He madea drawing of me in my study. That's not a cross above my head -- it's a fan. It's pretty much a catalogue of the main stuff in the scene -- a window to my right, a tree seen through the window, a picture on the wall to my left, a glass-topped table with thin legs ... He's learned perspective in his art classes, but somehow he didn't see fit to incorporate it into this drawing. He started to color the background, then moved on.
This pink elephant, in clay, was S1's. Most of the other kids in his class had done cardinals and other winged creatures.
Apparently, they asked about 25 different authorities and the recommendation was unanimous. No picture. The first time I've heard of 25 people giving an unanimous opinion.
Do academic presses always run scared? Would they be similarly scared to carry a book saying that parts of the Hebrew Bible imply that the Israelite God had a wife? How about an academic book that claims that Sita sexually taunted her brother-in-law? Both these are startling claims that drive at organizing principles of Judeo-Christianity and Hinduism respectively. Yet, no publisher will be afraid to publish academic books on the topic -- the faithful will protest, but they will protest peacefully.
Water. As Brahma Challaney notes:
The Tibetan plateau’s vast glaciers, huge underground springs and high altitude make Tibet the world’s largest freshwater repository after the polar icecaps. Indeed, all of Asia’s major rivers, except the Ganges, originate in the Tibetan plateau. Even the Ganges’ two main tributaries flow in from Tibet.With industrialization and population growth, China and India are very water-stressed, to be point that per-capita, Chinese will soon have only as much as water as Saudi Arabia. And so, China has been damming Tibetan waters and plans are to reroute them northward, into China:
China has been damming most international rivers flowing out of Tibet, whose fragile ecosystem is already threatened by global warming. The only rivers on which no hydro-engineering works have been undertaken so far are the Indus, whose basin falls mostly in India and Pakistan, and the Salween, which flows into Burma and Thailand ... The issue now is not whether China will reroute the Brahmaputra, but when. Once authorities complete their feasibility studies and the diversion scheme begins, the project will be presented as a fait accompli . China already has identified the bend where the Brahmaputra forms the world’s longest and deepest canyon – just before entering India – as the diversion point.At which point, northern India will become a desert. Nuclear-armed India.
Because India is water-stressed, many of the inter-state water disputes that play out in the American West also play out in India. When I was in college in India, we'd taken a trip to Karnataka, a neighboring state , when some bureaucrat changed some interpretation of some long-standing water agreement between the Tamil Nadu (the state I was living in) and Karnataka (the one I was visiting). Karnataka erupted in riots and it was dangerous to be a Tamil in Karnataka at that time. We moved a few of our Kannada-speaking classmates to the front of the bus to talk to any one who stopped us and quickly made our way back home. And that was just between states in one, pretty unified, country. Water is very, very personal.
What is frightening is that even if the cause of desertification of northern India is global warming, and not China, Chinese actions will serve as a nice repository of blame. It's hard to wage war on global warming, but war on China will be quite easy to imagine. And politicians, you can be sure, will take the bait.
People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn't have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.
Umm ... Stephen Hawking is British. He teaches at Cambridge. His health is managed by the oh-so-scary NHS. I'm pretty sure that, after he showed elements of Lou Gehrig's disease (starting in his university years), he wasn't exposed to the elements on some mountaintop.
P.S. the health care bill before Congress does NOT mandate any euthanasia counseling either. But why let the facts get in the way of nice, fat, juicy paranoia?
Case in point: a friend who teaches music at OU is in Austria for a Haydn music festival and is totally enthralled by the whole experience. Years ago, when I visiting Vienna, I went to an outdoor opera in the city center. The atmosphere was warm and the music was wonderful. It's been interesting to relive that except that Mark's experience is from the other side.
Burma has at least two uranium refining and processing plants in operation for crushing, grinding, cleaning and milling (refining) the uranium ore into ''yellowcake'' (U308), a concentrate of uranium oxides in powder form. Yellow cake is later converted to uranium hexafluoride (UF6) for enrichment to provide fuel for reactors or fissle material for nuclear weapons.Who's helping them? North Korea.
Cooperation between North Korea and the Burmese regime on nuclear matters began in earnest in September 2000 when a MOU was signed by Burma's Lieutenant General Thein Hla and North Korea's Major General Kim Chan Su. Four more detailed contracts were signed in 2001-02. ... The "official" agreements between the two countries covered nuclear related activities at two sites and involved North Korea's assistance to help with installing, maintaining, training and supplying equipment at the uranium refining and enrichment plant at Thabike Kyin. At the second reactor site at Naung Laing the North Koreans agreed to help with the construction of an underground facility and a nuclear reactor.
After the Bush administration lied to the world about Saddam Hussein buying yellowcake from Nigeria, this Burmese news is a tough sell. Hillary Clinton tried a few days ago, but the Boston arrest of Gates and Obama's subsequent comment ran off with the headlines. Now, of course, Bill Clinton is in North Korea.
It's a scary world out there. But we are preoccupied with the equivalent of a summer of shark attacks.
But my impressions were not all good. The security theater was quite annoying.
I was at a "total lightning" conference in Florida last week. (The "total" refers to a new type of sensor that detects intercloud lightning and not just cloud-to-ground strikes.) NASA had put in a new type of lightning rod to protect their launch site for the next generation of Ares shuttles and so we got a special tour of Kennedy Space Center.
This was the lightning rod they wanted to show us. Note the wires that lead from the rod. They connect a set of three rods to the ground:
We got to peek in through glass doors at the monitors. And we saw weather imagery! Enough to get the bunch of weather geeks humming. Also, it was good to see that NASA does have LCD monitors; if you go solely by their visitors centers, one would think they hang on to CRTs.
Turns out that it is a hoax. GM has never heard of it.
Nothing on whether it's dangerous if carried out for more than a few days.