Pollyanna and Titan have decided to pay you a visit again, this time on Pollyanna's site for the sake of equality, under the nom de plume of P_T. This is best represented by an image of an inverted teepee..
Pollyanna, Titan and YandA, the amanuensis and imaginary playmates, would like to wish a Happy Purim
and a Happy Easter
to those who celebrate them. They also congratulate those born in the Year of the Monkey
which began on February 8, 2016 (called the Lunar Chinese New Year or Chinese Spring Festival) and will last to January 27, 2017. They also note that Daylight Saving Time begins in Israel next Friday and would like to remind everyone to move his/her clock forward,
well almost everyone.
CHARITYThe Charity Corner has found a home on the Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action site. Pollyanna hopes that you will visit there, take the actions and make the donations. We also invite you to go there for the sake of indigenous peoples and enslaved persons.
Harper Lee April 28, 1926-February 19, 2016
Writer Harper Lee was born on April 28, 1926, in Monroeville, Alabama. In 1959, she finished the manuscript for her Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller To Kill a Mockingbird.
|President George W. Bush awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Harper Lee during a ceremony on November 5, 2007, in the East Room of the White House. "'To Kill a Mockingbird' has influenced the character of our country for the better,” said President Bush. “It's been a gift to the entire world. As a model of good writing and humane sensibility, this book will be read and studied forever.” (Photo: Eric Draper, via The White House)|
SCIENCE, FRAUD AND TRAGEDYPollyanna is linking you to a New Yorker article about a scientific breakthrough that fizzled and came down to allegations of fraud and a suicide. A group of scientists in Japan and the US came up with the idea of STAP, for stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency. The idea was so simple as to be heretical: ordinary cells could be turned into stem cells by subjecting them to profound stress.
Few cells could survive the abuse, but those which did emerged transformed, apparently able to make any cell in the body. Alas, it turned out to be wrong and terrible things happened. It would have provided an infinite source of stem cells free of the ethical issues involved today in harvesting of embryonic cells. There is a message here for all scientists. We have also posted it to Facebook.
THE RANTPollyanna and Titan always have a rant. This time they are outraged over a few things including the brutal murder of Berta Cáceres, leader and co-founder of the Council of Indigenous Peoples of Honduras (COPINH), who was shot dead in her home on 3 March in the town of La Esperanza, in the province of Intibuc?, west Honduras.
Her murder sends a chilling message to all human rights defenders in Honduras. If the perpetrators are not found and brought to justice, the Honduran government will have blood on its hands.
We also wish to call your attention to the widespread trafficking in human beings that has become a plague on humanity. Please lend your support to Stop the Traffik who are fighting the slave trade worldwide.
US POLITICSPollyanna et al. are for Bernie, but of course will line up with whomever the party nominates. Otherwise...
GRAVITATIONAL WAVES OBSERVED!!For the first time ever, a gravitational wave has been observed. A team of global researchers announced the finding on Thursday, February 11. The discovery comes 100 years after Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves in his theory of general relativity. This is a most exciting finding.
THE BIGGIE IS COMING.Many people think that the San Andreas fault will be the source of the next major earthquake in the Pacific Northwest. Wrong, the Cascadia subduction zone will provide something much worse. The New Yorker gives us a detailed description of this calamity waiting to happen.
WHIG HISTORY OF SCIENCEYou might find the essay on this topic by the Nobel Laureate physicist Steven Weinberg in the New York Review of Books interesting as well as the comment and exchange that followed. Whig history is a form of liberalism, putting its faith in the power of human reason to reshape society for the better, regardless of past history and tradition. It proposes the inevitable progress of mankind.
|‘Scenography of the Copernican World System’; engraving from Andreas Cellarius’s Harmonia macrocosmica, 1660|
In this context, P_T tell you of something that would be funny if it were not so tragic. It is hard to believe, but a town in the U.S., Woodland, North Carolina, has just blocked construction of a solar farm, in part due to fears it would drain the Sun’s energy, Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald reports. By a vote of 3-1, council members approved the rejection of the planned rezoning on the grounds of concerns that had been raised by the public. For instance, Woodland resident Jane Mann, a retired science teacher, feared that vegetation in the area would suffer through a lack of photosynthesis, an energy-making process that requires sunlight. Her anecdotal evidence comes in the form of dead plants she has observed around solar panels. Disappointingly, she is not alone in her beliefs: another resident also said that the farm would suck up the Sun’s energy. Obviously science education leaves much to be desired, Lord help us!
BOOK REVIEWThe Irish-language writer Máirtín Ó Cadhain published a novel in 1950 entitled “Cré na Cille” (“Churchyard Clay”). It is considered one of the great masterpieces of Irish language literature, but languished without an English translation for nearly seventy years, mainly because no one dared to take on the task lest its place in the canon could be damaged. Now we have two translations, The first one, published under the title “The Dirty Dust,” appeared last March; the second one, more literally titled “Graveyard Clay,” is out this month. These two translations—different from one another in ways large and small—lay to rest the fable of the “perfect” translation. The New Yorker reviews both and a review of "The Dirty Dust" is in the Guardian. It is a novel in which all the characters are dead. They are buried in a graveyard in Connemara and continue with venom the disputes that sustained them in their previous lives.
|‘Ó Cadhain achieves a perfect synthesis of style and subject’ … a graveyard in Ireland. Photograph: Design Pics/Gareth McCormack/Getty Images/Perspectives|
What IF?What percentage of the Sun's heat (per day) does the population of Earth eat in calories per year? What changes could be made to our diets for the amount of calories to equal the energy of the Sun?
—James Mitchell The answer is interesting as usual.
SIDE EFFECTSAnyone who has gone through any form of therapy for nasty diseases in which the
the side effects are not much better than the disease will appreciate this.