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FW: WHAT'S NEW Friday, January 14, 2005

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  • eric@phact.org
    here is a good email list from the president of the American Physical Society ... From: What s New whatsnew@bobpark.org Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2005 13:18:15 -0500
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 14, 2005
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      here is a good email list from the president of the American Physical
      Society

      Original Message:
      -----------------
      From: What's New whatsnew@...
      Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2005 13:18:15 -0500
      To: eric@...
      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.
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