27 April 2008
It's true that our murder rate is higher than the UK's - 4 per 100,000 people (3.6 using guns) vs. the UK's 1 per 100,000. Hey that's 4 times the UK rate, it's 400% higher. That's what you'd see in the headlines, but look at the numbers 1/100,000 vs. 4/100,000. That's not much real difference, certainly not compared to the burglary rates.
Guns are dangerous - no question about it. And tragic accidents happen with guns all too often. And they always make the headlines.
Unfortunately, it's also true that there are bad people in the world. Guns provide a way for 'regular' people to defend themselves and their loved ones regardless of age or physical condition. They are equalizers. Criminals in the US have to consider the real possibility that anyone they might decide to rob may have a gun.
23 April 2008
And I know Prof. Reynolds is keen on using non-food biofuels like switch grass - whatever that is - which at least has the advantage of not taking grain out of our food supply. But I just don't see ethanol as a viable replacement. I think going electric makes more sense. I thought his advocacy to build more nucular plants for plug in cars was a better idea. If the French can manage to not screw up nuclear then we ought to have a fighting chance.
Global warming would increase agricultural output, but global cooling will decrease it.
Millions will starve if we do nothing to prepare for it (such as planning changes in agriculture to compensate), and millions more will die from cold-related diseases.
I don't really like the sound of any of that. We need to boost our carbon dioxide output immediately.
The bleak truth is that, under normal conditions, most of North America and Europe are buried under about 1.5km of ice. This bitterly frigid climate is interrupted occasionally by brief warm interglacials, typically lasting less than 10,000 years.
The interglacial we have enjoyed throughout recorded human history, called the Holocene, began 11,000 years ago, so the ice is overdue. We also know that glaciation can occur quickly: the required decline in global temperature is about 12C and it can happen in 20 years.
The next descent into an ice age is inevitable but may not happen for another 1000 years. On the other hand, it must be noted that the cooling in 2007 was even faster than in typical glacial transitions. If it continued for 20 years, the temperature would be 14C cooler in 2027.
22 April 2008
21 April 2008
I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We've created life in our own image.I guess I still have a little more faith in Man and I don't think he's evil. I'm a little sad that Hawking apparently does.
- Stephen Hawking
17 April 2008
02 April 2008
Really, it does sound good, I just don't think my boss will go for it. It's fine for world leaders and self-employed composers. Who's going to tell them they're 'wasting time' or 'not getting enough done'? Seriously.