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June 23, 2012

In 1991, an Iowa State professor suggested blowing up the moon to save the Earth

Just imagine the end of cyclones in Bangladesh,...
Just imagine the end of cyclones in Bangladesh, droughts in Ethiopia, sweltering days in Manhattan—a planet where the forecast is always California balmy! The solution to climatic catastrophes is simple, [Iowa Slate math professor Alexander Abian, 68] asserts: Nuke the moon. “You make a big hole by deep drilling, and you put there atomic explosive,” Abian (who is of Armenian descent) says in English unpolished by 41 years in America. “And you detonate it—by remote control from Earth.” The professor claims that blasting the moon would release the gravitational tug that causes our planet to tilt and thus stabilize the earth’s temperature and wind patterns. “I am raising the petulant finger of defiance to the solar organization for the first time in 5 billion years,” the professor declares. “Those critics who say ‘Dismiss Abian’s ideas’ are very close to those who dismissed Galileo.

June 12, 2012

Matt Taibbi: The Truth About (nonexistent) Voter Fraud

The folks at Rolling Stone made a whole guide to debunking Republican myths of voter fraud, which is their go-to excuse for stealing the fundamental right to vote from millions of Americans. The 'Voter Fraud' Myth Debunked Pictures - The Truth About Voter Fraud | Rolling Stone
As we've reported at Rolling Stone, over the past few years Republicans in more than a dozen states have been knocking themselves out passing laws that make it harder for people to vote. It hasn't escaped notice that the voters most affected by these measures – from voter ID laws to restrictions on early voting – are Democrats. But no matter: Republicans deny they're waging a partisan "war on voting" – they say the new laws are needed to combat rampant voter fraud. That's the line laid down most recently by Florida Gov. Rick Scott to justify purging his state's voter rolls of alleged noncitizens. "We need to have fair elections," he said last week. "When you go out to vote, you want to make sure that the other individuals that are voting have a right to vote." But here's the thing: Not only is voter fraud not rampant – it's virtually nonexistent. The iron-clad word on the subject comes from the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, whose 2007 report, 'The Truth About Voter Fraud,' sorts through thousands of allegations going back to the 1990s in the most in-depth voter fraud study ever undertaken. The bottom line, confirmed by all subsequent research: "Usually, only a tiny portion of the claimed illegality is substantiated — and most of the remainder is either nothing more than speculation or has been conclusively debunked." In fact, "one is more likely to be struck by lightning than to commit voter fraud."

June 04, 2012

This Modern World: How a Secret Memo Justifies a Kill List

Daily Kos: Schoolhouse Rock, the sequel

May 30, 2012

Terrorists firebomb New Orleans health clinic

This follows two other incidents like this in Georgia recently. New Orleans Women's Clinic Becomes Latest Target Of Arson Attacks | ThinkProgress
A New Orleans women’s health organization was destroyed last week by an unknown arsonist, becoming the latest target of attacks on women’s health clinics in the south. The organization, Women With A Vision, was likely singled out because it offers AIDS prevention help, HIV testing, and substance abuse assistance to sex workers, transgender women, poor women, and women of color. The clinic also does community outreach and education on those issues. Like two incidents in Georgia last week, no one was injured in the fire, but the clinic lost a good share of its resources. The fire burned female and male condoms, HIV education posters, and suits donated for women to wear to job interviews.

May 23, 2012

You'd think a Silicon Valley executive wouldn't need to resort to stealing Legos from Target to make money

Silicon Valley tech exec accused of Lego thefts
A Silicon Valley tech executive is scheduled to appear in court on charges he put fake bar codes on Lego sets to buy the toys at steeply discounted prices. Santa Clara County prosecutors Monday charged Thomas Langenbach of San Carlos with four counts of burglary in connection with the alleged thefts at multiple Target stores. He is set to be arraigned on Tuesday. Authorities say Langenbach covered over the original bar codes with his own bar code stickers to get a cheaper price. They say he made thousands of dollars selling the pilfered sets of colorful toy bricks on eBay.