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Cold and Truth

January 8, 2008

I’ve been sick today, but did crawl out of bed in time to watch the first installment of NOVA’s 2-part special on the pursuit of “Absolute Zero”.  The first part was some nifty historical stuff about Boyle and Faraday and the New England ice industry, and Birdseye and Carrier – I liked it but sense the really cool stuff (if you’ll pardon the expression) lies ahead in the second installment.  That would be the part where the properties of matter at extremely cold temperatures open up new possibilities in computing, energy, transportation, and physics.  Part 2 is coming up next Tuesday, 15 January ‘08. Mark your calendar!

“Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
- Mark Twain, a Biography”

Les and ***Dave ably dismantle HR888, one of the stupider congressional proclamations to come along in a while (and that’s goin’ some!) It’s one of those “The US is a Christian Nation” things and I wouldn’t care except that when Congress decides Historical Truth it has a way of sneaking into places it has no business being. 

Paul over at Cafe Philos dissects the idea the Truth is a consumer commodity in the marketplace of ideas – itself a phrase we should perhaps begin to suspect.  And while he isn’t addressing HR888 directly, he certainly explains how it is that we get to just decide what’s true for our maximum comfort and convenience. 

I’d love to say more, but Les, Dave, and Paul wrote three great articles and I’m just well enough to crawl back into bed.  G’nite, everybody.

Update: next morning, Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub turns the historian’s laser beam onto HR888 in Randy Forbes, you get an “F” in history — I don’t care if you are a Congressman

Categories: Science & Technology
  1. January 9, 2008 at 07:24 | #1

    I hope you feel better soon!

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