Weather Politics

The lore I heard when I lived in New Mexico was that the reason Gore won the state in 2000 was that there was a snowstorm in the southern part of the state (which is more conservative.) In 2004 there was no snowstorm in the state, and the state went to Bush. If you could control the weather by fixing particular weather in different locations (weather that was not too far beyond the typical weather for the area), I wonder how many electoral votes could you swing?

Change We Believe In, But Tenure?

Turning down a tenured position at the University of Chicago Law School:

Soon after, the faculty saw an opening and made him its best offer yet: Tenure upon hiring. A handsome salary, more than the $60,000 he was making in the State Senate or the $60,000 he earned teaching part time. A job for Michelle Obama directing the legal clinic.
Your political career is dead, Daniel Fischel, then the dean, said he told Mr. Obama, gently. Mr. Obama turned the offer down. Two years later, he decided to run for the Senate. He canceled his course load and has not taught since.

File this one away in regards to (1) deans don’t always know what they are talking about and (2) turning down a tenured position has the potential of leading you to be one of the two leading candidates for the position of president of the United States.
You who are reading this, could you make a similar such decision?

Political Interpretations of Quantum Theory

Over at the Optimizer’s place, the Optimizer compares libertarians and those who believe in the many worlds interpretation of quantum theory. (Key Ron Paul apologists in three, two, one…) An amusing comparison. So if many worlders are the libertarians of interpretations of quantum theory, what political parties do the other interpretations of quantum theory fall under?
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Bowling and Taking Shots for Science

David Baltimore and Ahmed Zewail, both Nobel dudes, have an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about the presidential candidates choosing not to participate in a debate over science and technology policy:

All three candidates declined. Apparently the top contenders for our nation’s highest elective office have better things to do than explain to the public their views on securing America’s future.

Of course they have better things to do: bowling and taking shots and being under phantom sniper fire! Don’t these Nobel prize winners read Fafblog? Without bowling and shots, where will America’s competitiveness go? I say good science policy begins with a high bowling score and a few shots, don’t you agree?
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Let's Make Them Fight Each Other

Oh no: do the Christian creationists know that by taking down Darwin they might inadvertently aid Eastern religions? Witness: the Bhaktivedanta Institute Newsletter. Personally I want a grunge match between the Discovery Institute and the Bhaktivedanta Institute to see who can out pseudoscience each other. “No my psychogenetic fallacy definitely trumps your silly fallacy of division!”
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This American "Make Me Mad"

If you really really want to get yourself pissed off about the tyrannical despotic anti-democratic junta that current runs the United States, I highly recommend this week’s edition of This American Life (free in about a weeks time, or try here to find a local show time. Hint local shows elsewhere allow you to listen to it over the intertubes.) Dude, shows like that make we want to get all DoI on Bush and company.

Win Ben Stein Some Brains!

I always thought that I was special because I have, in my short life, been kicked into a night club. But now, comes word of an even more spectacular event: scienceblogs’ own PZ Myers was expelled from seeing the creationist propoganda film “Expelled!” Adding to the irony, noted biologist/athiest Richard Dawkins, who is famous enough to appear as a character on “Southpark” and who was PZ’s guest, was allowed to view the movie! Holy craptacular convergence of ironies, batman!
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If Only the ACLU Were Alice and Bob

There are days when I wish quantum cryptography was a mature, installed, technology. Today is one of those days. Why? You might think its because I’m a quantum obsessed physicist whose daily sustenance depends on the future of quantum information science. But no. Today I wish quantum cryptography were installed because today the Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the Bush administration’s domestic spying program;

The Supreme Court rejected a challenge Tuesday to the Bush administration’s domestic spying program.
The justices’ decision, issued without comment, is the latest setback to legal efforts to force disclosure of details of the warrantless wiretapping that began after the Sept. 11 attacks.
The American Civil Liberties Union wanted the court to allow a lawsuit by the group and individuals over the wiretapping program. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the suit, saying the plaintiffs could not prove their communications had been monitored

If only the ACLU’s clients had been using quantum cryptography, then they would know that their phone lines were being tapped, and they would have the record to prove it. Of course what the judges probably really meant was that the plaintiffs could not prove their communication had been monitored by the government’s domestic spying plan. Sadly, quantum cryptographers have yet to develop a method for identifying the name of the attacker when eavesdropping occurs on quantum key distribution.

Will the Presidential Candidates Debate Science?

The U.S. presidential candidates been invited to a debate on science. Will they come? I don’t know, but the thought of Mike Huckabee using biblical references in discussing science could lead to some very fun sentences. For example, if he wanted to get apocrypha-l, when talking about the bioethics of artificial wombs, he could bring up the Gospel of Thomas 15:

Jesus said, “When you see one who was not born of woman, fall on your faces and worship. That one is your Father.”

Of course, Mike Huckabee didn’t major in math, so I worry that he won’t attend for fear that the debate might test his calculating abilities (math phobia burns wide and deep.)