Howtoons: comics meet little science projects. From the site: Much like MIT has OpenCourseWare distributing curricular materials for college students worldwide, our Howtoons are OpenKidsWare, with practical build-it projects letting kids learn-by-doing, MIT-style!
The False Controversy of Stem Cell Research. Kinsley: In fact, thinking it through is a moral obligation, especially if you are on the side of the argument that wants to stop or slow this research. It's not complicated. An embryo used in stem-cell research (and fertility treatments) is three to five days past conception. It consists of a few dozen cells that together are too small to be seen without a microscope. It has no consciousness, no self-awareness, no ability to feel love or pain. The smallest insect is far more human in every respect except potential.
Paul Kurtz on the Enlightenment. Unfortunately, there has been a massive retreat from Enlightenment ideals in recent years, a return to pre-modern mythologies. There has been a resurgence of fundamentalist religions worldwide—Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam, Roman Catholicism, and Orthodox Judaism. Added to this are occult-paranormal claims, which allegedly transcend the existing scientific paradigm. In the United States—the preeminent scientific-technological-military superpower in the world—significant numbers of Americans have embraced primitive forms of biblical religion. These focus on salvation, the Rapture, and the Second Coming of Jesus. Evangelical Protestant Christians have made alliances with conservative Roman Catholics and neo-conservative Jews, and they have captured political power—power they have used to oppose secular humanism and naturalism. via the council for secular humanism
The New Science Wars. When a leading psychologist like Harvard's Howard Gardner calls the president's science adviser a "prostitute," it's a safe bet that all is not well in the realm of government science policy. Indeed, in the past month, the United States has been engulfed by a kind of "science war," one pitting much of the nation's scientific community against the current administration. Led by twenty Nobel laureates, the scientists say Bush's government has systematically distorted and undermined scientific information in pursuit of political objectives.
Savant for a Day! NYTimes journalist Lawrence Osbourne becomes a guinea pig for a University of Sydney's professor's mind-enhancing device based on the theories of autistic "Rainman" cognition with interesting results.
Bush Science: more lead for children and the healing power of Jesus. How many obvious right-wing ideologues with strong industry ties purporting to be objective scientists will Americans tolerate?
The geranium: Nature's camera. The sensitivity of certain silver salts to light was known from about 1727, when Johann Heinrich Schulze published his findings in the Nuremburg Academy of Natural Philosophers. But many natural things are sensitive to light. Long ago people noticed the effect of light on green plants, or how it made coloured fabrics fade. It is the effect of light on plants that makes Roman Photography possible. [via bifurcated rivets]
Canadians figure out exactly how many nukes it would take. Using the software, researchers estimated it would take 124 weapons to destroy the U.S. and 51 to eliminate Russia as a country. The computer program mimics the U.S. military's SIOP, or Single Integrated Operational Plan, which outlines the targeting of America's nuclear weapons and the likely consequences of each attack. [via dailyrotten.com]
Great, yet unsettling, CGI reconstruction of a Neaderthal child's head. (via robotwisdom)
NASA proposes visit to Saturn's moons via blimp. Native Titans debunk UFO as weather balloon. More space balloons here. (via robotwisdom)