I hate politics.

Hmm.  That might not be entirely true.  Let me re-state:

I hate the idea of entrenched idealogues playing & rooting for a ‘team’ instead of trying to make progress on the problems they’ve been elected to solve.

Yeah.  That’s the bit I hate.


What the?  An earthquake felt in Pittsburgh (swingin’ city that it is) ?!?!

Around 1:55 ET, and as I was about to opine on the futility of American politics (definitely a ratings winner…ZZZzzzz….), my house began to shake.  A sign from Mother Nature not to beat to death a horse that’s been savaged by countless others?  Perhaps.

Either way, I’ve got at least one link to get to re: politics, and though its thunder was absconded with by some tectonic plates in Virginia, I feel it’s noteworthy nonetheless.

This is insane.

In May, ThinkProgress reported that Kentucky approved a $43 million tax break for Ark Encounter, a Bible-themed amusement park that religious organizations are building outside Williamstown. Now the state is giving the creationist project another kickback in the form of a 75 percent property tax discountover the next 30 years:

Forget the implications of spreading this kind of dis-education–that this park is getting ONE CENT of public funding is a pox on reason, responsible fiscal policy and good taste, all at the same time.  Just…wow.  Kentucky -5.

Now onto some cool science stuff:

–Here’s a story about the U.S. spending their money more wisely, as the R.O.I. in science can be huge.

–This is great news for anyone rooting for a cure for the perplexing ‘Lou Gehrig’s disease‘, also known as ALS.

Some more background:


–A fine question, now with something of an answer, via science: ‘Does Marijuana make you stupid’?

So here’s the very un-D.A.R.E. takeaway: Heavy marijuana use doesn’t seem to cause any sort of lasting brain damage. All the negative side-effects are relatively temporary. (But those side-effects are real.) Furthermore, the sort of anxiolytic giddiness triggered by THC comes with its own unexpected benefits, which is probably why humans have been self-medicating with cannabis for thousands of years.

–The guy wrote a couple thousand words in this story, only to have his conclusion totally bogarted.  Party foul.

–The Chinese are finally doing something for the well-being of mankind.

They’ll be an invaluable ally in the case of something truly terrible happening, as in the above story.  Imagine the industrial giant they’ll be in 20 years, 50 years.  They’ll make WWII-era America look like WWII-era China.  Frightening and reassuring at the same time.

–In case China becomes a problem in the near-mid term, at least we’ll have this completely awesome gun.