Friday, June 2, 2006
President Bush says we need "to move beyond a petroleum-based
economy." Move where? The House cut the nuclear energy request
in half; fusion is, as it has always been, decades away; ethanol
from corn is nice, but it can't save much oil. President Bush
gave a plug to ethanol from cellulosic biomass. He can't be
wrong all the time can he? Some rich investors are backing it
(WN 31 Mar 06) , and some very
smart scientists. MIT chemist John Deutch commented on it in the
Wall Street Journal a month ago, and today's Science has an
editorial about cellulosic biomass by Stanford biologist Chris
Somerville. They think it's worth major investment in research.
Since 1995, the Cobb County School Board had ordered pages on
evolution torn out of science textbooks. But a new textbook in
2002 had too many pages to tear out, so they just added a sticker
saying evolution is only a theory anyway. A federal District
Court judge said the stickers violated the establishment clause
of the First Amendment and told the school district to rip all
35,000 off (WN 14 Jan 05) .
Thursday, citing insufficient evidence, a Federal Appeals Court
said put'em back on until the District Court determines if the
school board acted "religiously neutral," or the case is retried.
The NASA Authorization bill, passed in May, makes "uninterrupted
capability for human spaceflight during transition to the Crew
Exploration Vehicle in 2010" US policy. To do what? No field of
human endeavor has been advanced by the shuttle or the ISS.
An evangelical Christian group in Washington, DC, Faith and
Action, is erecting a stone monument to the stone tablets on the
front lawn of a row house across the street from the U.S. Supreme
Court building. The group does not have the approval they need
according city officials, but perhaps they cleared it with a
higher authority. The granite sculpture weighs 850 pounds.
Religious broadcaster Pat "The Hulk" Robertson, who had been
pushing his "age-defying protein shake," should have no problem.
On the Web site of his Christian Broadcasting Network, he says he
has leg-pressed 2,000 pounds. When he proves he can do that, Iíll convert.
No one pays attention to e-mail anymore. So at a time when
everything entering the Capitol or Congressional Office Buildings
is carefully screened, thousands of bricks have been sent to
members of Congress to build a wall. "At least they're not being
thrown through the windows" one staffer pointed out.