FW: WHAT'S NEW Friday, January 14, 2005
- here is a good email list from the president of the American Physical
From: What's New whatsnew@...
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2005 13:18:15 -0500
Subject: WHAT'S NEW Friday, January 14, 2005
WHAT'S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 14 Dec 05 Washington, DC
1. EARTHQUACKS: THE DEEPER MEANING OF THE TSUNAMI IS EXAMINED.
Religions are busy explaining how we should view a disaster that
claimed more than 150,000 innocent lives. "Innocent"? Buddhists
explained that seemingly innocent victims could be paying for some
really bad stuff they did in previous lives. A leading Moslem
cleric in Southern California says it was, "a test from God to see
how human beings respond." Columnist and pretentious theologian
William Safire also saw the tsunami as a test, and compared it to
God's test of Job. Sure Job is faithful, Satan had scoffed, God
made him rich and powerful. Wagering that Job would remain
faithful, God lets Satan take it all away: Job's sheep are stolen,
his servants slain and a great wind kills his children. Whereupon
Job falls to the ground and worships God, "the Lord gave and the
Lord hath taken away." So Job passes the test. Never mind his
sons and daughters who died, or his servants who were murdered,
it's all about Job. Well, thank God for physics. The tsunami was
caused by the release of elastic energy in a tectonic earthquake.
2. MISSILE DEFENSE: A "MINOR SOFTWARE GLITCH" CAUSED THE FAILURE.
Testing is the theme of WN this week. The last interceptor never
got out the silo http://www.aps.org/WN/WN04/wn121704.cfm, but the
head of the Missile Defense Agency said the system "would work" if
nothing went wrong. That sounds right to me. They'll try again
in February, but there seems to be no urgency. Defense Secretary
Rumsfeld delayed a decision to start the system, citing absence of
any long-range missile threat. The threat seemed far more imminent
when the administration was seeking congressional approval for the
missile defense system http://www.aps.org/WN/WN03/wn032103.cfm.
3. CREATIONISM: COURT ORDERS WARNING STICKERS REMOVED IMMEDIATELY.
The constitutionality of a creationist message got a court test.
You will recall that in Cobb County, GA, stickers were placed on
high school biology texts warning that evolution is "a theory, not
a fact" http://www.aps.org/WN/WN04/wn111204.cfm. Yesterday, in
ordering the stickers removed, a federal judge said "the stickers
convey an impermissible message of endorsement."
4. ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: IOM REPORT CALLS FOR TOUGHER STANDARDS.
For a decade, WN has argued that the 1994 Dietary Supplement and
Health Education Act is one of the worst pieces of legislation
ever enacted http://www.aps.org/WN/WN98/wn091898.cfm . This week,
an Institute of Medicine report, Complementary and Alternative
Medicine in the United States, called for major revision of DSHEA.
It went much further, recommending that the same principles and
standards of evidence apply to all medical treatments whether
labeled as alternative or conventional.
THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND.
Opinions are the author's and not necessarily shared by the
University of Maryland, but they should be.
Archives of What's New can be found at http://www.aps.org/WN
You are currently subscribed to whatsnew as: eric@...
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-whatsnew-30948G@...
To subscribe, send a blank e-mail to: <join-whatsnew@...>
mail2web - Check your email from the web at