Monday, March 16, 2009

Too Cool

The scientists who were involved in the "Star Wars" missile defense program are working to commercialize the technology to kill mosquitoes to stop malaria. Nice.

Visa, check

Finally got my Visa for Brazil finished, after a run around that included getting passport pages added on, 2.5 weeks, and an additional $260 to the cost of the trip....

Still, Brazil-bound in three days! Now, to packing.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Finally - In a place known for it's St. Patty's Tradition

St. Patty's is less than a week away. I'm trying to score some tix for The Dropkick Murphys' show for a reasonable price. Even if that doesn't happen, looks like in the right place per this article on CNN:

Political wit a hit in Boston, Massachusetts

The link to Ireland couldn't be stronger than it is in Massachusetts, where a quarter of the population claims Irish heritage.

And while the state capital is awash in green cheer at this time of year, a tradition of exchanging political barbs has kicked off each morning of the St. Patrick's Day parade, dating back about 60 years. The March 15 breakfast, including song and dance amid the playful ribbing, was an outgrowth of the community's involvement in politics, which runs as deep as Irish humor.

"It allows people to see their elected officials [local, state and national] in a role they don't normally see them in," explained state Sen. Jack Hart (or, as he says it, "Haht") of south Boston, who's hosting the political roast for the eighth year. The televised event draws about 4 million viewers and "beats the Sunday morning talk shows."

Neither Sen. Ted Kennedy nor Sen. John Kerry is expected this year, but getting a call from the nation's highest office isn't unheard of. Vice President Joe Biden has attended, and Hart said they're working on getting the attention of President Obama. Or is that O'Bama?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Return of Reason

Three cheers for President Obama's lifting of the embryonic stem cell ban! Finally, an administration that is following reason. Here's an example from Time magazine of a promising scientist's lead cut short by the policies of Luddites in the previous administration:

After a storm hammered San Francisco that winter, the university campus lost power; if not for the backup generators that pumped emergency electricity to its labs, countless cell cultures might have been lost. Fisher's embryonic stem cell lab, however, was off the campus grid, housed in a temporary facility built with private funds, which did not have a backup system. It would take several days for power to be restored to that site, during which time Fisher had no other place to bring her cells — she couldn't use the university incubators without jeopardizing the school's access to federal funding. Her cells were no ordinary stem cells, either. They were the first to be cultured on a bed of entirely human cells, an important advance in bringing usable stem-cell therapies to patients. With no other option, Fisher watched her cells die.

Monday, March 9, 2009


The nicest day in 3 months is followed up with a nasty wintry mix of slush.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

NASA Gets it Right

Finally, something people care about. NASA is launching a space telescope that will try to find other earth-like planets by detecting when a planet crosses in front of the star that anchors it into a solar system.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Is this the beginning?

Article in CNN about people switching to "green-collar" jobs. Is this the start of something new, or just a flash in the pan?