Crazy Names: The Solar System's Nomenclature Wars

You might be surprised to learn that the outskirts of the solar system are loaded with Plutinos, Centaurs, cubewanos and EKOs. Astronomers didn’t even know this a decade ago. In fact until 1992 they hadn’t even invented three of the terms. | Now it seems they don’t have enough of these crazy names. — Robert Roy Britt –Crazy Names: The Solar System’s Nomenclature Wars (Yahoo/Space)

Internet terms make entry in dictionary

Cyberslackers, egosurfing, data smog? All three terms have entered the English language, according to the compilers of the Oxford Dictionary of English, who have added 3,000 more words to the 350,000 words and phrases in modern usage. –Charles Arthur –Internet terms make entry in dictionary (The Independent) Contemporary English still contains a host of idioms that date from the mechanical era. We “spin our wheels” or “stay on track.” We might…

Valedictorian settles suit against district

Blair Hornstine, whose court battle to be her high school’s sole valedictorian ended up throwing her life in turmoil, settled her differences with the Moorestown School District yesterday to the tune of $60,000 – all but $15,000 to pay her lawyers. — Toni Callas and Joseph A. Gambardello –Valedictorian settles suit against district (Philadelphia Inquirer) I’ve previously blogged about Hornstine’s case.

As a Species, We're Doomed…

The bomber was a father of two. A man who has children who walks down the aisle of the bus, looking at the children whose small short cheerful lives he is about to destroy, contenting himself with the knowledge that they are mere Jews – such a man has abdicated his humanity. The fact that he died in an instant and 100+ victims survived to live with the pain for…

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Science as Democratizer

How might science engender democracy? I’d like to suggest two mechanisms: first, by changing the way people think; second, by altering the interaction among those who make up the community. The more scientifically literate people become, the more they will expect, even demand to participate in the political process, and the more effective they will be at it. Such social evolution may be slow, nonlinear and chaotic, and periodically may…

Mr Sneeze in drug row

“With the help of Miss Sunshine they discover that he is allergic to the feathers in his pillow. | However, Mr Sneeze then receives a visit from Mr Silly and his pet chicken Rover which causes him to start sneezing again…. The story is followed by four pages of information on allergies from Allergy UK and two pages promoting the use of GSK products Piriteze and Piriton.” –Mr Sneeze in…