Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thursday News in Review!

I'm thinking of a new feature for this blog: a weekly news review (things I feel like talking about.) For the time being it will be on Thursday as that is the day Laurie is at work all day long.

But before we get started, as a post script to the previous entry, I was at the library again today and found a book on "Women of the Sierras." There was a small section on Juanita (whose last name is not on record anywhere.) While this book's version of the story struck me as being a very cleaned up version it did feel comfortable with strongly suggesting that Cannon tried to rape and/or pay for sex with Juanita. It seemed to point very much to Juanita's action as self-defense which, frankly, is the version of the story I would most like to believe. It also tied up that Jose was driven from town and never heard from again. And it also tied up that in Downieville there is a memorial plaque for Juanita. Someday soon I kind of want to make the trek to see it.


Science News:
Which I expect to be the longest section each week.
London announced that it is planning on unveiling a giant lunar clock in 2012 near the proposed London Olympic Stadium. They hope that it will be yet another landmark people associate with London. It is called the Aluna project. It will be powered by the Thames. "There are three giant concentric rings made from recycled glass," said artist Laura Williams "Light shines through from the glass in time with the Moon's cycles so the largest ring shows the lunar phase. Gradually the light waxes on all the way around the ring and connects full circle when it's full Moon. The second ring is like the big hand of the clock. It's a marker of light that tracks the Moon around the globe so that's the lunar day cycle. The third ring - the smallest - is the small hand that tracks the tide as it goes from high tide to low."
Also in British science news, a team of British scientists are working on a project based on one of my fears, the fact that we are long overdue for a very large asteroid to slam into our planet. Some of you remember that very recently one amateur scientist noticed a huge asteroid had slammed into Jupiter after the fact and we're talking about the people who are looking very hard for this sort of thing all the time. They can't keep track of all of the space rocks although they are systematically trying as of late within the past 10 years when someone somewhere work up one morning and said "hey, hold on a minute. What if one of those space rocks slams into the planet?"
The proposed project is a 10 ton "gravity tractor" which would sort of nudge any space rocks off of their course with Earth.
Yesterday marked the 40th birthday of the Internet which is to say on September 2, 1969 a 15 foot cable was strung between two computers and the two computers shared information of some kind.
Scientists have confirmed this week Arctic Temperatures were at a 2,000 year high in the 1990s and that temperatures continue to rise. Scientists compared tree rings, lake sediment and glacial cores to determine for the billionth time that the globe is, in fact, warming.
"If it hadn't been for the increase in human-produced greenhouse gases, summer temperatures in the Arctic should have cooled gradually over the last century," says Bette Otto-Bliesner, an NCAR scientist who participated in the study. "This result is particularly important because the Arctic, perhaps more than any other region on Earth, is facing dramatic impacts from climate change."

Books I Wish I Had A Case Of For Sale In My Book Business News:
With remarkable marketing foresight, Ted Kennedy completed his memoirs before dying and with the usual pretending that the dollars signs in their eyes are what happens when they have extreme respect for the dead, publishers will have it on the stands within the month. I predict that unlike so many political memoirs this might very well be widely read and a best seller. I predict this mainly because it is a juicy story ripe with scandal. Reports seem to be suggesting that Kennedy was remarkably candid (he did know he was dying as he wrote it) about his brothers, his drinking, his presidential campaign and why he pretty much threw the race in that one interview (also criticizing Jimmy Carter's reluctance for universal health care,) the time his nephew raped that girl after drinking with Teddy, and all the other main points we all know about his life. Which weighs in at around 600 pages.
Speaking as a Protestant, I was struck very hard by one quote of his regarding the Chappaquiddick incident. He claims that he panicked and was in the wrong. He then remarks "Atonement never ends."

Compassion News:
The Dalai Lama travelled to Taiwan this week to comfort victims of last month's Typhoon Morakot. China was apparently livid and put pressure on Taiwan to gag the Dalai Lama during his trip. As one of my admittedly favorite news sources, The Bugle podcast, put it "That's how much China hates the Dalai Lama. They don't even want him comforting people."

Cannibalism News:
About 2 posts ago I think I made myself clear on my position about health care reform. This story already had the built in irony of violence at a health care reform protest sending someone to the hospital but it even goes beyond that. The last line of the story is gold.
Also this week in Cannibalism, astronomers discovered this week that the Andromeda galaxy is consuming stars from a nearby galaxy. Astronomers discovered "remnants of dwarf galaxies" in Andromeda.

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