Archive for the ‘Science’ Category
I guess we should be happy that they didn’t come after the guy with torches and pitchforks:
In fairness. though. the post on Slashdot is a little sensationalistic (yeah, big surprise). According to the original article firefighters were called to this guy’s home for an unrelated fire. They saw a bunch of chemicals, some of which may not have been stored properly, and were understandably concerned that there might be something bad going on.
That said, his chemicals should be returned. And they shouldn’t be allowed to invoke vague zoning requirements to shut the guy down, either. That would make sense for an industrial operation, but I think it’s an abuse of power to use them to shut down home labs. There’s no zoning requirement for intellectual curiosity.
As a film photographer this sort of precident worries me. There’s nothing particularly dangerous in the darkroom chemicals used for photography, and the quantities are tiny. They’re no more dangerous than bug spray or household cleansers, and if you don’t drink them they’re perfectly safe. But photographers who do their own wet printing, alternative processes, or who mix their own developers from scratch (not too difficult, there are only a few basic ingredients) might have enough bottles and vials around to scare the Chemicals Are Evil brigade. We don’t want to see harmless home darkrooms busted up like illegal moonshine stills.
Uh oh. If they don’t have it, WHO DOES? (CUE DRAMATIC MUSIC)
Rand Simberg, my favorite blogger for things space and science related, points out the flaws in counting on an “Apollo Program for energy” as a serious solution.
But my favorite is when I hear people call for a “Manhattan Project for energy”. We already had one of those about 65 years ago, and it found a cheap, clean, nearly limitless source of power. We called it the “Manhattan Project“.
Despite excitement over the discovery that space is all crazy-looking, a number of legislators have threatened to cut funding for NASA’s kaleidoscopic program. An outspoken critic of the agency, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) said she hopes NASA scientists don’t just use the kaleidoscope a few times and then lose interest and never touch it again, like they did with the Brookhaven Neutrino Spirograph, Fermilab’s Particle Slingshot, and the Very Large Slip ‘n Slide Array in New Mexico.