Florida: Shoot First

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“This image obtained from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence shows a poster which the Washington-based gun control group says it will use to ‘educate’ Florida tourists and potential Florida tourists that effective 01 October 2005.” (Yahoo! News)

From the website:

“On October 1, 2005, Florida becomes a more dangerous place. That’s when the Shoot First Law goes into effect, giving the people of Florida the right to use deadly force as a first resort when they feel threatened, even in a public place. But the Shoot First doctrine isn’t just staying in Florida — it’s about to become a national disgrace.”


New York Times reviewer writes: “It probably isn’t fair to Joss Whedon’s Serenity to say that this unassuming science-fiction adventure is superior in almost every respect to George Lucas’s aggressively more ambitious Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. But who cares about fair when there is fun to be had? Scene for scene, Serenity is more engaging and certainly better written and acted than any of Mr. Lucas’s recent screen entertainments. Mr. Whedon isn’t aiming to conquer the pop-culture universe with a branded mythology; he just wants us to hitch a ride to a galaxy far, far away and have a good time. The journey is the message, not him.”

That Famous Equation and You

“In the century since, E = mc² has become the most recognized icon of the modern scientific era. Yet for all its symbolic worth, the equation’s intimate presence in everyday life goes largely unnoticed. There is nothing you can do, not a move you can make, not a thought you can have, that doesn’t tap directly into E = mc². Einstein’s equation is constantly at work, providing an unseen hand that shapes the world into its familiar form. It’s an equation that tells of matter, energy and a remarkable bridge between them.” — Brian Greene, Columbia University mathematician and physicist (New York Times op-ed)

Liars’ brains make fibbing come naturally

“The brains of pathological liars have structural abnormalities that could make fibbing come naturally.

“Some people have an edge up on others in their ability to tell lies,” says Adrian Raine, a psychologist at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. “They are better wired for the complex computations involved in sophisticated lies.”

He found that pathological liars have on average more white matter in their prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain that is active during lying, and less grey matter than people who are not serial fibbers. White matter enables quick, complex thinking while grey matter mediates inhibitions.” (New Scientist)

If liars have more white matter (not clear if it is cause or effect), do honest people succumb more often to the various neurological diseases that involve the CNS’ white matter? It seems to me, thinking back,. that the patients I have known with multiple sclerosis were all really good people. Someone should do the research…

A Con by Any Other Name…

“With the indictment of Tom DeLay there can no longer be any doubt that with the Bush regime we are observing not a variation on politics but chronically criminal and corrupt behavior parading as ideology. This is not a movement but a mob and a disservice as much to conservatives as to progressives and moderates. The whole purpose of the Bush machine is to line its own pockets, increase its own power, and suppress any who would complain about it. For the media to treat what is happening as just another political discussion merely makes it a tool of the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on the American public. It is time the press learned to distinguish clearly between a con and a concept. – Sam Smith” (The Progressive Review)