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Monthly Archive: September 2013

Sep 30 2013

Making an Escherian staircase

Everyone has seen M. C. Escher’s famous lithograph Ascending and Descending of the perpetually ascending and descending staircase. Of course, we all know that this is an optical illusion and that such a thing could not be made in real life. Or could it?

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Sep 30 2013

Today is International Blasphemy Day

Today (September 30) in International Blasphemy Day in which skeptics are encouraged to engage in acts of blasphemy in order to demonstrate the ineffectiveness of gods and religion and show disdain for the silly taboos that religions have about their founders and prophets.

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Sep 30 2013

Boehner’s dilemma

As the deadlocked US government moves inexorably towards a shut down, it may be good to see how it has come to this. Last Friday, I attended a discussion led by one of my colleagues in the political science department. I have always found him to be very enlightening because he takes a hard-edged, data-driven …

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Sep 29 2013

The Daily Show on Francis and Republicans

The Daily Show with Jon StewartGet More: Daily Show Full Episodes,The Daily Show on Facebook (This clip aired on September 26, 2013. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post.)

Sep 29 2013

When propaganda deceives its own creators

The real danger of propaganda is when the people who spout it start believing in it themselves. This is particularly prone to happen in a successful propaganda system as exists in the US where the filters work so effectively that we end up with government and the media living in an echo chamber where the …

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Sep 28 2013

The Obama-Rouhani handshake drama

The Daily Show spends a considerable time on the new Iranian leader president Rouhani and the delicate diplomatic maneuvering taking place between him and president Obama.

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Sep 28 2013

New solar cell efficiency record

Although I am a strong supporter of solar energy, I had not been following developments in that area so I was pleasantly surprised at this news report that a new solar cell had broken a new efficiency record with 44.7%. What this means is that 44.7% of the light from the sun, from ultraviolet through …

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Sep 28 2013

Light blogging coming up

As I mentioned before, I will be driving to Toronto this weekend to visit with cousins whom I have not seen in many years and so blogging will likely be a little light until my return. Normal blogging will resume early next week unless I am detained at the border for the crime of looking …

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Sep 28 2013

Two key dominos of diplomacy

International politics is even more complicated to understand and difficult to predict than domestic politics, and things can sometimes take a surprising turn. But although hard to foresee, one can sometimes look back and see significant evens that set in motion a chain of occurrences.

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Sep 27 2013

The Muslims Are Coming

A group of Muslim comedians are touring the US, hoping to use humor to combat the negative stereotypes that Muslims have here. They have made a documentary of their experiences. Here is the trailer.

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