Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday Stories: Of Cosmetics and the Cosmos

Where to start? An embarrassment of riches this week.

Beyond the Atom. In an exciting development, scientist Lyn Evans, dubbed "Evans the Atom," may destroy the planet if he has not done so already. I'm only half kidding. Seeking to understand the beginnings of the universe, he and other scientists in what is billed as the world's biggest experiment began firing up a 17 mile collider near Geneva. Some scientists fear that the experiment could create black holes in the Earth. If nothing else, the "nerds in nightshirts" are having a lot of fun, witness the "Physics Rap" that has become an internet sensation. Cute Daily Mail article here with link to rap. Updated info from LA Times here, and Hawking's doubts that they will find the "God Particle" here.

About that Crack'd Mirror. Bush may have looked into his soul, but Putin looked to his sway. He maintains that Bush, while a nice guy, is not in charge: as he phrases it is "the court that makes the King." Read it at the Times, the Brit one.

A La Main left. Speaking of the arcane, Elizabeth Spiers in Fortune magazine does as good a job explaining the mortgage mess as I've seen. Basically if you bundle mortgages, you could be and were buying a pig in a poke. All these high falutin' things that are so removed from the source scare me. Remember those professors with the hedge fund that went bust?

Of Shiny Promises. Bruce Bialosky continues the pig metaphor in this article on TownHall in which he delves into the misleading Obama claim that he will cut taxes on the middle class. Seems 40% of Americans don't pay income taxes at all, but instead receive money from the government. The rationale is that they pay social security taxes. Obama would increase these payments and drop another 15% from the tax rolls. I'd like to know if its possible to get more back than you paid in. As Doug Giles writes in this, you can put lipstick on a socialist.... It smacks of income redistribution to me.

On the Gender Front. "Xena" Palin as this piece dubs her is apparently causing much disarray in the enemy camp. Seriously, Sarah Baxter in the Times, the Brit one, writes a pretty incisive and somewhat entertaining analysis of Palin's effect on the campaign at the moment. And as I suggested in an earlier post, Palin's candidacy and the response has led to a new examination of the gender question. Read Allison Linn's article on MSNBC here

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