Tangential Science: it's not necessarily science, but it's still funny.

1. The Japanese have responded to the persistent outrage of Greenpeace over their whaling efforts by seeking to enrage the anti-GMO contingent as well.   Up next; a new line of 'super tuna' that will be possible thanks to the awesome power of genome sequencing.

Super tuna?   That's the best they could do for a name?  It makes Aquaman sound positively masculine.  'Super' and 'tuna' just don't go together.  This is why there are no cool Japanese superheroes.

Of course, the Japanese are wise enough to use the term 'breeding' rather than 'genetic modification' but you get the message; it ain't your daddy's bluefin.

2. Have something special you want to say to Obama or someone in his administration or even a key reporter?  The Washington Post can make it happen ... for the right fee.  We could use a little of that stimulus money he's been talking about.  I'd like a nice trampoline for the office.

3. My delicious, high-carbohydrate Apples-N-Cinnamon Oatmeal has a new enemy in the health food culture wars; cockroaches.   Turns out they can survive nuclear holocaust but not a steady diet of processed, sugary oatmeal - without getting obese, that is.

4.  Big Embryonic Stem Cell is fighting back.   Miracle cures that are politically expedient never get their dirty laundry aired until after the political expedience is gone - like ethanol was going to save us for 15 years until a law was passed mandating it and then it was okay to mention it is worse for the planet than gasoline.   When Bush had human embryonic stem cells (hESC) under restriction, these were a miracle and eeeeevil Republicans were dooming everyone as part of some vast, right-wing religious conspiracy.   After Obama sort-of lifted the restriction in that clever, do-it-but-don't-do-it way he also closed Guantanamo Bay and allowed pictures of terrorists (i.e by not doing it) virtually every article has mentioned that hESCs can't be used because they would be downright dangerous.

In the meantime, induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells were all the rage but, this article says, the molecular differences between embryonic stem cells and reprogrammed skin cells could be important.   Not necessarily bad (hint, hint) but maybe.   So don't get too excited about iPS just yet.

5.  NASA needs some help and it couldn't hurt to go old school, namely Werner von Braun, head of Marshall Spaceflight Center and leader in the development of the Saturn rocket project.  Jennifer Ouellette of Discovery Blogs has an article on how NASA is trying to digitize all his notes because it will help them understand how engineering gets done.   The 'engineering' mentality has been lost in many areas of science and that's a shame.   Here's hoping von Braun's notes can inspire people to get more practical and stop insisting science needs to be less.  

6.  Not to be outdone as we appreciate the 40th anniversary of the moon landing, Discover has 10 classic pictures worth a look, including Alan Shepard when not playing golf during the Apollo 14 mission.

Do we have something special planned?  Of course we do.   But you'll have to wait and see.