This story, about a failed test of a really fast aircraft, contains a most fascinating fact:
But about 20 minutes into the mission, the Pentagon’s research arm, known as Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, announced on its Twitter account that: “Range assets have lost telemetry.”
DARPA has a Twitter account, on which it announces the results of tests. This astounds me.
Apollo posted this at 1:24 PM CDT on Friday, August 12th, 2011 as Brave New Worlds
London, Feb 6 (IANS) Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan isn’t intimidated by the full body-scan machines that have been recently installed at London’s airports – in fact, he’s been signing off printouts of his X-rays.
Khan, appearing on ‘Friday Night With Jonathan Ross’ – one of British television’s most popular weekend shows – revealed he’s been turning the controversial security machines into a public relations opportunity at London’s Heathrow airport.
‘I’m always stopped by the security, because of the name. And I think its okay: the western world is a little bit worried, paranoid and touchy, I guess – and feely when they’re frisking you,’ Khan told his celebrity chat show host moments after explaining how his new film is about a Muslim named Khan on a mission to tell the US president he is not a terrorist.
‘I was in London recently going through the airport and these new machines have come up, the body scans. You’ve got to see them. It makes you embarrassed – if you’re not well endowed.
‘You walk into the machine and everything – the whole outline of your body – comes out.’
Khan said he did not know that the body-scans – installed in the wake of last year’s abortive Christmas Day bombing of a transatlantic flight over Detroit – showed up every little detail of one’s body.
‘I was a little scared. Something happens [inside the scans], and I came out.
‘Then I saw these girls – they had these printouts. I looked at them. I thought they were some forms you had to fill. I said ‘give them to me’ – and you could see everything inside. So I autographed them for them.’
In a few months, grocery aisle magazines will feature hi-resolution renderings of Jennifer Anniston’s naked body as she returns from a romantic romp in the Firth of Forth with Gerrard Butler (while secretly pining for Brad Pitt). Not too long after that, we’ll learn about Angelina Jolie’s next pregnancy from airport scans. All while feeling so much safer.
There’s no way anyone could seriously propose this:
The “inconvenient truth” overhanging the UN’s Copenhagen conference is not that the climate is warming or cooling, but that humans are overpopulating the world.
A planetary law, such as China’s one-child policy, is the only way to reverse the disastrous global birthrate currently, which is one million births every four days.
The world’s other species, vegetation, resources, oceans, arable land, water supplies and atmosphere are being destroyed and pushed out of existence as a result of humanity’s soaring reproduction rate.
Ironically, China, despite its dirty coal plants, is the world’s leader in terms of fashioning policy to combat environmental degradation, thanks to its one-child-only edict.
I swear to god, it’s like these morons read 1984 and A Brave New World and said “Hey, that sounds like a good idea!”
Jamie posted this at 2:13 PM CDT on Thursday, December 10th, 2009 as Brave New Worlds
At its core, this issue forces us to confront fundamental questions about the beginnings of life and the ends of science. It lives at a difficult moral intersection, juxtaposing the need to protect life in all its phases with the prospect of saving and improving life in all its stages.
As the discoveries of modern science create tremendous hope, they also lay vast ethical mine fields.
As the genius of science extends the horizons of what we can do, we increasingly confront complex questions about what we should do. We have arrived at that brave new world that seemed so distant in 1932 when Aldous Huxley wrote about human beings created in test tubes in what he called a hatchery.
Research offers hope that millions of our loved ones may be cured of a disease and rid of their suffering. I have friends whose children suffer from juvenile diabetes. Nancy Reagan has written me about President Reagan’s struggle with Alzheimer’s. My own family has confronted the tragedy of childhood leukemia. And like all Americans, I have great hope for cures.
I also believe human life is a sacred gift from our creator. I worry about a culture that devalues life, and believe as your president I have an important obligation to foster and encourage respect for life in America and throughout the world.
And while we’re all hopeful about the potential of this research, no one can be certain that the science will live up to the hope it has generated.
