Monday, March 15, 2010

Wacky science news roundup

Hmmm. Tom Hanks said something stupid about WW2, and then a bunch of people wrote about what he said, and now people are writing about what the people wrote about what Tom Hanks said. Just a lot of good clean fun, a big blind media snake swallowing its own tail... but 'taint journalism.

Well, I can get back to that, but first some real news.

A company's begun test marketing of the Glo-cap. It uses microchip tech to remind folk when to take their pills. Appointed times the cap lights up and goes 'beep.' If ignored, it gets louder. Ignored long enough and it can place robotic phone call or send e-mail to assigned designees. Yep, that's right; a pill bottle that can send
e-mail. That's visionary tech there. We'll see how it goes, I wish the Glo-cap folks the very best. Only downside I see is, sounds like the thing will require programming. Perhaps some of the intended customer base aren't good with technology. I foresee lots of pill bottles blinking '12:00' all over the place.

NASA has discovered shrimp and jellyfish in a seemingly enclosed environment under a portion of Antarctic ice sheet. That's interesting on many levels. Science has never yet found an ecosystem consisting entirely of predators (except Wall Street) so NASA is at a loss about what sustains the bottom of an icebound food chain. Potentially throwing all the Science books out of University windows, yeah that's big. But my favorite part of the story is the gushing, astonished delight at NASA. They're so giddy they can't even sense the irony in exclaiming they'd not actually expected to find anything much at all under the ice. Hmmmm, let me see if I got this right kids? You drilled a hole through 600 feet of ice and dropped a camera down there NOT expecting to find anything? You got many other projects like that going on?

Oh yeah, Tom Hanks! There's something newsworthy there too; not that you'd notice from reading the back & forth. Tom said US fought WW2 in the Pacific from an ethos of destroying a differently colored, differently worshipping people... and then he threw in a comparison to some current US military operations. Well, I don't think it's news that actors aren't historians. But it's interesting to note how riled up folks get when cultural foundations get disrespected, even by a person whose inaccurate historical opinions are irrelevant. This nation is rather young. Still remains the only nation founded on ideals. Context like that, you don't mess with WW2period. Whatever ridiculous sentiments you may harbor about the fourth and most recent time this young country faced a palpable threat to its existence, don't be spouting them on open mic night at MSNBC! Save it for the Hollywood cocktail parties and people who are just as historically ignorant as you are. And by the way, that "Forrest Gump" great performance there, among many others!

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