Saturday, August 30, 2008

Hail Facebook junkies, the new political players

Gone (from the palace) but not forgotten, writes Kamran Haider of Pervez Musharraf.

The fight lives on, on Facebook. Young ex-pats "appreciated his liberal economic policies and efforts against extremism in a country rife with violent militants." Apparently they're young enough to have forgotten how he came into power.

The subtler ones happy to see the back of Musharraf pen titles like " "Burn in hell Musharraf" and "I hate Musharraf"."

Then there are the conspiracy Fbookers, who've uncovered Bush's evil plan:
"The CIA's regime change game finally succeeds. Musharraf's removal is only a milestone in the larger CIA game of taking over Pakistan's premier intelligence service, the ISI," says Zaid Hamid.

Insert evil laugh here.

'Just three days later, new insulin-secreting cells started to show up'

New cells without embryonic cells:

Scientists have long hoped to find a way to reprogram a patient's cells to produce new ones. Research with stem cells, and similar entities called iPS cells that were announced last year, has aimed to achieve this in a two-step process.

The first step results in a primitive and highly versatile cell. This intermediary is then guided to mature into whatever cell type scientists want. That guiding process has proven difficult to do efficiently, especially for creating insulin-producing cells, Gearhart noted.

In contrast, the new method holds the promise of going directly from one mature cell type to another. It's like a scientist becoming a lawyer without having to go back to kindergarten and grow up again, Melton says.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My new best friend, Joe Biden, says 'It's Official!!!'

I love that they had to say this:

from Joe Biden
to tee bee
date Thu, Aug 28, 2008 at 1:32 AM
subject It's official

Friend -

A few hours ago, Barack Obama was officially nominated as the Democratic candidate for president of the United States.

And just a few moments ago, I accepted our party's nomination for vice president.

It was touch-and-go for a few there, wasn't it, Joe?

Help a brother out.

Help a brother out.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Atlanta has a new star - Nandi, a manta ray saved from shark

Atlanta has a new star - Nandi, a manta ray saved from shark nets in South Africa. Her wing span is nine feet.
"The Georgia Aquarium," one of the best I've seen, "is now just one of four facilities worldwide with a manta ray on display, and the only one in the United States."

Sunday, August 24, 2008

'The Thrill of Victory..."

Reuters posts its idea of "Top 10 moments of the Beijing Olympics."

Whaddya think?

Memorable moments from a part-time watcher include the women's sprinting competitions - the Jamaican contenders were awesome to watch. Women's gymnastics were fun but painful as the judges demonstrated an inability for unbiased judging. The men's gymnastics were simply amazing - the strength, grace, poise and power were mind-boggling. The women's volleyball was fun, but the whole dump-mom's-ashes thing and the follow-up interview made me wonder what those two were doping with.

Overall, the post-performance interviews were incredibly weak and disappointing, but except for Karolyi's outrage at the judging farce, most of the commentary was a total waste.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Triumphant New China

FYI, this is the China that hosted the Olympics:

Grannies vow to fight on after punishment for Olympic protests

BEIJING (AFP) — Two Beijing grandmothers remained defiant and in good spirits Friday despite being sentenced to one year of reeducation through labour for applying to protest during the Olympics.

In an interview with AFP, neighbours Wu Dianyuan, 79, and Wang Xiuying, 77, said they had not received compensation after their homes were demolished by the city government seven years ago and were simply fighting for their rights.

Obama, Veeps, Prevarication?

I'm excited today because I can't wait to see what Obama's veep pick* adds to the circus.

I'm on the email list that was promised to be sent with tidings of The One today, so I expect Obama to keep his word. However, the Trib article did say:
Obama was to appear Saturday in Springfield, Ill., with his No. 2, and disclose the name to the world through a text message that could be sent at any time before that event.

Will he have the cajones to not pick Hillary? How will his pick stand up well compared with Hillary, and what Clintonian deals will he have to make to retain her support and win back the PUMAs?

But I'm also ambivalent because it's the last day of summer. Back to students on Monday, things around here are already cooling down at night and colors are starting to change, and I've begun sleeping in until all hours just when I need to get that routine back.

*Fox News actually has the short list for both candidates.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Getting serious about getting green; or, 'It takes a government to raise a planet'

Do you think the EPA should be able to:

• Impose Grass Mileage Standards for Home Lawnmowers
• Put Speed Limiters on the Commercial Trucking Fleet
• List Large Single-Family Homes as Carbon-Polluters
• Require Carbon Permits for Retail, Restaurant, Hotel and School Construction

No, really. Think about it.

What a boon! New government jobs for house-to-house lawnmower checks, and additional revenue from lawnmower registration, just like your car, not to mention fines for infractions of standards!

Sure, many trucking companies already have regulators on their fleets that don't allow them to exceed 65mph - they're the ones you're constantly playing I-pass-you, you-pass-me with on the highway. Let's slow 'em all down, even though speed limits vary not just state to state, but area to area! We can let the EPA decide whether 55mph is best, or let 'em have the ability to go up to 65 like the self-regulators. And we can just tack on new regulator checkers at weigh stations, so it's practically a no-brainer! More jobs, more fees, more fines, and an economic boon to the engine regulator industry!

Do you have a large single-family home? Yeah, me neither. Will the EPA think so? Who knows! But won't it be fun to watch them craft a global warming policy for this that deals with our carbon footprint? I'm pretty sure that the EPA will come to the wise decision that any home is a "large" home when it comes to that pesky carbon pollution you've been spewing willy-nilly all these years. More new government jobs! More revenue from fines, fees and registrations!

I mean, really - what does "large" mean when the EPA intends to move on to shops, restaurants, hotels and schools? Mo' money, mo' money, mo' money! Imagine the soaring economy!

Carbon permits for everyone!