Archive for August 10th, 2011

Take that damned right turn on red!

| August 10, 2011 | 10 Replies

Right turns on red have been legal in my state (Missouri) for many years. Could someone please . . . PLEASE . . . tell me why so many people are so hesitant to take that right turn on red, even when it is perfectly safe to do so, and even when they will sit for along time at the light if they fail to turn right on red?

I took the attached photo while waiting for several cars to turn right on red. The front car never made that turn, and therefore all of us sat there. I honked, but it did no good. When the light turned green, all of these cars turned right.

I witness this reluctance all the time. What is the deal? Are they afraid? Ignorant of the law? Obstinate? Sleeping?

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Mars Rover Opportunity is still knocking

| August 10, 2011 | 2 Replies
Mars Rover Opportunity is still knocking

As reported by The Independent, the Mars rover called Opportunity is still up and running (unlike its companion rover, Spirit, which stopped sending signals last year). And there is still a lot to explore, including a huge crater at which Opportunity has just arrived. This is an incredible story and a laudable accomplishment for the many scientists who have worked behind the scenes.

At least, it’s a laudable story for those of us who still appreciate first-rate science. This inspiring story of the Mars rovers makes it all the more frustrating that every year the U.S. spends as much money air conditional soldiers’ tents in Iraq and Afghanistan ($20 B), as it spends every year for the entire budget of NASA.

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Michelle Bachmann’s crusade against sustainability

| August 10, 2011 | 12 Replies
Michelle Bachmann’s crusade against sustainability

In “First They Came for the Lightbulbs,” Tim Murphy of Mother Jones explores Michelle Bachmann’s war against sustainability. Bachmann has described the enemy as follows:

“This is their agenda—I know it’s hard to believe, it’s hard to fathom, but this is ‘Mission Accomplished’ for them,” she said of congressional Democrats. “They want Americans to take transit and move to the inner cities. They want Americans to move to the urban core, live in tenements, [and] take light rail to their government jobs. That’s their vision for America.”

Murphy explains that the Republican fears about “sustainability” have mushroomed into something even much larger. Under the environmentalists’ plans, people would be:

instructed to live in “hobbit homes” in designated “human habitation zones” (two terms embraced by tea party activists). Public transportation would be the only kind of transportation, and governments would force contraception on their citizens to control the population level. A human life would be considered no more significant than, say, that of a manatee. “Sustainability,” the idea at the heart of the agreement, became a gateway to dystopia.

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