snippets

8<Education is about as important as an issue gets, if not quite so pressing as poverty or disease, and science education is, for obvious reasons, my thing. For this reason, and as part of an ongoing program of becoming more involved in the various communities (geographic, scientific, etc.) to which I belong, I’ve applied to be a judge at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Besides, it’s gonna be fun.
8<(via Language Hat) Ever wonder what was up with the odd names for those new superheavy elements? William Drenttel explains that they’re placeholders, just the atomic numbers rendered in Latin, for use until their existence is confirmed and someone comes up with a real name.
8<(via Rebecca Blood) Washington State Supreme Court Justice Faith Ireland won her second national powerlifting championship last weekend. The 130-pound judge squat lifted 198 pounds, bench pressed 133 pounds and deadlifted 253 pounds. Oh yeah — she’s sixty-one. Makes me feel kinda, eh, flabby.
8<(via Leuschke) This is a great short story.
8<Over at Language Log, John McWhorter is engaged in some utterly fascinating cross-disciplinary detective work. It’s a bit complex to compress, so just go read it. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.
8<(Joi Ito) Eisbrecher‘s self-titled debut album is being released with two blank CD-ROMs, because “We are of the opinion that the music buyers are criminalized enough and have been made responsible for the wretched state in the music industry. We are giving them the chance to make 2 legal copies for private use with ‘official blanks’. It can’t always be that the end users have to take the blame for something that international corporations have arranged with their artist-burning methods.” Kudos.
8<(via Slashdot) Stephen Wolfram’s much-hyped book A New Kind Of Science is available free online. I still won’t understand it, but at least I won’t waste fifty bucks on being reminded how dumb I am.
8< Eliot takes a smack at that talentless idiot Lileks so I don’t have to.