Cool Links

If you are increasingly concerned about the numerous "connect to Facebook" links on too many websites to count (not here, but if you want to put this article on your Facebook page, by all means do so) or you don't feel like the vaguely creepy guy running it has the best interests of members in mind and shouldn't have your web browsing data, a Google engineer is here for you.
NPR news analyst Juan Williams gets nervous about people who put religion before anything - it's a sentiment shared by most of the progressives who listen to taxpayer-funded National Public Radio - but he was wrong to say it, according to NPR, so they fired him.

It isn't just conservatives who are siding with freedom of speech over political correctness - though Whoopi Goldberg and Bill O'Reilly on the same side is a rarity.
Should tax dollars for a state school be used to solicit votes for a political party?   If you think it's illegal and unethical, you're right.   

State school employees in the student affairs division at Winston-Salem State University didn't think that applied to elections where it's this important so 6,400 staffers and students got an email requesting that they help Democrats as much as possible and take advantage of early voting available there.
Okay, you may not have thought much of Penthouse but Bob Guccione, Sr. was a fan of science also - like many successful people of his day, he was a geek who made money one way and used it to finance things he loved, like science and science fiction.   One of those things that contained both was OMNI, a curious hybrid.

While OMNI never made any money, he financed it for 16 years.
As Halloween approaches, tales of monsters and creepy crawlies abound. Among the most fearsome in places like Mexico and Puerto Rico is the legendary beast known as the chupacabras. 

But the real fiend is not the hairless, fanged animal purported to attack and drink the blood of livestock; it's a tiny, eight-legged creature that turns a healthy, wild animal into a chupacabras, says University of Michigan biologist Barry OConnor.
The signs of climate change were all over the Arctic this year - warmer air, less sea ice, melting glaciers - which probably means this weather-making region will not return to its former, colder state, scientists from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported on Thursday.

"It's a bit of a paradox where you have overall global warming and warming in the atmosphere (that) actually can create some more of these winter storms," said Jim Overland, an oceanographer at NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle. "Global warming is not just warming everywhere. ... It creates these complexities."
Gene Simmons of KISS fame is all about the money - most aging rockers don't have the pretense they had when they were young ("it's not about the money, man, it's about the MUSIC") and make no secret of the fact they want to get paid.

So when Gene Simmons stated he didn't think the RIAA was aggressive enough prosecuting grandmothers if their grandkids downloaded a Justin Bieber song ("Make sure your brand is protected. Make sure there are no incursions. Be litigious. Sue everybody. Take their homes, their cars.") and Anonymous at 4Chan (all million of them) tried to rattle his chain, he wasn't impressed.
It's good to be a big company.   Middle America is about to get clobbered with higher taxes to pay for a health care reform that won't reform anything but Google's clever income shifting helped reduce its overseas tax rate to 2.4 percent, the lowest of the top five U.S. technology companies by market capitalization, according to regulatory filings in six countries.
Unburdened by social engineering, some females prefer males who act like males so growing up with lots of sisters makes a male less sexy - for rats, anyway.

A new study published in Psychological Science, says that the sex ratio of a male rat's family when he's growing up influences both his own sexual behavior and how female rats respond to him.
When males who were raised with a lot of sisters were presented with receptive female rats, they spent less time mounting them than did male rats that were raised in male-biased litters or in balanced families.
Like 'green' technology?  Currently 97% of the world's 17 rare earths originate from China and they are necessary for catalytic converters that reduce emissions in cars, for computer monitors,  pharmaceuticals and many other things that require these specialty metals.
Is nothing secret any more?    Not with Google Maps prowling the planet.

The top secret location of Batman's Batcave has been revealed and it's not under Wayne Manor - it's at an Air Force base in Okinawa.

Batman symbol Air Force’s 44th Fighter Squadron, the Vampire Bats

Why is it there?  The 44th Fighter Squadron is known as "the Vampire Bats", according to an Air Force spokesman.   Suuuuuuure, that's the truth.
Unlike the American Revolution, the French one turned out to be a bloody mess and led to Napoleon sacking all of Europe.   Because the French hated the British, they then instituted a French clock with 100,000 seconds per day (ten hours of a hundred minutes of a hundred seconds), a French calendar (three décades of 10 days per month - which meant each day of rest was after 9 working days, you can imagine how the French workers loved that) and even a new measurement system, the meter, which like most things French they calculated incorrectly but still caught on, even in Britain.
Not understanding what capitalism means when he isn't giving himself illegal stock options or basking in the glow of an upward stock price, Steve Jobs took the opportunity to explain low iPad sales by ... blaming Google.

He also went after Samsung and Dell, deflecting talk of Apple's 6% stock drop.   "The current crop of 7-inch tablets are going to be DOA, dead on arrival  Their manufacturers will learn the painful lesson that their tablets are too small."
When a professor at Sweden's Umea University had his computer stolen, he was devastated by the loss of his data more than anything. But a week after the theft, he got a package in the mail: A USB drive.

Tip of the Science Sombrero to Gawker
Stupid hair getting in the way of your functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) experiments?   Good news!  Researchers from Texas speaking at the Optical Society's (OSA) 94th annual meeting in New York have created a "brush optrode" with fiber tips designed to thread through hair to enhance scalp contact.

fNIRS is an optical technique that measures oxygen levels in the brain to chart neurological activity. The big advantage over something like an EEG is portability and cost, which means beter imaging of changes in cortical plasticity as a function of impairment severity, like in children with cerebral palsy.
The problem with modern progressive notions of equality is that all must be equal - and New York is the home of modern progressive idealism, so serious candidates in the governor's race had to share a stage with Jimmy McMillan of the "Rent Is Too Damn High" Party and he stole the show, issuing forth sage wisdom at random intervals like 
"The chemicals of Agent Orange -- dioxin and a lot of other chemicals mixed up -- I would get sick. When I get home tonight, I know I'm not going to be able to breathe if I take them off. It could be psychological, I don't know, but I just put 'em on and wear them anyway."

Can't get enough of Jimmy McMillan? Here is some video:

With an economy in freefall and his party poised to lose control of the House, President Obama has found time to appear on "Mythbusters", which will shore up the one demographic already guaranteed to vote for anyone not a Republican - scientists.
Hunting as the primary source of food is the common conception of prehistoric man but that may be incorrect, says Anna Revedin of the Italian Institute of Prehistory and Early History in Florence, who ancient starch grains on grinding tools buried at three prehistoric settlements in the valleys and floodplains of Italy, Russia, and the Czech Republic.

Read the tale by Kristen Minogue at Science Now.
Press coverage has cast further doubt on climate scientists' claims that man-made global warming is real and adversely affecting the planet, according to a report by Adam Fleming at the BBC.
Israel's Antiquities Authority is partnering with Google to bring the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls online, in the original languages and in translation.  Some scholars have complained that access to the ancient texts, among the more interesting archaeological finds of the last century, has been too limited. 

The images of the 30,000 fragments will be in high resolution, preventing a need for them to be re-imaged in the future and allowing in-depth analysis.

The first photographs are slated to be online within months.