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Monthly Archive: April 2013

Apr 30 2013

Stephen Colbert visits another congressman

His ‘Getting to know your district’ series, where he interviews the elected members of various districts in the House of Representatives, is pretty funny. Here Colbert talks to a Democratic member from Pennsylvania.

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Apr 30 2013

What our ancestors may have looked like

cambrian2

The so-called ‘Cambrian explosion’ that occurred 500-600 million years ago saw the appearance in the fossil record of an extraordinarily wide diversity of life forms. Whether there was a sudden flurry of evolutionary advances at the time or whether that time marked the beginning of animal bodies that were fossilizable and so gave the illusion …

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Apr 30 2013

The US involvement in Afghanistan corruption

The US government has become so blatantly shameless in its hypocrisy that people have largely stopped even noticing it, treating such behavior as the new normal. For example, who even bothers to comment anymore when the US warns other countries against ‘interfering’ in Iraq when it had actually invaded that country and maintained tens of …

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Apr 30 2013

Stumping the stumpers

Recently someone told me that a friend of his was a science teacher in the American south who was teaching his students about anatomy and said that apart from a few small differences, the form of male and female skeletons were identical. He was nonplussed when a student said that that was not quite correct …

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Apr 29 2013

Honest trailers: Lord of the Rings

In a comment on my review of Skyfall, Daniel Schealler introduced me to the ‘Honest Trailers’ series, where people create their own trailers poking fun at the film. Of course, it is funnier if you have seen the film and I particularly liked this one.

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Apr 29 2013

Brinicles as the source of life?

One of the big unsolved problems inn science is how ‘life’, or more precisely, the first self-replicating molecular, came into being. Popular theories suggest, among other things, that life originated in deep underground thermal vents.

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Apr 29 2013

The Leveretts on Iran

The US has made a fine art of portraying the leaders of countries that it dislikes and seeks to overthrow or even invade as irrational and aggressive people with whom it is no use talking and that the only thing they understand is force and sanctions and threats. We have seen this time and again, …

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Apr 29 2013

The Higgs Story-Part 19: Nobel dilemmas

As soon as the discovery of the Higgs was announced in July 2012, there was immediate talk of who would get the seemingly inevitable Nobel prize for it, with some anticipating that it would be awarded even as soon as the same year. This did not happen and I personally did not expect it. For …

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Apr 28 2013

Gun control in Australia and the US

Jon Oliver has had a spectacularly good three-part series comparing gun control efforts in Australia and the US, putting the lie to the claims in the US that gun control does not work to curb gun-related violence and that implementing it is hard and takes a long time.

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Apr 28 2013

Crashing the party

There is an interesting development in China where economic inequality has also exploded in recent years, making a mockery of the country’s official egalitarian philosophy. Ordinary people, fed up with this hypocrisy and the high-life being lived especially by Communist party officials, have taken to crashing lavish private parties hosted by officials and taking photographs …

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