Wednesday, October 25, 2006

THINGS THAT MADE ME HAPPY TODAY

Scientists and Engineers for America have decided to campaign for particular candidates to bring notice to the fact that the Bush administration systematically ignore scientific evidence and analysis. Nearly 2500 people have signed up as members including two of Bill Clinton's former science advisers - John Gibbons and Neal Lane - and eight Nobel laureates.

Researchers have scanned the brains of seven obese people. The scans revealed that the same areas of a brain region called the hippocampus were activated in the obese people as in drug addicts craving their next fix. So another appetite-suppressing drug, MK-0557 has failed because it's not the stomach that wants to be filled, it's the brain. I could have told them that for a lot less money.

This is my favourite happy for today. In Reykjavik, they turned off the street lights and dimmed most households so that people in the city could star gaze. I love this idea for children and even if it's just for half an hour, think of how much they could learn. It would be easy to co-ordinate with a meteor shower, a satellite flyover or a particular arrangements of the planets. A much better idea than wasting money on fireworks that obscure the stars.

5 comments:

Ampersand Duck said...

Wow, what a civilised place! Much better than turning up all the lights so that spacetravellers can see us...

Andrew said...

I recall being on a houseboat on the Murray. I climbed onto the upper deck and looked up and the sky was ablaze with stars. I had forgotten my childhood and what the night sky looks like if you are not in an area swamped with lights. It was magical and dwarfing.

Renwick said...

I remember seeing something similar to Andrew in Port Douglas once when I was much younger.

As much as I would love to see it all the time, I also enjoy being in town a lot. I guess that it's something that I have rarely seen makes it more memorable ;-)

JahTeh said...

Duckie, if the Padawan is interested there is a marvellous site called the Southern SkyWatch, http://home.mira.net/~reynella/skywatch/ssky.htm It leads to other sites and one is really good. You type in your area and it tells you when the Space Station will go overhead.

The city lights do take a lot away. I remember going to a little country town and was astonished at how pitch dark it became when the sun went down but it was brilliant when the stars came out.

JahTeh said...

Renwick, I looked at that meme of yours and you've got to tell me what a "mercy flush" is. The idea I have is not nice.