blivet

Alexandra DuPont Interviews William Gibson [Ain’t It Cool News]. Great interview. He actually got to talk about his writing.

Oklahoma throws out textbook evolution disclaimer

A requirement by Oklahoma’s textbook committee that state science textbooks include a disclaimer against evolution has been thrown out, a spokesman for the state’s attorney general said Thursday.

Now if my home state, Kansas, would follow their lead. From CNN

From the "Bye bye, Miss American Pie" dept:
February 3, 1959 – a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa, claimed the lives of rock stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson. "the day the music died"

Huge dinosaur’s neck bones unearthed in Texas. from CNN

blivet

China may launch a man into space next month. [BBC News]

Scientists Find Origin of AIDS
Researchers using a supercomputer say they’ve traced the AIDS virus back to around 1930, much earlier than the disease was previously thought to have originated. from Wired, CNN

Mars Lander Disappoints … Again
Scientists hoping to detect a signal from the Mars Polar Lander come up empty handed. Last week’s presumed peep from Mars goes unexplained. from Wired

Vonnegut in critical condition following fire [CNN]
Novelist Kurt Vonnegut is in critical but stable condition Tuesday following a fire in his home Sunday. I’ve read most of his books. Claudia maintains that one of the professors in the Anthro Department is Kilgore Trout.

Federal DNA tests planned on Kennewick Man remains
"The federal government has decided to perform DNA testing on Kennewick Man, the 9,000-year-old bones that have prompted a legal struggle between a group of scientists and Pacific Northwest tribes who claim the remains as an ancestor.
Dr. Frank McManamon, chief archaeologist for the U.S. Department of the Interior’s National Park Service, yesterday announced that his agency will try to perform DNA testing on the bones as part of the government’s effort to determine if Kennewick Man can be linked to any modern Native Americans." from the Seattle Post Intelligencer

Historic Reno hotel demolished A loss for preservationists. Reno, like the rest of Nevada, wants its yokel politics and politicians and a sophisticated image at the same time. It doesn’t fly. Even Las Vegas is almost beginning to wake up to preservation issues. from CNN

Experts Urge Big Firms Back Depression Study "Specialists from the United States and Hong Kong on Tuesday urged businesses and governments to allocate more funds to research into depression — which they described as the "cancer of the 21st century"." Look into the eyes of your friends, or perhaps the mirror. Granted, depression is almost a given in grad school, still, it seems endemic. from Yahoo Daily News.

SF great A.E. Van Vogt, 1912-2000. A good comment at slashdot "let’s think about where we want science fiction to be going". Perhaps I’m just getting too long in the tooth, but I can count the current authors I follow on one hand. Something seems to be missing. More information on Van Vogt’s career here and here.

blivet

I watched a great PBS show last night Culture Shock. The episode was about The Adventures of Huck Finn which is part of their "Born to Trouble" thread. What better than the novel we’ve been banning, deifying, exalting, and vilifying for 115 years. The series is about art and literature, how it raises controversy and how we, as a culture, respond to it. What does any of this have to do with the practice of Zen Buddhism, you ask? Ah ha, stay tuned. I can’t write that fast. Until then, mull on this new essay. Hammer that nail!

[archivist’s note 8/13/2006: I have no idea what was supposed to be linked to at ‘this new essay.’ Import error? Perhaps, but unlikely.]

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Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Jack Dykinga has teamed up with naturalist and writer Janice Emily Bowers to tell the story of the smallest U.S. desert in their new book, Desert: The Mojave and Death Valley. From CNN Book News This is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Yes, I’m biased

BBC News, and others are reporting that EMI and Warner Music are planning a merger. Soon there will be no more little guys anywhere

There is a new Alertbox Saying No: How to Handle Missing Features

John Anderson talks about his fear of dentists over at genehack. I share this phobia. Dentists terrify me! As a result I have a third-world mouth.

I saw this at BradLands – The Movie Review Query Engine

Incompetent people have no clue that they are. What is more interesting to me is that extremely competent people tend to believe that more people are competent than really are. This could explain a lot of things.

It was great seeing Karl again. After the initial awkwardness, we settled back into the banter of old friends. Time is just a comma in the sentence.

In another moment from the past, Terry called last night. He moved back to Idaho 10 years ago and we haven’t spoken for a couple of years. Lots of difficulties in Terry-Land. We talked for about four hours. He had a lot to pass along so I did more listening than talking. I love him like a brother. There’s nothing I can do for him except be his friend. Perhaps that is enough, he certainly didn’t ask for advice or “help”, but it still feels like its not enough.