Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘supernovae

All the Things That Happened Today

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* Sad news: Terrorist attack at Moscow’s busiest airport.

* Rumors are swirling that the Wachowskis may pull a Lucas.

* Judge Rules White Girl Will Be Tried As Black Adult.

* SOTU 2011: “How We Win the Future.” Warning: climate change may not exist in the future.

* No composting either.

* Will big-name Republicans sit out 2012?

* The problem with regarding the photography of suffering as ‘pornography.’

* Killjoys keep debunking the “twin suns in 2012” Betelgeuse supernova story. Can’t I have just this one thing?

* Soccer science! As game theory predicts, legitimate falls far outnumber fake falls, Wilson reported at the meeting. Only 6% of the 2800 falls were highly deceptive dives. Players were two to three times as likely to dive when close to the goal, where the payoff was huge: Statistics show that there is an 80% chance of scoring from penalty kicks. Almost none of the highly deceptive dives resulted in free kicks against the diver. And referees were most likely to reward dives that occurred close to the goals—perhaps because the players were farther away and the deception harder to detect, he noted.

No. Just no.

* James Kochalka is Vermont’s first cartoonist laureate.

* Headline of the day: Man admits mailing hundreds of tarantulas.

* I don’t want to alarm anyone, but it appears the Bush administration may have broken the law.

* Genghis Khan: history’s greenest conqueror?

Unlike modern day climate change, however, the Mongol invasion actually cooled the planet, effectively scrubbing around 700 million tons of carbon from the atmosphere.

So how exactly did Genghis Khan, one of history’s cruelest conquerors, earn such a glowing environmental report card? The reality may be a bit difficult for today’s environmentalists to stomach, but Khan did it the same way he built his empire — with a high body count.

Over the course of the century and a half run of the Mongol Empire, about 22 percent of the world’s total land area had been conquered and an estimated 40 million people were slaughtered by the horse-driven, bow-wielding hordes. Depopulation over such a large swathe of land meant that countless numbers of cultivated fields eventually returned to forests.

For certain values of “green”… Via MetaFilter.

* And also via MetaFilter: Vermont vs. corporate personhood. Republicans vs. the Internet. Rahm Emanuel gets Chicago’d. The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. The United States of Shame. Teacher salary? Damn you North Carolina!

Saturday Afternoon Fever

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* The Mayans Jawas predicted it: Two Suns? Twin Stars Could Be Visible From Earth By 2012.

* The Republican Study Committee wants to defund the arts. Entirely.

A group of conservative Republicans, called the Republican Study Committee, revealed a new plan on Thursday to cut federal funding for arts down to zero. This means the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities would be left in the cold. Not to mention the potential hit at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

* David Neiwart gets literary with Glenn Beck’s favorite poem.

But it’s really quite revealing that Beck NEVER gets Niemoller’s poem right. There are a number of different versions with slight variations, but the most common is this one:

First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists ,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist…

* Also in Glenn Beck news: his latest target is receiving threats. She is 78.

The sole American manufacturer of an anesthetic widely used in lethal injections said Friday that it would no longer produce the drug, a move likely to delay more executions and force states to adopt new drug combinations. Obligatory Colbert flashback.

* Standing on Zanzibar: If the world’s population lived in one city.

Apocalypse #401

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A spectacular, rotating binary star system is a ticking time bomb, ready to throw out a searing beam of high-energy gamma rays – and Earth may be right in the line of fire.

“If such a gamma-ray burst happens, we really do not want Earth to be in the way,” [Peter Tuthill, lead researcher of the team,] said. “I used to appreciate this spiral just for its beautiful form, but now I can’t help a twinge of feeling that it is uncannily like looking down a rifle barrel.”

Written by gerrycanavan

March 6, 2008 at 6:59 am

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