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2014-04-15 Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Intended Address to Brandeis
An abridged version of the remarks she had intended to deliver at the Brandeis commencement, before that university’s cowardly president revoked her invitation: “The connection between violence, particularly violence against women, and Islam is too clear to be ignored.”
2014-04-15 Sam Harris to Interview Ayaan Hirsi Ali
He is soliciting questions.
2014-04-14 A Brief, Incomplete, and Mostly Wrong History of Programming Languages
This is quite witty, really. It’s from five years ago, but I just found it.
2014-04-12 Ayaan Hirsi Ali Uninvited to Brandeis
In an extremely disappointing and cowardly move, the president of Brandeis University rescinded an invitation to one of the truly great people of our time, who was to receive an honorary doctorate at this year’s commencement.
2014-04-10 Teacher Suspended for “Dangerous” Science Projects
Apparently hysterical school administrators sent the teacher home because some of his students’ projects involved making things go fast.
2014-04-10 Hitchens Was Right
People lie when surveyed about churchgoing.
2014-04-08 Problems with Big Data
Clearly expressed clear thinking about the “big data” mania: “Consider translation programs like Google Translate, which draw on many pairs of parallel texts from different languages — for example, the same Wikipedia entry in two different languages — to discern the patterns of translation between those languages. [...] with some of the less common languages, many of the Wikipedia articles themselves may have been written using Google Translate. In those cases, any initial errors in Google Translate infect Wikipedia, which is fed back into Google Translate, reinforcing the error.”
2014-04-08 Scientists Discover how Soil is Formed on Small Asteroids
The mechanism is not the same as the common model for the formation of soil on the moon.
2014-04-02 Saudi Arabia Declares All Atheists Are Terrorists
New provisions of Royal Decree 44 define terrorism as “calling for atheist thought in any form, or calling into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based”.
2014-03-27 Homeopathic Remedies Recalled for Containing Real Medicine
Specifically, penicillin adulteration, which might be unfortunate for someone who happens to be allergic to it, and may also contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
2014-03-26 An Asteroid with Rings
“The European Southern Observatory announced this week the discovery of rings around an asteroid 1.4 billion miles from Earth. Chariklo is the largest of the class of asteroids orbiting the sun between Saturn and Uranus known as Centaurs. Results were published online today in the journal Nature.” Note that the article is not up on Nature yet: someone jumped the gun on an embargoed press release, but it got cached by Google before it was taken down (hence the link to a Google cache page).
2014-03-25 Clojure 1.6 Released
Several interesting new features and improvements; nothing radical (fortunately).
2014-03-21 Gears of War: When Mechanical Analog Computers Ruled the Waves
Great article, with embedded movies illustrating the operation of the computers’ components, and a personal connection by the author, who served aboard a ship equipped with an analog fire control computer.
2014-03-21 Without Facts on the Missing Airliner, the Media Make Stuff Up
Eugene Robinson’s description of the way the news media desperately keeps a profitable story alive when there is nothing to say is witty and on target.
2014-03-18 Packaging Proofreading Failure
There is something wrong with this package of Wheat Thins.
2014-03-16 Asteroid Will Bring Celestial Treat to Northeast
If you are going to be in or near New York City at 2 am on Thursday morning, you’ll be able to see a rare astronomical event with your bare eyes.
2014-03-10 It’s Not Just the Bible Belt
A Jewish girls’ school in England is, so far, getting away with eliminating questions about evolution from a uniform science examination. Update 31 March 2014: they’ve been stopped.
2014-03-10 Rush Holt Interview
We are losing one of the few congressmen who understand science and the scientific worldview.
2014-03-08 Mutual Recursion in Government Investigations
Congressional investigators investigating the CIA become targets of CIA investigation into their unauthorized access to files; Congress is investigating the CIA investigation into their investigators; the story is ongoing.
2014-02-26 When is it stealing?
Yet another business based on copy-and-paste, this time with a twist. By Scott Hanselman.
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