I’ve got your missing links right here (30 April 2011) | Not Exactly Rocket Science

Top thirteen picks

Euthanasia Coaster – how to design an actual killer coaster, by Jennifer Ouellette. Note, this post features Fabio vs a goose

Smash moons together rip Saturn’s rings off destroy universes yeeaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh

A neurologist finishes his last paper, on the disease that’s killing him.

Beautiful stuff about lyrebirds as historians, by Robert Kruylwich. Nature’s Living Tape Recorders May Be Telling Us Secrets. This is how it’s done, folks.

Inspired and appalled by this atrocity from Cell, I give you Not Exactly Royal Wedding Science. Now can we all please shut up about it? Except for Heather Pringle and John Rennie who have provided some wonderful tie-ins – one on inbreeding among bees and another involving axe murders and death pits

“One of the most important decisions a writer makes is one a reader never sees” – to do a story or not. I couldn’t agree more with Paul Raeburn that the New York Times’s profile of Andrew Wakefield (another one?) is a story that shouldn’t have been written.

Tiger Moms v Orchid Children. A post about nature of nurturance and resilience, by David Dobbs.

How sorting out hookworm infections boosted the economy of the southern …

North Dakota Initiative to Abolish Property Taxes Qualifies for the Ballot

Why Should Your Home Be Governments’ Private ATM?

by Eric Dondero

It made it! Over 30,000 signatures were handed in. Late yesterday, North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger announced that the necessary number of valid signatures were certified. Originally, 26,500 were needed. With 5 days to go before the deadline, the Attorney General issued a ruling that 1,204 more signatures would need to be gathered. His reasoning: He chose to abide by the total voter registrant numbers for the 2010 census, rather than the previous year.

Petitioners scrambled. But dedicated crews in Jamestown, Bismark and Grand Forks, managed to collect the final 1,204 and a few additional signatures just to be safe.

The initiative will now appear on the Primary Election balloot for June 4, 2012. If passed, North Dakota will no longer have property taxes. The Amendment directs the legislature to fund programs solely through the other 32 sources of revenue available to the State such as the sales tax, fees, and the estimated $2.5 billion surplass from oil production revenues.

The organizing sponsor for the initiative was Empower The Taxpayer, Charlene Nelson out of Casstleton, Chair. State Representative Dan Ruby, a libertarian Republican from Minot, was also a sponsor of the initiative. Other groups involved in co-sponsoring the initiative and gathering signatures included: Williston Tea Party, Valley City Tea Party, Grand Forks Tea Party, and the Libertarian Party of North Dakota.

EmpowertheTaxpayer.com

Prince William’s salute to the Irish Guards

From Cliff Thies:

Prince William, an officer and helicopter pilot in the Royal Air Force, donned the uniform of the Irish Guards, whose First Regiment is currently deployed to Afghanistan, for his wedding,. It was a fitting reminder that even as we go about our lives, there are men and women in the armed forces of our countries who are serving in combat in what the military refers to as “the long war.” His bride, Kate Middleton, was resplendent in her beautiful white dress.

BTW In their own tribute to the military, the San Diego Padres started to occasionally wear camouflage uniforms, a practice that has since been up by a number of other sports teams.

Editor’s comment – Y’all didn’t think this was a Royals coverage free zone, now did ya?

Emergency Seed Bank 5-day Promotion

FROM ONE OF OUR ADVERTISERS:

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Heidi with customer service
Emergency Seeds, Inc.
1-877-451-7333

Cost Of Water Wheel Construction

I'm wondering how much would be the cost of constructing water wheel whose diameter = 3m and width= 2m. I need to know the cost of both wooden made wheel and steel made wheel. Any information on this will be really appreciated. Thanks 🙂

NewsBusters on Biased Reasoning and Conspiracies | The Intersection

NewsBusters, the conservative media watchdog website (“Exposing & Combating Liberal Media Bias”), has slammed the recent MSNBC segment about birthers, conspiracy theories, and biases. Or as they put it:

MSNBC Panel Equates ‘Pathological’ Global Warming Skeptics to Birthers

Good grief. The other guest on the show, Jonathan Kay, did use the word “pathological”–to refer to conspiracy theory thinking, or conspiracism, not global warming skeptics. I did not use that word, and disagree with him about this. Here’s what I said on the air:

MOONEY: I would say that it is just an extreme version of something to which we are all susceptible. When people read my piece, they said this is kind of like arguing with my spouse. This is kind of like arguing with a member of my family who has different politics. They will never change their mind. They will never change their mind.

But here is Newsbusters again:

Throughout the segment, Hayes probed Kay and Mooney about how the minds of conspiracy theorists operate, not-so-subtly suggesting global warming skeptics have some sort of neurological disorder.

“Neurological disorder”? Come on. Just to show how badly this is being misinterpreted, let me note that in my Mother Jones piece I even question whether motivated reasoning can be called “irrational”:

A key question—and one that’s difficult to answer—is how “irrational” all this is. On the one hand, it doesn’t make sense to discard an entire belief system, built up over a lifetime, because of some new snippet of information. “It is quite possible to say, ‘I reached this pro-capital-punishment decision based on real information that I arrived at over my life,’” explains Stanford social psychologist Jon Krosnick. Indeed, there’s a sense in which science denial could be considered keenly “rational.” In certain conservative communities, explains Yale’s Kahan, “People who say, ‘I think there’s something to climate change,’ that’s going to mark them out as a certain kind of person, and their life is going to go less well.”

As you can see, Newsbusters is…missing some of the subtleties on this whole issue of biased reasoning.


