Sunday, November 06, 2005

"No science is immune to the infection of politics and the corruption of power"

One step closer.... and this time it looks like the real deal:

All that is required is a rubber stamp through the House of Representatives, and then we'll have drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge. And since the bill for drilling is attached to the budget bill, it's almost certainly to pass now.

When the drilling begins, the outlook has the US supplying itself with oil for a year and a half, or as few as 200 days. If the figure is closer to 200 days, then we really shouldn't be doing this. At all.

PM Martin is going to take beef with Bush during the summit of rioters and hippie protesters in Argentina.

You gotta check this page out - make sure you scroll all the way down and see the whole graphic.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The most bizarre story of the year

Jacques Demers, the last man to coach a Canadian team to a Stanley Cup, is illiterate.

And to top it off, he wrote a book about his life story.

How does an illiterate man write a book?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

a cultural apocalypse

This really is just a random ramble, but....

I'm sitting here reading this article from the NY T times - it's about two groups touring the Grand Canyon. One group (christian) believes that the Grand Canyon was created 4000 years ago during the big flood that caused Noah to set sail. The other group (scientists) believe that it was created about 1/2 a billion years ago.

Currently, citizens throughout the US are doubting science. 45% (45!) feel that god created people in their present form within the last 10,000 years. Read that sentence again and think about it.

Back to the randomness: high-skill, high-education jobs like computer programming, complex manufacturing, and scientific research are fleeing North America to cheaper "labour markets" (which is a fancy way of saying poorer countries). The richest people in the US are still getting richer, but they are also less skilled - they are the managers, the business owners.

So at (or nearing) a time when the US will need to renew its focus on scientific education so that it maintains its economic and technological edge on the rest of the world, there's a big, grassroots push to revamp science education. Yeah, I know it's just evolution (for now), but is this the first small step?

Right now I'm reading The Stand by Steven King. It's a story of apocalypse. I've read a few other apacolypse stories, as well - Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged the most prominent. This creation-revision ideology sweeping the US really scares me, it brings to my mind visions of an apolcalypse - not a biblical one, mind you, but something else, like a cultural apocalypse.

I would never raise my children, if I have any, in the US.

(45%!!)

Filibusters, Gomerys, and hot hot CIA agents

Are Canadians prepared for an election? And are you ready for some football? And are you reaaady to ruuuuummmmble?

Today (in 2.25 hours), the Gomery report gets released. Who out there (who still reads this shabby blog) doesn't think that the report will implicate PM Martin as at least being responsible for his department - the ministry of finance - costing Canadians millions? Worst case scenario is that Martin signed off on all the shady deals....

....but it won't really matter: either way, I think the government will fall and Canadians will be going to the polls.

And that's scary.

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It's been going on for a while now, but GW Bush has (sort of) quietly tipped the balance of the US Supreme Court towards the right.

I remember back during the end of his first term... the media folks commented on how whoever sat this presidential term would likely get to appoint 2 judges to the Supreme Court, and how that would have be a powerful thing.

Well, he's already appointed one, and he tried to appoint another. When the Democrats threatened a filibuster, Bush pulled his lady off the table and presented Samuel Alito instead.

To be honest, Alito doesn't sound half as bad as some of the other clowns Bush has touted, but if Pat Roberston (who is always trying to defend your godly heritage) is calling the proposed appointment a "home run," then that can't be good.

This all led me to wonder what the heck a filibuster was.

Filibuster: the use of obstruction tactics to delay legislation. I think it's some obscure procedure where the house of representatives can attempt to block a Supreme Court appointee by bogging down legislation.

If you have a better explanation, holla at ya boy, will ya?

Anyway, it's been an exciting time in US politics (is that an oxymoron?), what with Scooter Libby facing charges of lying and being a rat-faced bastard. It seems that Scooter may have leaked CIA agent Valerie Plame's name. Scooter, don't you be playing the Plame name game.

But even all of this juciy goodness takes a back seat to the one burning question, directed at my good friend Mark: is Valerie Plame hot?

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Finally, I'm totally hooked on Harry Potter. Since the last book was released, I've read it and then read them all again. In my early days of Harry fandom, I didn't believe JK Rowling was a very good writer or an original storyteller.

Well, I'm converted, baby. She isn't a technically great writer but she's certainly got her own style. More importantly, she's weaved one of the best mysteries I've ever read. My whole reason for re-reading the books was to figure out the conlcusion to this spectacular series (unfortunately not due for another 2 years) - and I've got some good theories. If you too dig Harry and want to chat theories, I'm game.

In the meantime, check
www.the-leaky-cauldron.org or www.mugglenet.com
for the latest Goblet of Fire movie clips (which look awesome, by the way).