October 5, 2009 archive

Late Night Karaoke

Open Thread

The GOP Loves War

Sen. Lindsey Graham isn’t the only GOP politician still wanting to “bomb, bomb Iran”:

If sanctions fail, and Iran’s going down the road to get a nuclear weapon, every Sunni Arab state that could would want a nuclear weapon. Israel would be more imperiled. The world would change dramatically for the worse. And if we use military action against Iran, we should not only go after their nuclear facilities, we should destroy their ability to make conventional war. They should have no planes that can fly and no ships that can float.

This, of course, ignores reality…

Life in Mexico

I love my Mexico and the culture which is hard to understand at best.  I live in a small village about two kilometers from the beach, and when I say small, trust me.  I moved from the local tourist beach town in June and I have to admit that I love it here.  It is very quiet and I am the only gringa here.  I didn’t move to Mexico to join the Rotary and hang with the other gringos.  It seems like they are doing a fraud job on people and really not helping except to make us another US or Canada.

I have lived in this wonderful place for seven years now, and will never return to the US.

Spotlight on Prisons

This is a roundup of news and commentary regarding prisons and prisoners. I have focused to a fair extent (though not entirely) on stories where there is some question of prisoner abuse, or miscarriage of justice.

GreenRoots: Inhofe v Galileo. Speak not in the ears of a fool.

KuangSi2Senator Inhofe commonly makes claims about the science of global warming. When Chris Mooney asked about Inhofe’s disdain for the scientific mainstream, a member of his committee staff responded

How do you define ‘mainstream’? Scientists who accept the so-called ‘consensus’ about global warming? Galileo was not mainstream.


Galileo’s spirit looked on, more than a little irritated. But it wasn’t provoked to return until Inhofe said:

…God’s still up there. We’re going through these cycles…The [AGW] science really isn’t there.

That very night in Inhofe’s office, a spectre rose up from the floor in a great, billowing cloud.

Pique the Geek 20091004. The Periodic Table Part 2

Last time we talked about the history of the periodic table and some of the reasons behind why it “works”.  We also took a look at the first three periods (rows), the very short first period, with only two elements, and the two short periods with eight elements each in them.  We also grouped these elements into families (columns) that show similar chemical properties.

Now we shall look at Periods 4 and 5, the two long periods.  These periods (and later ones) contain the transition metals.  In the first three periods, chemical properties change radically from one element to the next as atomic number increases.  For example, fluorine, the most chemically reactive element sits next to neon, which forms no known ground state chemical compounds.

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