And now back to SCIENCE!

Could there be a glimmer of hope for the sciences, now that the GOP’s backward rhetoric has cost them some seats? Three of the “Flat Earth Five” were weeded out of the House of Representatives in yesterday’s elections, while voters in California even approved a tax hike to bolster education funding.

Oklahoma’s still got the Crazy Caucus bad here. We’re beating the fundamentalist whack-jobs and creationists “intelligent design” freaks off with clubs here, and they just keep coming. There’s Kern and Shortey and Ritze and Breechen …  the list goes on and on. It’s a small pond full of brain-damaged frogs, and they just keep getting elected.

Word to the wise: there is such a thing as too much sunshine if you happen to run a liquor store in the town of Burnsville. Sunlight + clear vodka bottles = FIRE!!!

Say ta-ta to the old, workaday tube-and-wing aircraft of the past: the Boeing X-48 Blended Wing Body remote-piloted research aircraft made its 100th flight on October 30th.

Pay attention to PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoates), the biodegradable plastic made from air and bacteria.

Hurricane Sandy was a disaster for everyone, including the 10,000 genetically engineered mice that perished in the basement of the New York University Medical Center. Offers to help save decades of research have poured in from around the globe.

“Hey, Zach? Remember that bacterial fermentation process we used to play with? I think it could make diesel fuel”.

Will we ever see a working “Water Engine“? Writing in Popular Science, Steve Featherstone explores the current state of low-energy nuclear reaction (LENR) research and describes the frustration of trying to cut through inventor Andrea Rossi’s long-running strip-tease to make sense of claims about his E-Cat reactor. It is very hard to differentiate the archetypal paranoia of the lone inventor from the calculated ‘long con’ of a scam artist, but a lot of people would love to see Rossi cut the crap and submit to plausible scientific testing of his secret device.

Take a look at the Windstrument: will conical helicoids be the shape of wind turbines to come? It’s got visual pizzaz and promises to be more bird-safe than the “whirling blades of death” design.

Over at Hidden Experience, “Hanger 18 and Predictive Weirdness” takes a look at the secret UFO crash recovery myth and why 1980 was such a banner year for UFOs and the ancient astronaut mythos.  Just how did “Lance Link, Secret Chimp” get mixed up in all this, anyway?

That’s a wrap, now send in the ambulances! How Pancho Villa and U.S. studios turned the Mexican Revolution  into the world’s first media-directed war.


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