• Twitter
  • Facebook
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.


Still in Kansas, Dorothy

If we allow one theory of "intelligent design" of the universe into science classrooms, wouldn't we then have to let other theories in as well?

Something about whatever this was

So it turns out that an active lifestyle and a healty diet will also ... what was I saying? Something about the coney dogs I have for breakfast sometimes. No, that wasn't it. Maybe about how I have everything I need piled up around the couch? No ... oh, I recall. How to improve your remembering thingy and reduce your, er, uh ... forgettering.

A mighty wind a . . . oops, never mind

Sure, we all like to visit places like New Orleans, but on days like this we should be grateful we live in tornado country instead of hurricane country. As scary as a tornado is, its terror is relatively short-lived. We hear about it coming and hide in the basement and the thing either hits your house or not, all of the action taking place in a few hours. Hurricanes terrorize people for days. Will it get here, or will it veer, will it build in strength or fizzle?

Posted in: Science, Travel

Don't worry, drink coffee

I should be gloating. All those people who have telling me for years that I drink far too much coffee now have to cope with the fact that it's the prime source for antioxidants. But I won't, because tomorrow, some scientist will discover something else bad about coffee. Science tends to move slowly, with lots of preliminary reports, tentative conclusions, further study and revisions of opinions.

Let's nuke the problem

One of the tragedies of exaggerated environmental fears has been the abandonment of nuclear power as a part of our energy strategy and our resulting overdependence on much dirtier coal-fired plants. Now, it seems that high gas prices and Middle East unrest are finally increasing support for nuclear power, even among some groups among whom oppostion has been strong. Common sense at last?

Posted in: Science

I'm OK, you're in a bad mood

We've done a good job in this country in the last few years of reducing the stigma of mental illness, allowing millions of people to get the help they need. But we ought to be careful of the trend of "defining down" -- identifying just about any bad mood or idiosyncratic personality trait as a mental illness. That adds to the deepening lack of responsibility ("It's not MY fault!") in the culture and makes us take those truly in pain less seriously. 

Posted in: Science

Daddy, are we there yet?

"In order for a great people to do great things, they must not be bridled by timidity." Space exploration is one of those issues on which I'm neither "libertarian" nor "conservative," and I probably have a slightly different view than the editorial page I help produce. I'd spend even more money than is spent now, and I'd start getting ready for the moon and Mars today, not in a few years. And I've changed my mind about the value of the shuttle program.

Posted in: Science

The genesis of a controversy

President Bush really didn't call for the teaching of Intelligent Design in science classrooms as a viable alternative to evolution, although a lot of friends and enemies of the adminsitration are saying he did, each group for its own peculiar reasons. Here's a pretty interesting discussion of the issue.

I'll be 312, and UB313

This is exciting: An astronomer with the California Institute of Technology says he has discovered a 10th planet in our solar system, about 9.7 billion miles from the sun and orbiting it once every 560 years; talk about a daylight-saving-time issue. It was way back in 1930 when the ninth planet, Pluto, was discovered, so this is the end of a pretty long dry spell. For now, the planet is designated 2003UB313; the CIT astronomer says he has proposed a real name, but won't say what it is.

Posted in: Blogroll, Science

Steming the tide

People can't seem to figure Bill Frist out. Is he putting politics above princple, abandoing George Bush on the stem-cell dilemma because of his own presidential ambitions? Or is he, in fact, putting princple above politics, taking a position his medical experience tells him is the right one, despite the fact that it will anger the religious right that is important to those seeking the Republican nomination? The best evidence we have is what the man himself says, and I found his speech on the subject convincing.

Posted in: Religion, Science