Thursday, August 04, 2005

LOST IN SPACE

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By Elaine Meinel Supkis

This reminds me more and more about breaking down in Death Valley. I had this happen more than once, you know. One time, all the water from the radiator of my Chevvy truck drained out literally out in the middle of nowhere. So I built a fire and waited for anyone to show up.

Hours later, a hunter came, with a mule deer in tow. He drove off and got me a new radiator hose and water while I cut up the deer and cooked it on the fire. It was quite dark when he returned. We ate well and I got home safely.

Well, fires don't burn in space, no oxygen, and you certainly don't want to start one in the space station!

But it looks like our shuttle is stuck in space.
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From the BBC:
Nasa scientists are trying to determine whether the US space shuttle Discovery will need more repairs before being given the all clear to return to Earth.
On Wednesday an astronaut carried out a pioneering spacewalk to the orbiter's underside to remove protruding material threatening the heatshield's integrity.

But engineers now fear the thermal blanket near the cockpit is damaged and needs repairs to stop it tearing off.

It is the first mission since Columbia overheated and broke up on re-entry.
Maybe we should have sent Han Solo and Wookie on this mission. They spent most of their time doing repairs. Then again, we don't want Darth Vader in space, do we? Not that he isn't here, on this planet, right now.

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GOLDFINGER

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By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Interesting science news today. From Live Science:
Finger Length Predicts Aggression in Men

The research, done at the University of Alberta and announced Wednesday, found a connection between the length of the male index finger relative to the ring finger and the tendency to be aggressive.

No such connection was found in women.

Scientists have known for more than a century that the finger-length ratio differs between men and women. Recently, scientists found a connection between finger lengths and the amount of testosterone that a fetus was exposed to in the womb: the shorter the index finger relative to the ring finger, the higher the amount of prenatal testosterone.
The minute I read this, I ran off to my Adobe Photoshop to magnify a picture of Bush's hands.

Sure enough, as I remembered from playing around with his image for so long, his fingers are very short and virtally all the same length.
Other studies have shown that culture and upbringing affect tendencies toward violence. Exposure to violent television has also been linked to violent behavior later in life. Hurd says the new study supports other research that suggests biology plays a role.

"More than anything, I think the findings reinforce and underline that a large part of our personalities and our traits are determined while we're still in the womb," Hurd said. The connection was found only with physically aggressive behavior, not with verbal aggression or other forms of hostility.
I guess, if I were a fetus in Barbara Bush's womb, I would be freaking out, too.

We know of Bush's psychotic record, his joy in blowing up frogs, for example. The fact that when he talks about death, he suddenly becomes rather animated and excited. He love to talk tough and execute people. He is also a total coward, very fearful of death, himself.

In other words, a classic psychopathic bully.

Which brings up a related story: From Live Science again:
Masculinity Challenged, Men Prefer War and SUVs
Men whose masculinity is challenged become more inclined to support war or buy an SUV, a new study finds.

Their attitudes against gays change, too.

Cornell University researcher Robb Willer used a survey to sample undergraduates. Participants were randomly assigned feedback that indicated their responses were either masculine of feminine.

The women had no discernable reaction to either type of feedback in a follow-up survey.
So, if we don't tip toe past some people, they might get mad and go off and buy a Hummer and take steroids? And "support war"? Well, evidently, according to recruiting problems we are having today, obviously, this support is mighty thin if not nearly nonexistent at this point, is it?

So much for manly men. Maybe it is time for everyone to be girlie men like Schwarzenegger likes to characterize people.

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