The Horror of Blimps

“It moved silently through the living[room] and drifted to the staircase. Gliding wraithlike over the staircase it then entered the bedroom where my wife and I lay sleeping peacefully….On this occasion I awoke to the sense that there was a large menacing presence approaching me silently out of the gloom, so I opened my eyes, and there it was! A LARGE SILENT MENACING PRESENCE WAS APPROACHING ME OUT OF THE…

Protecting Google Brand "Tricky Business"

“Hence its note to Word Spy, an online dictionary that compiles and defines new words popping up in the media. At issue is this Word Spy entry: ‘google (GOO.gul) v. To search for information on the Web, particularly by using the Google search engine; to search the Web for information related to a new or potential girlfriend or boyfriend.’ | Google lawyers sent the site’s editor a letter (portions of…

On 50th Anniversary, Co-Discoverer of DNA Now Advocates Racial Engineering

Legendary scientist James Watson advocates therapies or screening to elimiate low-intelligence people from the population. That’s called eugenics, an ideology that the Nazis were happy to adopt for their own purposes. Watson also wants to breed prettier girls. Apparently, even the most brilliant scientists can say things that are not only stupid, but also racist and sexist. — DGJ –On 50th Anniversary, Co-Discoverer of DNA Now Advocates Racial Engineering (New…

Heart Patient Dies After Operating Table Collapses

“The cardiac unit at Derriford Hospital, the biggest hospital in the South West, is one of the most modern in Britain. It is equipped with three up-to-date operating tables costing about £50,000 each. | The tops of the tables slide on to the electronically operated base so that the patient does not need to be lifted onto a trolley after surgery. The operation was taking place last Thursday when the…

(Big) Red Faces at Cornell over E-Mail Error

“That happened to Cornell University on Wednesday: It sent welcoming letters to 1,700 high school students who had submitted early-decision applications, including nearly 550 who had already been rejected in December. ‘Greetings from Cornell, your future alma mater!’ the e-mail letter began… Within a couple of hours the university followed with an ‘oops’ letter, admitting that it had made a mistake…” –(Big) Red Faces at Cornell over E-Mail ErrorNY Times…

It Didn't Have to Happen

“Just as Icarus did not heed his father?s warning to stay away from the sun, NASA engineers ignored warning signs before and after liftoff that the shuttle was doomed to burn up when it re-entered the atmosphere. Like Icarus, they were guilty of hubris. | But the hapless engineers are not the only ones to blame. The entire shuttle program is corrupted by incompetence, arrogance, jingoism, and corporate greed. It…

Lethal Confusion

“Similar-looking drug brand names can confuse doctors, nurses and pharmacists, causing patients to get the wrong medicine…. A patient confusing lente with Lantus could end up with his or her blood sugar seriously out of whack. Doctors insist that errors like these can be corrected if caught early enough.|The simplest way of fixing the problem would be banning brand names. Generic names are more descriptive and less confusing.” Matthew Herper…

Oprah's Book Club: Back to the Classics

“Media mega-star Oprah Winfrey?s announcement that ?I‘m back in the business of recommending books?but with a difference,? drew a standing ovation from an audience of America?s leading publishers… [T]he new book club will focus on literary classics because ?I cannot imagine a world where the great works of literature are not read.? Her hope, she said, is that ?The Oprah Winfrey Show? will ?make classic works of literature accessible to…