More politically inspired songs

This is not a discussion of politics. This is a discussion of the music and music videos inspired by politicians. Just saw this in YouTube. If you know of any other songs (we are sticking to the musical genre only!) about people actively running for president, forward and I will post. (For those who don’t get it, this is a parody of the video...

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No one can shoot a satellite down!

Was the title provocative enough for you? For the past several days headlines all over the web have read “US to shoot down satellite.” Ok, first off, that satellite is on its way down no matter what. That would be the problem. It doesn’t actually need shot “down.” Second, after it gets nailed by whatever our government and military, in their wisdom, decide to fire at it, the satellite is going to hopefully smash apart into a bazillion little pieces, and some of those pieces will end up going up, while others stay in orbit, so in reality we are shooting the satellite in all directions. An accurate, and still fantastic, headline should read, “US plans to blast satellite into little bits” or “US plans to blast...

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NASA, I think we need to talk

Yesterday’s Michael Griffin talk left me feeling just plain disgruntled. This morning, walking over from Starbucks, the gang of us ran into a NASA related person (whose name I didn’t ask permission to use, so I won’t), and had a really good talk about what went wrong yesterday, what was meant, and a few things regarding NASA’s budget allocations that I’ve talked about before (things my frustrations yesterday erased from my blogging). I’m feeling more gruntled, and I want to share my thoughts. Michael Griffin is in a really rough spot. I won’t go so far as to say he is a congressional / Bush administration toady, but he is a political appointment. He doesn’t generally get to make policy. Rather, he works to educate...

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Travel, Politics, and other Randomness

Travel, Politics, and other Randomness

This year I’m traveling more than I think I have ever traveled before. Thursday I’m flying down to Texas to attend AstroFest, which is being hosted by the Swinburne University of Technology and their program Swinburne Astronomy Online. Friday morning I’ll be giving a talk on the Improbable Universe (which I’m going to try and record myself practicing tomorrow using a great new mic one of you wonderful readers – whose going to get a thank you card once I get back) sent me). On Saturday I’ll be giving a workshop on who to put astronomical images on a standard system (expect to see a whole discussion on that popping up here too). Today, I’m just being sleep deprived. (*Whine about why below.) But, in my sleepiness, I poked...

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Politics, Religion, Science and Tears

There are few concepts that can make advocates of the scientific method, astronomy and biology more twitchy than “Creationism.” In its strictest sense, creationism is the belief that humanity, life, the Earth, and the universe were created in their entirety by a supernatural deity or deities (typically God), whose existence is presupposed.* This definition is extremely broad and leaves room for both Descartes’ watchmaker Deity – a God who sets the universe in motion and watches it tick – and a literalist view of the Bible that implies a young Earth – e.g. the view that the Bible tells the factual Judeo-Christian History of the actual creation of the Earth. In today’s rhetoric, it is generally the later form of Creationism that is meant when the word is used. For instance, the Discovery Institute and the Creation Museum both use the word Creationism to describe a cosmology in which dinosaurs and man co-roamed an Earth that was created several thousand years ago.

Let me start by saying I hate vague language (even if I sometimes fall prey to using it).

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Republicans and Creationism

There is a story over on Cosmic Variance that is a most read for anyone planning to vote or to try and influence someone’s vote in the U.S. 2008 presidential elections. To quote Sean: “It was an embarrassing moment in the first Republican presidential debate when the participants were asked, “Does anyone not believe in evolution?”, and three candidates — Sam Brownback, Tom Tancredo, and Mike Huckabee — raised their hands. Embarrassing for those three, obviously, but also for the Republican party, in which they are far from unrepresentative, and for the United States, that anyone would even think to ask such a question of serious candidates for the highest office in the land.” (Read entire story here)

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