM ET | "Scientists studying satellites orbiting the planet have come to an astounding conclusion: Earth has multiple moons at any given time, the MIT Technology Review reported."

Very cool stuff. It makes sense, though. Having such a big moon has really kept the space rocks from slamming into Earth.

Two Earth-Sized Planets Discovered — Slice of SciFi

Two Earth-Sized Planets Discovered — Slice of SciFi DECEMBER 21, 2011 BY MICHAEL HICKERSON - "Astronomers with NASA’s Kepler Spacecraft announced the discovery of two Earth-sized planets yesterday.

Astronomers said the discovery showed that Kepler could indeed find planets as small as our own and was an encouraging sign that planet hunters would someday succeed in the goal of finding Earth-like abodes in the heavens.

We're getting closer and closer to finding Earth 2TM. To bad I won't be around when we do get to visit other planets. That is, unless someone discovers a way to transfer my brain patterns into a computer. You know, they are really taking their time getting this perfected.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Japan is the latest F-35 customer

DoD Buzz | Japan is the latest F-35 customer | By John Reed Monday, December 19th, 2011 10:05 pm | Posted in Air, International | "It’s official, the Japanese Air Self Defense Force is the world’s latest F-35 Joint Strike Fighter customer, buying four F-35As starting in 2012. That purchase will kick off Japan’s effort to buy two squadrons worth of the jets to replace ancient F-4 Phantoms."

Japan gets F-35's while the US debates about them.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Scientists find answer to supernova riddle

Scientists find answer to supernova riddle AFP December 15, 2011 7:39AM — "THE discovery of a supernova only hours after its explosion has probably solved a long-standing mystery on the origin of the brightest known phenomena in the Universe.

On August 24, scientists witnessed the spectacular eruption of light and energy thrown off by the birth of SN 2011fe, the brightest and - at a mere 20.9 million light years away - closest-to-Earth supernova in over 25 years.

This is so beyond cool. When I was in 4th or 5th grade I did a report on stars and, since then, I have always loved this kind of information.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

BBC News - Higgs boson: LHC scientists to release best evidence

BBC News - Higgs boson: LHC scientists to release best evidence - By Paul Rincon | Science editor, BBC News Website, Geneva — "Anticipation is building in the run-up to presentations of the best-yet evidence for - or against - the existence of the Higgs boson.

The famed particle is a missing link in current theories of physics, used to explain how everything gains its mass.

Tick, tock, tock, tick. The time is getting closer and closer.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Why does the world insist on crushing good men?

At the bottom of an article pertaining to the Sandusky scandal (AP IMPACT: PSU culture explained away Sandusky - Yahoo! News), there is a hint of a gleam of common sense and decency regarding coach Joe Paterno.
Regardless of the outcome of the criminal cases, reputations beyond Sandusky's are ruined.

While defending her husband's actions, Paterno's wife hinted at frustration in the failure of Penn State to act aggressively in dealing with Sandusky in 2002. She said her husband, "one of the most moral people I know," had expected those above him in the chain of command to deal with the matter properly.

She said prosecutors confirmed that her husband "did the right thing," and she insisted he had never heard any details about any other alleged incidents. "That's the only thing he knew about. How can you wish you did more when you didn't know anything?"
As for whether her husband should have done more, she said, "That's not how it works. If they have another question, they get back to you. They were supposed to handle it."
It is quite clear that Paterno did everything he should have in this situation. Paterno was railroaded and unjustly disciplined for doing exactly what he should have done. The world owes him an apology and should beg for his forgiveness.

There's one other thing that always seems to get overlooked in this story. At the time all of this happened, Sandusky was no longer coaching. He was not part of the Penn State football program. The university had as much reason to fire Paterno as it had to fire any other coach in their athletic program. So why weren't the men's and women's basketball coaches fired? The track coaches? The [insert sports program here] coaches fired?

Joe Paterno is a good, honest, caring man. And, for reasons that will forever escape me, the world has a need to crush and destroy any good, honest, caring person it finds.

Video game playing tied to creativity

Video game playing tied to creativity Published: Nov. 02, 2011 - EAST LANSING, Mich. — "Both boys and girls who play video games tend to be more creative, regardless of whether the games are violent or nonviolent, according to new research by Michigan State University scholars."

This isn't surprising news to anyone who has been involved with technology and education for the last decade or so. The bottom line is that exercising ones brain is a Good Thingtm.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Zach Wahls Speaks About Family - YouTube

Zach Wahls Speaks About Family - YouTubeZach Wahls, a 19-year-old University of Iowa student spoke about the strength of his family during a public forum on House Joint Resolution 6 in the Iowa House of Representatives. Wahls has two mothers, and came to oppose House Joint Resolution 6 which would end civil unions in Iowa.

This video speaks for itself.

Friday, December 02, 2011

LGBT Nigerians: "We Are Not Illegal"

I just added my voice to this urgent appeal, standing for human rights in Nigeria. Nigeria is pushing forward a law that would make it a punishable offense - of up to 14-years in prison - for anybody to go to a gay bar, to work for or be involved with LGBT organizations, or to be in an openly gay relationship.

Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan - who has said he wants to stake his presidency on improving access to healthcare and education in the country, can stop this bill - by refusing to sign it. Read - and sign - this powerful letter that Nigerian activist Ifeanyi Orazulike wrote to the president, asking him to stop this bill, so that Nigeria doesn't place itself outside the community of democratic nations.

This Monday, Ifeanyi and other Nigerian activists are speaking out at the UN against this draconian bill with a simple message: We Are Not Illegal.

Ifeanyi is taking a stand. Will you take a minute to add your voice to his?