Thursday, December 29, 2005

Wave goodbye to traditional energy sources, Part Two

Last month I mentioned an article in Discover magazine about new technology that converts ocean waves into usable energy. At the time, the article wasn't up on the Discover website yet. But it is now, so here ya go:
Wave Energy: Can a mechanical snake that surfs the ocean squeeze enough watts from water?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

America the Great?

Many thanks to my friend who reads the New York Times and sent me this article about the miserable excuse for science education in this country. She sure knows how to get me steamed up :) I'll refrain from a soap box lecture and say just this: Students in other countries like China and Japan are learning to speak English as well as they speak their native language, and their families are strongly emphasizing success in education over sports and other extracurricular activities. Call it perpetuating the stereotype or call it striving for greatness. But someday soon, the U.S. will no longer be a competitive nation in fields of scientific research and discovery. Then, all we'll be left with is lamo celebrities and lots of tall buildings.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Nosmo King

If you recognize Nosmo King, you must have read the Ramona Quimby books when you were a kid (or last know, whatever). Nosmo King was a sign that Ramona, a young girl, put up in her house to encourage her father to quit smoking. She couldn't fit "No Smoking" onto one line, so she wrote it in two lines:

Anyhoo, finally, Chicagoans are getting a note from Ramona, courtesy of a smoking ban just passed by Chicago City Council. Unfortunately it gives freestanding bars and taverns until July 2008 to go smoke-free, which means we Chicagoans who actually care about our health and enjoy clean air must continue to forego patronizing establishments that allow smoking, which often means missing out on social events held by well-meaning friends who aren't as bothered by smoky bars. It's still beyond me why anyone feels they need to support smokers' rights. Unlike other behavior that some people may not approve of, smoking actually affects other people. I guess I assumed clean air was the status quo, which we need to protect. New York, Boston, and Los Angeles have all proved that the ban doesn't affect the city's economy and that plenty of people still go to bars and restaurants. Chicago should have more faith in its citizens.