Obama Ready To Quickly Reverse Bush Actions

Mouse embryonic stem cells with fluorescent ma...

Mouse embryonic stem cells

“Transition advisers to President-elect Barack Obama have compiled a list of about 200 Bush administration actions and executive orders that could be swiftly undone to reverse White House policies on climate change, stem cell research, reproductive rights and other issues, according to congressional Democrats, campaign aides and experts working with the transition team.A team of four dozen advisers, working for months in virtual solitude, set out to identify regulatory and policy changes Obama could implement soon after his inauguration.” (Huffington Post)

Oxford Researchers List Top 10 Most Annoying Phrases

Oxford University 2
‘Though maybe “you could care less,” the scholars in question keep track of linguistic mangling and overused buzzwords in a database called the Oxford University Corpus. The voluminous record keeps track of books, magazines, broadcast, online media and other sources, watching for new overused, tiresome phrases and retiring those that fade from use (or misuse).

The great hierarchy of verbal fatigue includes:

  1. At the end of the day
  2. Fairly unique
  3. I personally
  4. At this moment in time
  5. With all due respect
  6. Absolutely
  7. It’s a nightmare
  8. Shouldn’t of
  9. 24/7
  10. It’s not rocket science’ (Wired News)

Northern Lights captured in 3D for the first time

November Aurora

Until I actually saw the Northern Lights in the flesh, I had always wondered about their 3-dimensional structure, sensing that 2-d photos do not do them justice. Now, a team has made a 3-d film (the kind you watch with those red and green goggles) of “the largest thing on earth you can visualize in 3-d”, filming at -40F with two cameras twenty miles distant in Lapland.

View a video on the expedition, with some footage from the film, here. (New Scientist)


Palin Calls Critics Among McCain Aides ‘Jerks’

Presumptive Republi...
‘Ms. Palin spoke out upon her return to the governor’s office here, defending herself from a barrage of criticism that has been aimed at her from unnamed McCain aides ever since the McCain-Palin ticket was defeated Tuesday.

The McCain campaign aides complained about the $150,000 that the Republican National Committee had spent on Ms. Palin’s clothes, the way a Canadian comedian was able to embarrass the campaign by calling her and pretending to be the president of France, and the political ambitions she seemed to harbor beyond 2008.

By the end of the week, their complaints had escalated considerably, with Fox News quoting unnamed McCain campaign officials as saying that Ms. Palin had not known that Africa was a continent, not a country, and claiming that she did not know which countries were covered by the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Ms. Palin told reporters in Alaska that the anonymous criticism was “cowardly,” and that she had discussed the campaign’s position on Nafta at her debate prep sessions.

“I remember having a discussion with a couple of debate preppers,” she said. “So if it came from one of those debate preppers, you know, that’s curious. But having a discussion about Nafta — not, ‘Oh my goodness, I don’t know who is a part of Nafta.’ ”

“So, no, I think that if there are allegations based on questions or comments that I made in debate prep about Nafta, and about the continent versus the country when we talk about Africa there, then those were taken out of context,” Ms. Palin said. “And that’s cruel and it’s mean-spirited, it’s immature, it’s unprofessional, and those guys are jerks, if they came away with it taking things out of context and then tried to spread something on national news. It is not fair and not right.” ‘ (New York Times )

[Thank heavens they were wrong when they predicted that we were not going to have Sarah Palin to kick around anymore after the election. If she did not exist, The Onion would have had to invent her.]