I just want to hurry a post in order to mention some miscellaneous scientific items...
...and to thank the skilled professionals of the U.S. intelligence services, who appear (at long last) to have found the spine to stand up to Bush Administration hysterics, by downgrading the danger of nuclear weaponry, developed by Iran. You’ve read about it in the papers. At a stroke, the professionals have undercut the drive to foment yet another Middle Eastern war, sucking in (and possibly destroying) the last American military strength and finalizing the demolition of U.S. moral leadership in the world.
That is not to say that we are out of the woods. The option of a schoolyard bully to use the peremptory powers of Commander in Chief - plus the apparent compliant docility of the Air Force - make the next year dangerous as hell.
But at least there are indications of what I have long called-for, a rising by the professionals to start doing their jobs - protecting the people and the Constitution from a danger within. We’ve now seen the Navy and the Cia begin to stand up. Now, will we get what we need from the FBI? Will the subornation protocols be invoked, at last?
This is where we’ll be saved, or not. The elections, a year from now, will only ratify a counter-revolution that must first be pushed forward (perhaps quietly) by the men and women who swore us oaths. Who offered to put their lives between us and danger. Who have the skills and knowledge to stand up for the law, for the Constitution, and for our civilization.
--- Get SEED! ---
If you haven’t yet seen SEED Magazine, go get a copy. It’s like a mix of DISCOVER and WIRED, only better. On target and cool.
Oh, and they have an article - by David Grinspoon - about the SETI/METI imbroglio, in their next issue. (And yes, mentioning me.) An article so well-written that I saw not a single cringe-worthy minsinterpretation or exaggeration or unfairness. A real rarity in science policy reporting
--- Other cool stuff --
GPS locator technology in cameras will let each digital photo taken get geotagged as it's taken. Another service has the capability of uploading those geotagged pictures to public websites as soon as an Internet connection is detected... .and you get a spankin' everyman's surveillance tool.
See "The history of the universe in a nutshell, from the Big Bang to now, and on to the future - John Mather will tell the story of how we got here, how the Universe began with a Big Bang, how it could have produced an Earth where sentient beings can live, and how those beings are discovering their history.”
Keep eyes open for a familiar face in "Life after People" - a Discovery Channel show based on an October 2006 New Scientist article. The show is about a theoretical "future world" without people, where only animals are left.
Oh, did I mention you'll see a familiar face being interviewed?
One of their topics touches on the whole Message to Aliens thing. For a relevant article about how hard it is to be detected... now... see But some fellows plan to change that.
Some of you have seen this. Are chimpanzees closer to human intelligence than we thought? One memory test included three 5-year-old chimps who'd been taught the order of Arabic numerals 1 through 9, and a dozen human volunteers.They saw nine numbers displayed on a computer screen. When they touched the first number, the other eight turned into white squares. The test was to touch all these squares in the order of the numbers that used to be there.Results showed that the chimps, while no more accurate than the people, could do this faster. (Thanks Zechariah!) This is relevant to “uplift” of course. And also to my new novel... and the fact that autistic people, sometimes with savant powers, appear to process more like animals.
And, as if that weren't big enough "uplift-related" news, check out this one! I am so glad I am on record having been a friend of dolphins and chimps!
And, finally, this for the eco-minded.