Category: Science & technology

Aug 28 2017

Turning America into a giant Glastonbury

Maybe Trump is a kind of cry for help from the Earth, a human flare

By Frankie Boyle, Sunday 27 August 2017 04.00 EDT


So are we heading for a Mad Max-style future? I don’t think so. After having lived through Donald Trump we’ll surely just call him Max. Trump is behaving so strangely, we’re probably about a month away from not being allowed to make jokes about him. He’s gone past Charlie Sheen and we’re now … [more]

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Jul 02 2017

A tip of the hat to Børre and Alice

In Norway, partying with the engineers

By Garrison Keillor, June 27, 2017 at 2:28 pm


A splendid week in Norway and now it’s good to be back home, driving around town in my old beat-up Volvo and listening to The Drifters. Norway is a land of bicycles and public transit, lean healthy long-legged people striding up into the hills, but I love my car where I can add a bass vocal to “At night the stars they put … [more]

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Oct 05 2016

Act in haste, repent in leisure

Another Deadly Drone Mistake: At What Point Do We Say Enough?

By Ted Gup, October 3, 2016


It was an obscure item last week that drew little media attention. An apartment building in Afghanistan’s remote Nangarhar province was apparently hit by an American drone strike, killing at least fifteen civilians and injuring thirteen more. The villagers were gathered to welcome a returning tribal leader.

Such stories are easy to ignore as inevitable errors of war. But the tally … [more]

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Feb 07 2015

You may find yourself left behind


This bit of abject asininity appeared in today’s weekly religion section of the Hot Springs Sentinel Record.  Once a week, a local minister or concerned citizen opines about this or that theological minutiae in a column titled “Reflections”.  In this case, our intrepid newspaper neglected to include Mr. Cunningham’s credentials to why they believe he is qualified to regurgitate this pervasive flavor of “Left Behind” flummery.  This particularly silly reflection, while bereft of anything remotely resembling sentience, is… [more]

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Oct 31 2014

Scariest jack-o’-lantern ever

It looks like some kind of sci-fi blob from outer space, but it’s actually a high-speed photograph of a nuclear explosion. It was captured less than 1 millisecond after the detonation using a rapatronic camera, which is capable of exposure times as brief as 10 nanoseconds (one nanosecond is one billionth of a second). The photograph was shot from roughly 7 miles away during the Tumbler-Snapper tests in Nevada (1952). The fireball is roughly 20 meters in diameter, and … [more]

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Jun 01 2014

The measure of patriotism

Snowden would not get a fair trial – and Kerry is wrong

By , Friday 30 May 2014 07.45 EDT


John Kerry was in my mind Wednesday morning, and not because he had called me a patriot on NBC News. I was reading the lead story in the New York Times – “US Troops to Leave Afghanistan by End of 2016” – with a photo of American soldiers looking for caves. I recalled not the … [more]

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Mar 07 2014

Backfire effect

Here Are 5 Infuriating Examples of Facts Making People Dumber

By , Wed Mar. 5, 2014 3:00 AM GMT



On Monday, I reported on the latest study to take a bite out of the idea of human rationality. In a paper just published in Pediatrics, Brendan Nyhan of Dartmouth University and his colleagues showed that presenting people with information confirming the safety of vaccines triggered a “backfire effect,” in which people who already distrusted vaccines … [more]

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