Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bits and Pieces - August 27, 2009

A Jupiter-sized planet that orbits its sun in one earth day. This article actually does a pretty good job of describing scientific uncertainty, rather than mystifying it. There are some things that are not immediately explainable. That does not mean that the explanation is supernatural or that scientific laws need to be changed: there could be something wrong with the observations, something left out, or something not correctly accounted for. As the article says, it'll be figured out.

Those documents that Dick Cheney wanted declassified so that we'd all see that torturing really truly was a good idea? They don't show any such thing. Be surprised.

The trouble with not using the locals in an enterprise is that then you get blamed when things go wrong. I'd like to see more about the Sayan-Shushen dam disaster in Siberia in other media as well. Paul Goble sometimes emphasizes developments that are negative for the Russian government, but then again, my Estonian friends say that the breakup of the Soviet Union was no surprise to people who were there.

A good explanation of a phenomenon I have observed at work but never quite understood. A friend this morning called it fear-based management.

Jeff Lewis tweets that he doesn't believe this report that the Obama administration is willing to give up the antimissile installations in central Europe. I do.

The Pentagon is profiling reporters who are embedded, and using a contractor to do the dirty work. We might also ask whether the contractor has their own agenda in marking various reporters in various ways.

Um, pardon me, Reuters, but could we at least know which countries these "Western diplomats" are from? Looks like it's the usual talky crowd associated with the IAEA in Vienna, who usually don't know what they're talking about.

Nice timeline of US-Iran interactions on Iran's nuclear program.

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