Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Random interesting articles 

Seems progress has not been arrested, despite efforts to the contrary. Scientists claim that hundreds of human genes (and thus us humans) are continuing to evolve:

The new study links genetic changes to major events in the history of our species.

“There have been a lot of recent changes—the advent of agriculture, shifts in diet, new habitats, climatic changes—over the past 10,000 years," said Jonathan Pritchard, a human geneticist at the University of Chicago who led the study.

Too bad this shift isn't happening quickly enough to make me taller.

A scientist (Rusi Taleyarkhan) is claiming to have successfully produced a 'cold fusion' reaction. Of course there are skeptics (bolstered by Rusi's inability to reproduce said reaction), but now that he is working out at Purdue in Indiana, I am sure he'll prove his detractors wrong. After all, Purdue is the bestest univeristy in the world! (Go Boilers!)(Wow. Such school spirit I have! I feel like I should be jangling keys at a football game or something). Back to the story. An exciting development in the world of energy production, if there is any validity to Rusi's claims (and if he can repeat his so-called successful experiment).

Pot. Drugs. Growing it, exporting/importing it and selling it. 'Bad people' being responsible for this and the downfall of our society. Um, yeah. In some parts of the world, there are few opportunities to make a living and survive as a part of society. Unfortunately, the best (only?) way for people to make any kind of living is to grow 'drugs'. For instance in Morocco:

The government of the North African kingdom says it intends to eradicate cannabis production by 2008, and the area used to grow the drug shrank by 10% in 2004, according to the International Narcotics Control Board.

But in the Rif, where two-thirds of farmers grow cannabis, people say more should be done to help them develop new sources of income.

Last week, about 3000 men, women and children held a protest march near the village of Boujdiane. "Yes to fight hashish, no to starvation," some shouted. "Where are the jobs? Where are the promises?"

Let down

Abdelillah Bakhoyti, whose cannabis plants in al-Kulla were cut down last July, says his community has been let down.

"We agreed to stop growing cannabis in exchange for a development project but for now they have given us nothing."

Fighting a way on drugs is groovy and all (and debatable), but what to do about these people? It's easy to get preachery against the ills of drugs and try and stop them at their source (in my opinion, the growers are not the source. If there is no demand, there will be no need of supply. So what is the true source?); but what about the people whose livelihood is being taken away and whose lives are being destroyed? Is getting rid of one problem (allegedly) worth causing another?

Iran. A thorn in many sides these days, being presidented by a man who is arguable a little rockerless. Bad bad bad Iran! BUT. I take a little umbrage with the hypocrisy shown by our elected leaders (I know this is hard to believe, politicians being hypocritical.). By all accounts (I think), the election in Iran was above board (as was the one that eleted Hamas, incidentally). However, from the mouth of our sometimes visible vice president:

He also said "America supports as well the democratic aspirations of the people of Iran" and the removal of what he called its current "fanatical regime."

They realized their democratic aspirations, didn't they? A fairly elected official, whom perhaps they now rue electing (sound familiar?). But it was done democratically. Just because the result isn't liked by the US (understandably) an attack based on democracy seems a bit hypocritical to me. We got what we wanted (theoretically), didn't we? (Apply the last few statements to Palestine as well).

On a much sadder note, it seems all the SPAM bs I get daily is not quite truthful:

"The average increase in length is 1.3 cm (0.5 inches) which isn't very much and the dissatisfaction rate was in excess of 70 percent," said Christopher.

He added that spam e-mails advertising penis enlargement surgery were inaccurate and gave men unrealistic expectations.

Guess I'd better cancel that appointment, eh?

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Name: Corey
Location: Portland, Oregon, United States

I'm on a journey with no destination. The path is constantly changing direction but there are always adventures to be had. "Never" and "always" have left my lexicon.

WWW http:/www.jimspeak.blogspot.com