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Hank CampbellRSS Feed of this column.

I'm the founder of Science 2.0®.

A wise man once said Darwin had the greatest idea anyone ever had. Others may prefer Newton or Archimedes. Probably no one ever said the WWW or Science... Read More »

In creating a science site for kids (that would be Kids Science Zone - if you haven't written anything there, feel free to do so) , the majority of comments I have gotten have been likely about the same as I would have gotten if I had opened up this site to a large community of people with advice to give - namely a lot of suggestions from people who don't use it about how awesome it would be if it had X, Y or Z added.
Today an archaeologist revealed that even in ancient Israel they were making outstanding likenesses of Alexander the Great.   Israel was a far cry from his usual stomping grounds but he had passed through on his way to Egypt and they had become so enamored with him - and his thousands of troops, we can assume - that they capitulated.

More interestingly, outstanding Hellenistic artists created likenesses of him, so the great ones were not limited solely to places like Alexandria.

Alexander was the first 'cult of personality' as his images attest:
Michael Cosmopoulos was raised in Athens but has been in St. Louis since 2001.  Yet his heart and his science never left Greece.   Since 1999, he has been working at a site in Pylos and he recently came across a real-life palace dating back to the time of the Trojan War.

The Trojan War is just a story, of course (though if you don't think so, which figure from Homer's historical work do you think I am?)(1) but historians debate what kernels of truth may be in there.
In case you haven't heard, there's a debate about health care reform going on - today we find out that a campaign promise, no fines if you choose not to use government health care, is off the table if you are middle class.   That's only going to aggravate the situation.  What is needed is some clear thinking and some science-based evidence, but you won't find it in Washington.  Heck, you won't even find it in medicine.
No matter how bad things get, there's always something trivial we can completely take out of its big picture context and blow up into something dramatic.   Mountains, molehills and all that.

Sure, there are people starving in third world countries and the US may be on the verge of becoming one economically - wars are being fought, globals are being warmed, dogs and cats are secretly plotting against each other ...

Flat-panel televisions are nothing new.   I think even my father has one in his toolshed by now.  But legitimate flat-panel loudspeakers are harder to come by.    

There are single-speaker surround sound systems, and those are admirable, but speakers, unlike today's televisions, require a great deal of old-fashioned physics, analog-style, because that's how sound reaches our ears - so flat panel ones, though a terrific concept in size, haven't been great in practice.