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Dr. Tae, the skateboarding physicist, "Can Skateboarding Save Our Schools?" (Did I mention he’s a physicist AND a sk8r?)

Sir Ken Robinson’s “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” A stand-up set on education.

Excessive alcohol consumption is a leading cause of premature death in the U.S. and responsible for one in every 10 deaths. The statistics that describe the ways in which we drink ourselves to death are staggering. A study published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease found that nearly 70% of deaths due to excessive drinking involved working-age adults. The study also found that about 5% of the deaths involved people younger than age 21.  Moreover, excessive alcohol use shortened the lives of those who died by about 30 years. Yes, 30 years.

Voodoo Dolls, Gambling Monkeys and Zombies in Love sounds like a 1980s B-movie title, along the lines of "Chopper Chicks In Zombie Town", but it's actually part of the latest Wastebook from Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK).

If you didn't know that NASA built a $350 million launch pad tower even after the the rockets it was designed to test were scrapped, well, Coburn is here to help. They also spent $390,000 on a cartoon about global warming and $3,000,000 to try and figure out how Congress works.

Those and 97 other funny or outrageous bits of spending waste are documented.

We have over the years read of paintings by chimpanzees, but could they be art critics also?

A recent article has appeared, outlining evidence that many cognitive tasks the we take to be a function of our human intelligence can be performed just as well (or even better) by chimpanzees.  Here are links to two versions of the article:

"Two recent results from other experiments add to the excitement of Run II. The results from Brookhaven's g-minus-two experiments with muons have a straightforward interpretation as signs of supersymmetry. The increasingly interesting results from BABAR at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center add to the importance of B physics in Run II, and also suggest new physics. I will be shocked and disappointed if we don't have at least one major discovery."

Imagine we lived in a world where spontaneous mutations were caused by radiation and then released on an unsuspecting public without any testing.

Well, we do. It's called nature

High-energy cosmic rays have been breaking chromosomes into pieces that reattach randomly, and sometimes creating genes that didn't previously exist, for as long as some thing has eaten some other thing.
I did almost all of them when I was a kid, except superglue my fingers together. I had a few pocket knives but my favorite was the Swiss Army knife. This is what I use today to void product warranties:


Leatherman Juice XE6

Without further ado, Gever Tulley's "5 Dangerous Things You Should Let you Kids Do":

And here's 5 more things your should let you children do, according to Tulley:

Are awards and prizes in science a good thing or do they reward a tiny subpopulation of individuals at the expense of the community? 

On the whole I believe that the giving of awards is a positive thing for the scientific world. They draw attention to individuals that make a disproportionate positive difference. 
Morphine was the first active drug molecule extracted from a plant as well as the first to have analogues prepared from it.  The following is a discussion of the history of heroin from Dr. Walter Sneader’s book Drug Discovery: A History.