Compromise emerging for NASA's spaceflight future Since the announcement was made last month of the cancellation of Constellation (NASA's plan for returning to the Moon and Mars), the punditsphere has been ablaze with condemnation, support, and outright confusion over the future of American manned spaceflight. Keith Cowling, editor of the Nasawatch.com blog, has posted an interesting new development that if proven right, could prove to be a compromise between those wanting NASA to get out of manned spaceflight altogether and those seeking to keep the administration in the spaceflight business. [more inside] posted by zooropa at 10:28 PM PST - 40 comments
"You turned into a cat! A SMALL cat! You violated Conservation of Energy! That's not just an arbitrary rule, it's implied by the form of the quantum Hamiltonian! Rejecting it destroys unitarity and then you get FTL signaling! And cats are COMPLICATED! A human mind can't just visualize a whole cat's anatomy and, and all the cat biochemistry, and what about the neurology? How can you go on thinking using a cat-sized brain?" McGonagall's lips were twitching harder now. "Magic."
Constance McMillan, an 18yo lesbian graduating from high school in Itawamba County, Miss., was told she couldn't bring a female date to the prom because of county rules against bringing same-sex dates. The school district in fact canceled the prom rather than let a same-sex couple attend. After a judge ruled that doing so violated Constance's civil rights, Constance was told (after long evasions and no answers as to details of the party) that the prom would be held at a country club Friday night in Fulton, Miss.
When she got to the club with her date, she found out that the parents and rest of the students had scheduled second prom at a different, secret location. Five other students were directed to the prom Constance & her date were sent to, including two students with learning disabilities. The school principal & 2 teacher acted as chaperones for the seven students at the country club. posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 4:19 PM PST - 258 comments
From The Nation, a 7400-word discussion of Raul Hilberg, author of The Destruction of the European Jews, and Hannah Arendt, author of Eichmann in Jerusalem, their relationships to each others' scholarship as well as to their complicated Jewish identities. posted by cgc373 at 3:07 PM PST - 20 comments
With 12-year old Maggie Wiederholt's permission, Quad City Times reporter Kay Luna and photographer John Schultz followed her and her family for several weeks as the terminally ill Walcott, Iowa girl faced death - and made choices about how to live.
If you look at that video of Mohammad Sidique Khan [one of the 7/7 bombers] recording a video for his nine-month-old daughter, when he thought he was going to fight and die in Afghanistan, he was saying, ‘You and your mum are the best thing in my life, and I’d love to watch you growing up and learning to speak.’ And you realise that he’s making a pretty soppy speech from a middle-of-the-road Hollywood movie. He’s the ‘good dad’. And in his head he is. And that doesn’t preclude him going out and doing something violent. You do bad things not because you think they’re bad, but because you think they’re good — unless you’re a nihilist. British satirist Chris Morris discusses his first feature film Four Lions, which is a comedy about Islamist suicide bombers. Trailer. Clip, concerning peroxide. Audio interview with Morris about the film, Part 1 and Part 2. posted by Sticherbeast at 12:39 PM PST - 47 comments
Beyond the Pale: In a wide-reaching book review and with nods to James Baldwin's 1984 essay On Being White ... and Other Lies, Kelefa Sanneh makes a modern argument that white identity is founded on a series of negations: "to be white in America is to be not nonwhite, which is why it was possible, in 1961, for a white woman from Kansas living in Hawaii to give birth to a black baby." [more inside] posted by l33tpolicywonk at 9:28 AM PST - 96 comments
"In the 1990s, Taichi Yoshida, the owner of a small moving company in Osaka, Japan, began noticing that many of his jobs involved people who had just died. Families of the deceased were either too squeamish to pack up for their dead relatives, or there wasn't any family to call on. So Yoshida started a new business cleaning out the homes of the dead. Then he started noticing something else: thick, dark stains shaped like a human body, the residue of liquids excreted by a decomposing corpse.
These, he learned, were kodokushi, or 'lonely deaths.'" posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 8:31 AM PST - 64 comments