You got absolutely none of this from the supposedly thoughtful Obama. With him, stem cell research seems completely devoid of ethical dilemmas. I’m glad we finally got a smart guy in the White House who understands all sides of the issues.
The thought of this gives me the heebee jeebees. I see it possibly going lots of places, and not one of them is good. If all it takes to justify cloning one is to answer the question, “Could they talk?” I don’t think the scientists have a proper respect for the revulsion that most people would feel at doing such a thing.
Work your way through this plainly biased reporting. What’s striking is how the reporter tries to overwhelm you with bill numbers, quotes about different amended versions of bills, and obtuse analysis about what is or isn’t extreme, to obscure this basic fact: when faced with a law that gave legal rights to babies accidentally born alive, and that specifically said it had no other impact on abortion laws, Barack Obama used his power to kill the bill.
The thought of babies being exposed in America – not in a Communist dictatorship, but in America – should be absolutely revolting to any civilized person. Yet there was Obama, approaching this issue skeptically because he was afraid that it might impinge on abortion rights.
if that fetus, or child—however way you want to describe it—is now outside the mothers’ womb and the doctor continues to think that it’s non viable but there’s, let’s say, movement or some indication that, in fact, (the fetus is) not just coming out limp and dead, that, in fact, they would then have to call a second physician to monitor and check off and make sure that this is not a live child that could be saved.
So in Obama’s world view, the rights of newborns – and if it is “outside the mothers’ womb,” it is not a fetus – are so negligible that the possibility that the law might require a second opinion on whether some babies are in fact alive was too high a burden to place on a woman seeking an abortion.
…essentially adding an additional doctor who then has to be called in an emergency situation to come in and make these assessments is really designed simply to burden the original decision of the woman and the physicians to induce labor and perform an abortions. Now if that’s the case… I think it’s important to understand that this issue ultimately is about abortion and not live births.
The bill was specifically about babies who came out alive. Obama couldn’t take his eyes off of his abortion dogma long enough to see that there were babies being exposed, left to die in closets. Faced with evidence that this monstrous practice was occurring in his state, Obama couldn’t bring himself to get worked up about it. Instead, he took the opportunity to rise in defense of abortion rights, and to criticize and kill the bill that tried to save the lives of living, breathing babies.
This sort of abortion uber alles philosophy is monstrous. We ought not expose babies. Those who see a bill written to ensure that living, breathing babies are not intentionally killed, and are primarily concerned with the burden on abortion rights of requiring a second opinion in a few marginal cases have priorities that leave me utterly aghast.
If scientists take this no further than helping the blind to see, I will be terribly disappointed. I want x-ray and infrared visions, and the ability to zoom. Perhaps also the ability to network my eyes with others. Science has already let me down by letting us get to 2008 without flying cars; I hope they don’t now further disappoint by restricting bionic eye research to letting the blind see the visible spectrum.
I’m going to avoid saying anything witty because these just aren’t funny.
From the NYT, via Megan McArdle, we learn that the number of parents — generally, well-educated yuppie types — are choosing to not vaccinate their kids:
SAN DIEGO — In a highly unusual outbreak of measles here last month, 12 children fell ill; nine of them had not been inoculated against the virus because their parents objected, The parents who objected to their children being inoculated are among a small but growing number of vaccine skeptics in California and other states who take advantage of exemptions to laws requiring vaccinations for school-age children.
The exemptions have been growing since the early 1990s at a rate that many epidemiologists, public health officials and physicians find disturbing.
Children who are not vaccinated are unnecessarily susceptible to serious illnesses, they say, but also present a danger to children who have had their shots — the measles vaccine, for instance, is only 95 percent effective — and to those children too young to receive certain vaccines.
Measles, almost wholly eradicated in the United States through vaccines, can cause pneumonia and brain swelling, which in rare cases can lead to death. The measles outbreak here alarmed public health officials, sickened babies and sent one child to the hospital.
