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 approach to politics and he did not disappoint this time either. He shed many interesting insights into what lies behind the current situation. [Read more…]

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 same myths and lies are repeated endlessly. It then becomes only a matter of time before people take as fact things that are flat out untrue. [Read more…]

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 to the infrared part of the spectrum, is converted into electrical energy. [Read more…]