[EAS] What's New Friday October 14, 2005
Peter J. Kindlmann
pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Fri Oct 14 19:28:54 EDT 2005
And speaking of Bob Park, I thought I'd just send you his latest
"What's New" issue. --PJK
>Approved-By: whatsnew at BOBPARK.ORG
>Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2005 16:40:34 -0400
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>From: "What's New" <whatsnew at BOBPARK.ORG>
>Subject: [BOBPARKS-WHATSNEW] What's New Friday October 14, 2005
>To: BOBPARKS-WHATSNEW at LISTSERV.UMD.EDU
>WHAT'S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 14 Oct 05 Washington, DC
>1. SUPREME IRONY: SHOULD NOMINEES BE QUESTIONED ABOUT SCIENCE?
>After nominating Harriet Miers for a seat on the Supreme Court,
>President Bush sought to reassure religious conservatives by
>stressing Miers' evangelical Christian roots. Bush said it's
>part of who she is. He's right, but traditionally the personal
>religious views of nominees are not taken up in the confirmation
>process. If the First Amendment is upheld, it shouldn't matter.
>So forget religion. Far more important in the Twenty-First
>Century is the nominee's views on science. There are, after all,
>few cases that come before the courts today that do not have a
>scientific component. Scientists must construct a list of basic
>questions that would give some insight into the nominee's views
>on science. For example: do all physical events result from
>earlier physical events, or can they be caused by clasping your
>hands, bowing your head, and wishing? Send your suggestions to
>What's New. WN will print the best of them.
>2. FAITH-BASED GOVERNMENT: SENATOR BROWNBACK(R-KS)HEARS THE CALL.
>Senator Sam Brownback has been more public than other Republican
>senators in raising questions about the nomination of Harriet
>Miers. A prayer-group-Republican from Kansas who wants to be
>President, Brownback has an open mind on the question of religion
>in politics: it can be either a Protestant conservative, or
>conservative Catholic. Brownback, now Catholic, has been both.
>3. TOURIST CLASS: BILLIONAIRE BACK FROM INTERNATIONAL SPACE SPA.
>Gregory Olsen, the third tourist to buy a $20M ticket to the ISS
>http://bobpark.physics.umd.edu/WN02/wn042602.html, has returned
>from his week at the world's most exclusive spa. He gushed to an
>Associated Press reporter: "It was kind of like this wondrous
>thing." Unlike Dennis Tito, who had stomach problems during his
>week at the ISS, Olsen played the fantasy-adventure game all the
>way, even taking along his own science experiments. WN is
>confident that Olsen's scientific studies, whatever they are,
>will be as important as those conducted by NASA on the ISS.
>4. SHENZHOU VI: CHINA LAUNCHES TWO TAIKONAUTS ON LIVE TELEVISION.
>Wednesday, in a demonstration of growing confidence in its human
>space-flight program, China launched two taikonauts on a five-day
>mission to low-Earth orbit, and did it in full view of the world.
>While Shenzhou VI poses no military threat, it is a demonstration
>of economic strength; China can now afford to squander vast sums
>on pointless programs. Happily, this serves world peace by
>diverting China's resources from more dangerous adventures.
>5. 2005 PHYSICS IG NOBEL: THE PRIZE IS NOT ALWAYS TO THE SWIFT.
>Like that other prize with a similar name, you gotta be patient.
>This year, the Ig went to John Maidstone from Australia for an
>experiment to measure the flow of black tar through a funnel.
>Begun in 1927, one glob drips every nine years. He shared the Ig
>with a colleague who died between the second and third drops.
>THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND.
>Opinions are the author's and not necessarily shared by the
>University of Maryland, but they should be.
>Archives of What's New can be found at http://www.bobpark.org
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