Anti-Terry Jones Protest – Leftist shouts "Kill that Mother F—-r now!"

JUST BREAKING…

From Eric Dondero:

Muslim and Leftist protesters broke through barricades in Dearborn to protest Rev. Terry Jones’s Anti-IslamoFascist rally yesterday.

From the AP via WILX TV Lansing:

The pastor known for stirring up controversy made good on his promise to return to Michigan to protest.

Terry Jones held a protest yesterday, but it wasn’t at Dearborn’s mosque as he had planned- instead it was in front of the city hall.

A small crowd of supporters showed up to listen to the pastor while groups gathered on the other side of the street to rally against the pastor.

Riot police intervened when the crowd started throwing water bottles and shoes at the Jones supporters.

Heard faintly on the video, at precisely the 27 seconds mark, an unidentified protester shouts”:

“Kill that mother-fucker now!”

H/t Weasel Z…

"That’s What She Said" Software Recognizes Pervy Double Entendres Automatically [Republished]


Click here to read "That's What She Said" Software Recognizes Pervy Double Entendres Automatically

Steve Carell’s final episode of The Office aired last night, and without him, we’re left with a hole in our lives where those “that’s what she said” jokes (hereby referred to as TWSS jokes) should be. Luckily, a couple of computer scientists have created some software that recognizes the opportunity to make a TWSS joke in the midst of natural language. It sounds like a huge effort, but definitely has the potential to fill that hole. (That one was a gimme.) More »


Libertarian Party of Canada candidate for BC Parliament: Taxation is Theft

Excerpt from British Columbia Paper DeltaOptimist.com, Delta-Richmond East, “Libertarian looks to reduce taxes, gov’t” April 30:

The Libertarian Party proposes to reduce both taxes and the size of government. It says it would also remove restrictions on personal and economic freedoms and seek to remove government interference from as many areas of people’s lives as possible.

When it comes to welfare and health care, for example, the party’s position is the “moral issue here is that Libertarians believe that it is not right to take forcefully from one person in order to provide for another’s needs… Taxation is robbing people of their wealth and the ability to invest that wealth in new business, which would benefit the poor.”

Libertarian Party of Canada, libertarian.ca

Bacteria Evade Antibiotics by Going Incognito | 80beats

ecoli

What’s the News: Going undercover can require some sacrifices–burning off your fingerprints, for instance, a la Gattaca. It’s the same story with bacteria: they can slip below antibiotics’ radar without any mutations, but only using an elaborate system of self-sabotage. A new study reveals the workings of this biochemical disguise.

How the Heck:

When antibiotics are floating around, they activate a stress response in bacteria. Part of that response, the team found, is the actions of a toxin and its antidote. When the bacterium isn’t stressed, the antidote keeps the toxin in check. But when stress hits, the antidote is destroyed, allowing the toxin to ravage the inner workings of the bacterial cell. It shreds the bacterium’s mRNA, the DNA transcripts needed to build new proteins, and the cell goes into lockdown. Because it’s no longer showing signs of life, drugs pass over the dormant bacterium. When the antibiotic is gone, the bacterial stress response subsides, the toxin is reined back in, and the bacterium reawakens.

What’s the Context:

Toxin-antidote pairs have always been something of an enigma for biologists. Why, they wonder, would bacteria go around carrying the cellular equivalent of a loaded gun? This study …


Birther issue started by Republican and Libertarian parties

A rightwing “fringe element”

Excerpt from Suite101 blog, “Birthers’ Conspiracy Theories Reach New Accusatory Lows” by Frank Hardy, April 29:

When President Obama issued his long form birth certificate, after years of speculation about its existence by fringe elements of the Republican and Libertarian parties, he hoped the issue would be put to rest; however, that was not the case…

It begins… Democrats accuse Romney of being in the hip pocket of the libertarian Koch brothers

David Koch and wife Julia donated max to Romney

Excerpt from MSNBC, “Romney and the Koch brothers” April 29:

It’s sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, the conservative group that billionaire David Koch started. And Democrats are trying to make hay of the appearance, noting some of Romney’s ties to David Koch like:
— David and wife Julia each donated the maximum ($2,300) to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in ’08

— Politico’s 2010 report that Romney had lined up fundraising commitments from David and Julia Koch

A Dem operative emails First Read, “You know it’s got to be a special occasion that only the Koch brothers can afford throw to get Romney to emerge from his op-ed fortress.”

Editor’s note – Grammar mistake by Dem operative in his email to MSNBC above left in.

PC817 Switching Frequency

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fireball

Severe storms over U.S. seen from space | Bad Astronomy

On April 27, 2011, huge storms spawned enormous tornadoes which swept across the southeastern U.S., doing severe damage and killing over 200 people. It was the worst natural disaster in the U.S. since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The NASA/NOAA Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, or GOES, takes high-resolution images every few minutes. The animation below shows the southeast U.S. from GOES, and you can watch the storms erupt.

A warm, moist air mass from the south collided with a cold air mass over the States. This is how summer storms usually form, but this situation was amplified by the jet stream, which was blowing between them. This generated fierce local systems that spawned over 150 tornadoes in the course of a single day.

It’s unclear but unlikely this particular event was due to global warming, but many models indicate such storms will increase in number as the planet warms. Despite a lot of political noise, the overwhelming scientific consensus is that global warming is indeed real. We may see more storms like this in the future.

NOAA/NASA, GOES Project Science team. Original animation by Jesse Allen.

Related posts:

Comic takedown of global warming denial
– …