Science & Society

In what will be a puzzle for the segments of society that claim everything is about race and racism, a new study by Harvard and UCLA sociologists shows, that at least among the current generation in college, race is a non-issue in Facebook friendships.

Of course, some Facebook friendships result from the social pressures of being in a polite society - if someone requests to be an online friend, they are likely to get it and the results showed the tendency to reciprocate a friendly overture is seven times stronger than any perceived attraction of a shared racial background.
There are times when being a communist dictatorship has its advantages.  Without having to worry about jobs or elections, you can enact a plan and stick to it until it works and, if a million or so peasants get displaced to build a dam, they don't vote anyway.
The Climate Insiders - Their Goal Is Doubt


I BRING fraternal greetings from the Mother of Parliaments to the Congress of your “athletic democracy”. I pray that God’s blessing may rest upon your counsels.

Viscount Christopher Monckton.
Testimony to The Energy&Commerce Committee of the House of Representatives,
Washington, DC, Wednesday, 25 March, 2009.
http://energycommerce.house.gov/.../testimony_monckton.pdf
This week I agree to give an invited talk at the AGU, soldered some more of my satellite, advised a student, gave several short lectures, and edited some papers.  All of these are things professors get paid for-- except the editing.  Yet, ironically, the editing was my only paying work.

I am a reverse professor.  I do many of the career tasks an academic does, but I only get paid for the private sector component.  And that's the part that a 'true academic' would do for free.

In practice, this means I have traded any form of job stability for complete academic freedom.  I can research anything I wish, write about any topic from any stance, and speak freely.  I have 'virtual tenure', only with no paycheck.
«There are two main ways in which policymakers are insidiously interfering with the usual rules of supply and demand for raw materials, and myriad different smaller ones. . . . One is the policy of ultra-cheap money in advanced economies to fight the economic crisis; and the other, more commodity-specific one, is massive public subsidy for the production of bio-fuels. Food is being elbowed out by pursuit of "clean fuel". »

So writes Jeremy Warner, Assistant Editor of the Telegraph, in an article entitled
The USA Science&Engineering Festival ended on Sunday October 24th, after six months of working us all 24/7. But it was worth it. We had more than 500,000 people come through and on the lawn of the National Mall on Sunday I overheard a parent telling her five year-old, "Yes we can stay all day. And you can see all the robots."

Kind of like a science Disneyland, minus the bored actors and plus hundreds of college students and grown-ups explaining why planes fly, why NASCAR goes at such fast speeds, hands buried deep in green goo that represented something scientific. I just thought the shade of bright green was cool.
On the day after Squid Day, I got mail from the publishing company Immedium*, letting me know they'd just come out with a new children's book: Sid the Squid and the Search for the Perfect Job. It might be of interest to me and my readers. Would I like to preview a pdf?

Flattered beyond all reason by the suggestion that I have "readers," and obsessed as I am with both squids and literature, I answered with a swift affirmative. (Apparently I was not the only cephaloblogger thus recruited.)

Let it be clear on this publically, to show I am not kidding: there is a scientology ad on the right column today. If that is not gone by tomorrow from here, I will.

I get unsolicited mail:

ProEvo: Pro Evolution - Guideline for an Age of Joy


Being on a variety of evolution vs creationism mailing lists, I wasn't initially surprised to receive an apparently evolution-related book in the mail. I'd never heard this author, someone going by the name of Tomotom, so I flipped to the back cover to see what this thing was about.
Wait. Which one?

Three, yes three, separate books with kraken in the title came out this year:

  1. China Mieville's Kraken, fiction of the New Weird literary movement. I understand it does legitimately contain a giant squid. Comes highly recommended by an English major friend of mine.

  2. HP Newquist's Here There Be Monsters: The Legendary Kraken and the Giant Squid, apparently a chronological account of giant squid in myth and science over the years. No personal recommendations one way or another.