Blood on Our Hands? (58th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima)

“One of the great tales of World War II concerns an American fighter pilot named Marcus McDilda who was shot down on Aug. 8 and brutally interrogated about the atomic bombs. He knew nothing, but under torture he ‘confessed’ that the U.S. had 100 more nuclear weapons and planned to destroy Tokyo ‘in the next few days.’ The war minister informed the cabinet of this grim news — but still…

New Google Operator: ~synonyms

–New Google Operator: ~synonyms Google has added a new operator — type “~word” to search for what Google calls synonyms (though sometimes it just appears to be different forms of the same word). An interesting detail… if you search Google for “~blog”, one of the words added is “blogger”, while if you search Google for “~weblog” you don’t see “weblogger” added. It wouldn’t be because Google now owns blogger, would…

News Media Industry's Criticism of Iraq Coverage Reveals Deeper Problems with Mainstream Journalists' Conception of News

“The folks running media outlets — who tend to be even more establishment-oriented than front-line journalists — don’t complain much about the way in which officials control the news because it reduces labor costs. If news managers encouraged reporters routinely to go beyond the canned press releases, briefings, and insider interviews, those reporters would not be able to pump out as many stories as quickly. (I know this not only…

Reality Show Concept: 'Ph.D. Island'

“The show is called, ‘PhD Island.’|Ten or so (somewhat attractive) men and women in their early twenties, maybe with a token older contestant, endure a numbingly drawn-out series of trials and humiliations. These include hostile dissertation-committee meetings, labyrinthine statistical methodologies, and ramen. Some contestants are eliminated along the way — we watch their tearful exits with the comforting knowledge that by the end of the show, it is the survivors…

Mars in Opposition: One for the Record Books

“On 27th August, Mars will be at its closest to Earth for almost 60,000 years. On that date, the Red Planet will approach to within 34,646,418 miles (55,758,006 km) — 145 times the distance of the Moon. The last time the two planets were so close our ancestors were living in caves and struggling to survive the extreme conditions of the Ice Age. Who knows what will have happened by…

School Chief Failed Literacy Test

“Superintendent of Schools Wilfredo T. Laboy, who recently put two dozen teachers on unpaid leave for failing a basic English proficiency test, has flunked a required literacy test three times… Laboy, who receives a 3 percent pay hike this month that will raise his salary to $156,560, recently put 24 teachers on unpaid administrative leave because they failed a basic English test…” –School Chief Failed Literacy Test  (AP/Boston.com) As with…