In 1991, less than 1 percent of children in the states with personal-belief exemptions went without vaccines based on the exemption; by 2004, the most recent year for which data are available, the percentage had increased to 2.54 percent, said Saad B. Omer, an assistant scientist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
And from ABC, via PZ Myers, we can watch Creationists seriously mess with the mids of their kids:
Now consider the Finnish rock band called The Leningrad Cowboys. A little while ago, they held a concert in Russia, in which – to the screaming applause of Russkie teen-agers – they got the Red Army Choir to join them on stage for a performance of “Sweet Home Alabama.” In English.
As Jamie often notes, real-life technology is advancing faster than the creators of Star Trek imagined. On one front, however, Gene Roddenberry appears to have overshot the mark, though only a bit. Here’s a interesting snippet of debate about how genetic engineering is likely to intersect with reproductive freedom and abortion policy:
The author makes much of the arbitrary line in the sand she’s drawn wherein she places high value on individual liberty for women to control their own bodies and timing of reproduction yet she devalues the individual choice of embryonic trait selection which leads me to question whether she stands for principle or outcome. If the principle of individual liberty is paramount, as we see with free speech cases where disagreeble speech is frequently defended, then we should expect support for individual exercise of reproductive freedom even when one may personally disagree with the choice made. If the outcome is of the highest importance, then we should see the jettisoning of principle when it is no longer convenient. I believe the author is arguing the latter position and this may come to be exploited by those who oppose her viewpoints on abortion, for if one jettisons principle when it is inconvenient to one’s immediate concerns then it becomes harder to argue on the basis of principle when one’s position is threatened.
Tom posted this at 2:28 PM CDT on Thursday, October 25th, 2007 as Brave New Worlds
A pregnant woman has been told that her baby will be taken from her at birth because she is deemed capable of “emotional abuse”, even though psychiatrists treating her say there is no evidence to suggest that she will harm her child in any way.
Social services’ recommendation that the baby should be taken from Fran Lyon, a 22-year-old charity worker who has five A-levels and a degree in neuroscience, was based in part on a letter from a paediatrician she has never met.
Hexham children’s services, part of Northumberland County Council, said the decision had been made because Miss Lyon was likely to suffer from Munchausen’s Syndrome by proxy, a condition unproven by science in which a mother will make up an illness in her child, or harm it, to draw attention to herself.
Under the plan, a doctor will hand the newborn to a social worker, provided there are no medical complications. Social services’ request for an emergency protection order — these are usually granted — will be heard in secret in the family court at Hexham magistrates on the same day.
From then on, anyone discussing the case, including Miss Lyon, will be deemed to be in contempt of the court.
Miss Lyon, from Hexham, who is five months pregnant, is seeking a judicial review of the decision about Molly, as she calls her baby. She described it as “barbaric and draconian”, and said it was “scandalous” that social services had not accepted submissions supporting her case.
“The paediatrician has never met me,” she said. “He is not a psychiatrist and cannot possibly make assertions about my current or future mental health. Yet his letter was the only one considered in the case conference on August 16 which lasted just 10 minutes.”
In this post, Amber dismisses all arguments regarding the eminent demographic bust as right-wing kookery because she sees it as an ad hominen attack:
The blogospherekerfuffleondefiningeugenics has largely failed to include the creepy exhortations for Western women to have more babies, which often come from right-wingers or nationalists. Why stress reproduction by native women? Wouldn’t Angelina-Jolie-style baby importation (or just increased immigration) also provide future participants for the pension system pyramid scheme? I don’t buy that we avoid these two options due to fear of cultural change; even if you required immigrants to be brainwashed to worship the Declaration of Independence and apple pie, there would still be a surplus of applicants. (emphasis added).
With equal over-personalization, I post my dad’s recent NPR interview on the subject.
NB: To answer Amber’s perfectly fair question, Jolie-style importation (and immigration in general) are ways to make up for declining birth rates, but are unlikely to solve the problem.