“Neotame, a nonnutritive sweetener said to be 7,000 to 13,000 times sweeter than sugar, has been approved for marketing as an additive in candies, soft drinks and some other products, the Food and Drug Administration ( news – web sites) announced Friday…
FDA officials said it has “negligible if any calories,” but it is unknown if it will meet the agency’s technical requirements to be labeled, as is aspartame, was having zero calories.” Yahoo! News
Light turns into glowing liquid: ‘Light can be turned into a glowing stream of liquid that splits into droplets and splatters off surfaces just like water. The researchers who’ve worked out how to do this say “liquid light” would be the ideal lifeblood for optical computing, where chips send light around optical “circuits” to process data.’ New Scientist
A kinder, gentler militia?: “In the aftermath of Sept. 11, fringe militia organizations are recasting themselves as neighborhood watch groups. But old ways die hard.” Salon
Readers of FmH may recall I was very interested in the reactions of the paramilitary Right to the 9-11 events. Early coverage focused almost exclusively on the impact on recruitment.
Myers as Moon?: “Austin Powers star Mike Myers is in talks to star in a biopic about legendary Who drummer Keith Moon.
Myers and Who frontman Roger Daltrey have discussed plans for a forthcoming movie. The comic actor says he hopes it will come off.
Notorious hellraiser Moon died of an drug overdose in 1978 at the age of 32.” This is London
China embarrassed as Falun Gong hijacks satellite: “Embarrassed Chinese officials last night called on the international community for support in condemning recent hijackings by the Falun Gong movement of one of the China’s main television and radio satellites.” The Age
Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid by Robert J. Sternberg, reviewed:
Only a few questions can be called basic to the human condition — such as “What can we eat?” or “Who created us?” — and lots of very smart people have been working on them for millennia. The “eating” thing, for instance, has been minutely parsed by agriculture, economics and the culinary arts (among other fields), while the question of origins has given us religion and several branches of the hard sciences. But there’s at least one question — as basic as any other in its topical relevance and its grounding in the ancient — that human inquiry has only recently begun seriously to address. It was asked in caves, by people clad in mastodon-hide shifts, and chances are it crossed your mind this very day. “How,” it goes, “can people be so stupid?” And who knows the answer, really? I don’t — do you? Salon
‘The trial begins of a mixed race US man and his partner accused of plotting to blow up Jewish and black landmarks to ignite “racial holy war”.’
“Maharishi said that with $1 billion he could train 40,000 expert meditators, or “Vedic Pandits”, who would generate enough good vibes to save the world. His press office said $85 million toward that goal had already been raised.” The Times of India
“A car firm has made a trailer for a film which doesn’t really exist.
The trailer directed by Michael Mann and starring Benicio Del Toro is supposedly for a movie called Lucky Star.
But it is actually part of an advertising campaign for a new Mercedes-Benz range of SL-Class sports cars.” Ananova
“Terrorists are planning a series of spectacular attacks on American, British and Israeli targets to coincide with the anniversary of the destruction of the World Trade Centre on 11 September last year.
Intelligence agencies in the UK, southern Asia and the Middle East are detecting an increased volume of communications between suspected al-Qaeda cells as the organisation, led by the fugitive Saudi-born dissident Osama bin Laden, accelerates efforts to pull off a major operation in the days around the anniversary of the New York and Washington attacks.” Guardian UK
Globalization Has Helped Poor, Study Says: “Far from creating poverty as critics claim, rapid globalization of the world economy has sliced the proportion of abject poor across the planet, according to a controversial new study released on Monday.
It says that freer commerce, epitomized by the cutting of tariffs and the lifting of trade barriers, has boosted economic growth and lifted the incomes of rich and poor alike.” Reuters This may miss the point of the anti-globalization movement, which is only partly about the material costs to the world’s poor of the spread of Western-multinational-dominated capitalism. How about the spiritual impoverishment of the growth of homogeneous consumerism and the growing global reach of corporations to rape the environment and the biosphere? It also seems absurd to dismiss the relevance of evidence that the gap between the world’s richest and poorest is growing by suggesting that it is ‘only’ Africa that lags behind. Blaming the victim: “Whether the disastrous African performance is due to insufficient globalization on the continent or whether Africa’s weak governance, low education levels and fragmented civil society put the opportunities of globalization out of reach is almost impossible to tell,”says the report.
Quebec forest fires blanket eastern United States with smoke, apparently as far south as Washington DC. Yahoo News
Here in Boston, I haven’t yet noticed.
Al Qaeda Figure Hidden by U.K. Intelligence. Abu Qatada is described by some as “the spiritual leader and possible puppet master of al Qaeda’s European networks” This is interesting; the British fear arresting or deporting him for fear of terrorist reprisals, so British intelligence confines him and his family at a safe house out of the ken of official government channels. He loses contact with his network and is effectively immobilized with little risk to Britain … at least until Time magazine broke the story of this subterfuge, I guess. Reuters
“Could a modern evolutionary algorithm and a huge input samplediscover a better (keyboard) arrangement?” The result ends up looking remarkably like Dvorak. [via Robot Wisdom]
SpamAssassin gets raves from users. Now its developers are apparently working on a Windows product based on the SpamAssassin engine, they say.
Tom Cruise says his children will be raised far from the States. ‘ “I think the U.S. is terrifying and it saddens me,” he told the British paper the Daily Express. “You only have to look at the state of affairs in America.” ‘ FOXNews Others who have linked to this story have accused Cruise of hypocrisy, noting how terrifying they find Scientology, of which Cruise is a devotee, to be. I’ll refrain; I’m not sure we know enough about his childrearing practices to determine if his participation in the sect is more of a threat to them than raising them in the US would be.
Challenging the World Wide Web’s fundamental premise of linking, a Danish court ordered an Internet news service to stop linking to Web sites of Danish newspapers.
Copenhagen’s lower bailiff’s court ruled Friday that Newsbooster.com was in direct competition with the newspapers and that the links it provided to specific news articles damaged the value of the newspapers’ advertisements.Washington Post
The Danish Newspaper Publishers’ Association brought the suit on behalf of its twenty constituent newspapers, links to all of which were removed by Newsbooster when the ruling was handed down. Here, for your surfing pleasure, is the trade organization’s page of links to the involved newspapers.
Dispute arises over Ted Williams’ remains. His son wants his body cryogenically preserved and Alcor Life Extension has taken possession of his remains. Others, led by his estranged daughter, want to respect his wish to be cremated. She suggests her half-brother’s motive may be to sell the baseball great’s DNA, or cloning rights, at some time in the future. “I will rescue my father’s body,” she vows. Salon
“Scientists have kept the secret to strong bones bottled up for years. Now, a new study has raised the bar on the list of nutrients that could have benefits. …(T)he good news is pouring out — beer builds bones.”
Yahoo! News OTOH:
Drinking Too Much Water Can Kill You: Report: “A new review of three deaths of US military recruits highlights the dangers of drinking too much water. Yahoo! News