Wednesday, July 7, 2010

HOT5 Daily 7/7/2010

1. "Daily Gut: Feelings Before Frontiers" Funny & true. 

Representative Sample: And so our President has put feelings before frontiers. Which is a mistake, because you can’t inspire anyone – kids or Muslims – without actually doing something. And if space exploration is no longer about space exploration, what exactly is it?

2. "With magnetic nanoparticles, scientists remotely control neurons and animal behavior" The article only mentions the possible medical benefits, but it sounds like it could have other less pleasant applications. 

Representative Sample: “We targeted the nanoparticles near what is the ‘mouth’ of the worms, called the amphid,” explains Pralle. “You can see in the video that the worms are crawling around; once we turn on the magnetic field, which heats up the nanoparticles to 34 degrees Celsius, most of the worms reverse course. We could use this method to make them go back and forth.

3. "Game theory and Israeli negotiations" Links to an interesting article.  

Representative Sample: Fantastic article about the blackmailer’s paradox and Israel’s chronic negotiation failures in dealing with the surrounding Muslim/Arab nations. This feeds into the “for a nation filled with smart people, Israel sure acts dumb” paradox.

4. "Agnosticism and the Varieties of Certainty" An excellent response to a Slate article attacking & misrepresenting atheism. 

Representative Sample: Rosenbaum’s mistake is to suppose that atheists are committed to providing some kind of utterly comprehensive worldview that explains everything in the way religious doctrine sometimes purports to. But why? Can’t we point out that claims made on behalf of one brand of snake oil are outlandish and unsupportable without peddling an even more wondrous tonic?

5. "Update on Lack of Feminist Support for HR-1371" Major feminist organizations apparently unconcerned with Iran stoning women to death while participating in the UN Status of Women Commission.

Representative Sample: Today, I received the below update from Maria Rohaly concerning the continuing lack of feminist support for HR-1371, a bill which concerns Iran's participation on the UN Status of Women Commission-as they prepare for another stoning punishment to be meted out to a woman charged with adultery.

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