Friday, February 27, 2009
Atkins, Pritikin, Jennie Craig, South Beach, NutriSystem . . . all had one
thing in common: they made their inventors very rich. But how could it be
that every diet plan seems to work? It's nothing but consciousness-
raising; any plan will make people aware of how much they're shoveling
in. Nine years ago, however, WN came out with the “physics plan.” The
plan is based on the Conservation of Energy: “burn more calories than you
consume” http://www.bobpark./WN00/wn022500.html . Don't be fooled by
cheap imitations. On Wednesday, the New England Journal of Medicine
published the results of a two year study of 800 overweight adults.
Headed by Frank Sacks of the Harvard School of Public Health, the study
confirmed that people lose weight if they cut calories; it doesn't matter
if the calories are fat, carbohydrates, or protein. That, of course, is
the WN "physics plan."
The establishment clause of the First Amendment sets the U.S. apart from
every other country in the world. It is the American gift. The town of
Pleasant Grove, Utah, however, has a monument to the Ten Commandments in
the city park in obvious violation of the establishment clause. The
problem is that in 2005, the Supreme Court had declined to require Texas
to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the grounds of the state
capital. The objection to the monument in that case had been raised by a
homeless man (WN 4 Mar 05) . This prompted
Pleasant Grove to erect a Ten Commandments monument. But then a group
called Summum proposed to erect a similar monument bearing its Seven
Aphorisms; the city refused. Summum may be a wacky religion, but after
all, this is Utah. The case reached the U.S. Supreme Court, which on
Wednesday unanimously agreed with the city that religious displays on
government property are “government speech” and under control of local
government. It seems all but certain that there will be more Ten
First there was the Bush Administration's shameful cancellation of the
Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) launch in 2000. The only
fingerprints on the cancellation belong to Dick Cheney. It would by now
have settled the critical issue of the role of solar variation in global
warming. Then, on Tuesday, the $278 million Orbital Carbon Observatory,
designed to measure greenhouse gas emissions, crashed shortly after
launch. The good news is that the Omnibus Appropriations Bill that passed
on Wednesday provides $9 million for NASA to refurbish DSCOVR, which has
been shut up in a Greenbelt, MD warehouse for 9 years.
Life to which we are not related remains the greatest quest in science.
NASA and ESA have settled on two of Jupiter's moons, Europa and Ganymede,
as the next major exploration targets rather than Saturn's moon Titan.
Unless some trace of life or fossil life shows up on Mars, it's time to
extend the search to the outer planets.