Friday, February 08, 2008

The Day Today - 8th February 2008

Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling writes:

We return to conspiracies. I posted a review of Richard "Face on Mars" Hoagland on January 17th, here's another debunking of his theories. What I found stunning was the following quote.

This isn’t just some remote corner of an intellectual ghetto on the Internet—the book came within one tick mark of making it onto the New York Times bestsellers list for paperback non-fiction (it reached #21 nationwide).

Let alone that it is classed as "non-fiction", there were only twenty non-fiction books ahead of it! Over to the professionals with the extraordinarily fascinating Matthew Dentith being interviewed on Bfm. the young lady was taken with our Matthew, she tries to wind up the interview put can't stop asking questions.

It's BBQ season - my count for this week alone shall be three by this evening - and you can't have a BBQ without a pool. On Waitangi Day, Josh had a BBQ, and a pool, for our enjoyment. Onw of the day's running gags was "What Would Anne Coulter Do?" - after Ben's shirt, and in relation to the pool I told the following story to Ewen from a book review in the Economist.

The book starts with a poignant story from 1951 of a victorious children's baseball team that wanted to celebrate by swimming at a municipal pool in Youngstown, Ohio. But one team member, Al Bright, was black. Initially the pool attendants denied him admittance. After many protests, the supervisor relented. The “negro” was allowed to enter the pool so long as all other swimmers left the water, and he sat on a rubber raft. As his teammates looked on, a life-guard pushed him once round the pool, reminding him, “whatever you do, don't touch the water.”

A look at the fundamentalist / evangelical intellectual tradition in America.

Something for those who watched the documentary on nuclear power on Sunday night. James Lovelock is for it as well.

"I can envisage somewhere about 2050, when the greenhouse really begins to bite, when people will start looking back and saying: whose fault was all this? And they will settle on the Greens and say: 'if those damn people hadn't stopped us building nuclear power stations we wouldn't be in this mess'. And I think it is true. The real dangers to humanity and the ecosystems of the earth from nuclear power are almost negligible. You get things like Chernobyl but what happens? Thirty-odd brave firemen died who needn't have died but its general effect on the world population is almost negligible.

"What has it done to wild life? All around Chernobyl, where people are not allowed to go because the ground is too radioactive, well, the wildlife doesn't care about radiation. It has come flooding in. It is one of the richest ecosystems in the region. And then they say: what shall we do with nuclear waste?" Lovelock has an answer for that, too. Stick it in some precious wilderness, he says. If you wanted to preserve the biodiversity of rainforest, drop pockets of nuclear waste into it to keep the developers out. The lifespans of the wild things might be shortened a bit, but the animals wouldn't know, or care. Natural selection would take care of the mutations. Life would go on.

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