Thursday, February 26

I haven't even seen the movie, but I think I'm coming in right about where David Edelstein is on Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ.

Tuesday, February 24

'As soon as you tell people to eat supplemental foods, people think there are free calories and there are not,' said Frank Sacks, professor of cardiovascular disease prevention at the Harvard School of Public Health.

This is a particularly American way of thinking about food, said Greg Critser, author of 'Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World.'

'The Europeans don't have this mentality,' Mr. Critser said. 'There's more a culture of the enjoyment of food, not just the amount of food. The problem is that behind whatever diet is in ascent in this country, the background noise is one and the same: a license to gluttony.'

Hey, it's Grey Tuesday.

Monday, February 23

This is an old article, but it illustrates a very good point:

The ... Earth Simulator ... is five times as fast as the [next fastest supercomputer] and is being used by the Japan Marine Science and Technology Centre to make predictions about the future of the Earth's climate and its crust.

... The previous record holder, ASCI White at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in the US, was built by IBM and is used to simulate nuclear weapons explosions.

How appropriate that a computer simulating the earth trumps a computer built to simulate destruction. To continue the analogy, we can also say that this represents the shift from mechanistic, war-like, simplistic thinking to a complex, holistic, systems world-view.

Tuesday, February 17

Although in many peoples' minds gay marriage is a topic worthy of serious "moral" debate, I continue to ask myself, "What's the big deal?" Why is such a ruckus being made over an act that hurts no one, and in fact is underpinned by love?

Of course many parties will have many different answers to my simplistic question...but how screwed up are our moral priorities when there even exists a debate on this issue?

Saturday, February 7

"...while city dwellers make up nearly half the world's population, new research by the United Nations and other demographers has shown that for every two cities that are growing, three are shrinking. ... The shrinking city syndrome is leaving planners and city officials with, among other things, the challenge of preserving and reusing buildings with architectural and cultural interest. ... The problem is so acute that a group of researchers based in Berlin is holding an international competition to address it." (NYT; login: opensewer; pwd: iswatching)

Monday, February 2

"I just want to find out for myself what is going on in(side the bodies of people in) my establishment."
"Dominate. Intimidate. Control." - The sorry record of the Transportation Security Administration by James Bovard.
Salon has a nice article on the idiocy of zero-tolerance approaches to discipline in schools, and the terrible toll these policies take on the students and families who fall victim to them. (reg or commercial watching required)