Change happens. People can sense change but science can measure it and might be able to predict its future. A scientific model would be a beautiful help for us to understand the behavior of both the global economy and the Earth's climate. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has been developing the WEM-ECO model for that purpose.* This model is certainly a beauty resulting from the dreams of our humanity.

Consistent with their position that greenhouse gas emissions are causing global warming, the Royal Society (United Kingdom) is soliciting submissions to "moderate climate change by deliberate large-scale intervention in the working of the Earth's natural climate system." http://royalsociety.org/downloaddoc.asp?id=5845

At long last I'm getting a paper out the door, which means my latest blog column's been delayed.

In the mean time, John Hawks (whose blog you should be reading) has some priceless stuff on Richard Dawkins' war on Harry Potter:

The import of the directive is the import. "Renewable Energy Directive" is the target legislative framework to be adopted by the European Union (EU) countries before elections of the European Parliament (EP) in June 2009. Its purpose is to produce the most ambitious legislation for renewable energy in the world. This is important stuff. There is even Greenpeace involved in the strategy here.

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In the aftermath of the Palin fruit fly comment, some bloggers are knocking people for not knowing that the model organism D. melanogaster is technically not a fruit fly.

But the fact is that the confusing nomenclature isn't some recent mix-up - as we see in the paper everyone's citing, biology textbooks as early as 1923 have referred to Drosophila as fruit flies, and

Among 13 textbooks published after 1945, with one exception all use fruit fly as the common name... Noteworthy is the finding that even the Entomological Society of America has been seduced. Its list of common names of insects assigns small (sic!) fruit flies to the Drosophlidae and other fruit flies to the Tephritidae.


So it's not unreasonable at all, when someone refers to "fruit fly research," to assume that this person is referring to one of the world's most widely used model organisms.
Uncovering the reasons for why we as humans choose our entertainment media has plagued communication researchers for decades. In the wake of non-answered questions of how such media entertainment affect the masses and their world views, after discussions of violence, sex, news media and so forth have affected our very psychology, we are left with an alarming amount of information, and none of it extremely helpful. We affect entertainment media as it affects us. This argument is analogous to the genes vs. environment argument that has raged in the scientific community who are as equally powerless to explain the mysteries of human behavior.
The political fray has entered into the world of genetics, and as usual, our politicians have no real idea what they are talking about. In an October 24th speech about children with special needs, Sarah Palin, the Republican nominee for Vice-President, made the following statement about funding for
IDEA, or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
I came across this interesting forum on Spore. I hope SpongB6F1 won't mind if I quote this posting at length, as I think it is very insightful.

"Science Spore" would be ideal.



...



I think many people will claim that although some kind of abstract commitment to science would have been nice in Spore, what they really want is just some decent, engaging and clever gameplay, instead of a rigid pattern of repetitive, simplistic grinding tasks.


One of the reasons I was interested in giving some comments on the science in Spore is that I am a big fan of video games but rarely have a chance to play anymore. The discussion about Spore (which I wasn't asked to evaluate as a game per se) got me thinking back on the games I have really enjoyed playing. So, just for fun, I have come up with this list of some of my favourite games. Now, these go back to my elementary school days in the 1980s, so bear with me. It's a mix of console and computer games and is a little behind the times as I don't have much time for games anymore. Here they are largely in chronological order.