For those of you so woefully uncultured and ignorant that you don't understand this cartoon, Kerbal Space Program is a computer game - not one I play, myself, but one I've seen enough to find this funny. :)
Well, all this is interesting to me, anyway, and that's what matters here. The Internet is a terrible thing for someone like me, who finds almost everything interesting.
|Southbridge - click image to embiggen|
|North of Southbridge|
On Tuesday, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly (more than anyone the inspiration for "Stephen Colbert") tore into Colbert, branding him "one of the biggest mouthpieces for the progressive movement, ... playing exclusively to other believers."
And, just hours after Colbert was named the new "Late Show" host, conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh was growling that "CBS has just declared war on the heartland of America."
"No longer is comedy going to be a covert assault on traditional American values (and) conservatives," he went on. "Now it's just wide out in the open."
That may be a premature assessment. O'Reilly may place Colbert in the ranks of "ideological fanatics." But ideology has never been at home on major late-night talk shows, which traditionally shoot for reassurance and diversion. What do such constraints mean for Colbert, and for viewers who dote on what he does as "Stephen Colbert"?
"I need to be clear on this point: Are you telling me that Satan is literally working to confound your plans to release this game? You're saying that the actual Devil is scheming against you?"
I'm sitting in a nondescript office in an unremarkable neighborhood in Bakersfield, CA, interviewing three men about their plans for a Biblical game based on the life of Abraham.
"I believe that, 100 percent," replies Richard Gaeta, a co-founder of Phoenix Interactive. He argues that since the launch of the Kickstarter for Bible Chronicles: The Call of Abraham, trouble has come into all their lives.
"It's very tangible," adds his business partner Martin Bertram. "From projects falling through and people that were lined up to help us make this a success falling through. Lots of factors raining down on us like fire and brimstone."
Nobody is winking or joking or pulling my leg. There is no irony here. They are absolutely serious.
This is really the same issue which the Supreme Court is deciding in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. At stake is quite literally the ability of corporations or the individuals that work for them to legally discriminate for "personal" reasons. (We can call them religious reasons, but why bother? One need only cite a religion -- any old religion -- to qualify.) We are talking about 70 years of civil rights law being swept away in one fell swoop. If one bank employee can refuse to provide service for an atheist, why shouldn't a pharmacist be able to refuse to sell heart medicine to a Muslim?
|Starting map of Southbridge|
|Northern part of Southbridge|
|Southern Southbridge and surrounding roads|
|Current kill count (my hotel room is in the background)|
Physicists have found a long-predicted twist in light from the big bang that represents the first image of ripples in the universe called gravitational waves, researchers announced today. The finding is direct proof of the theory of inflation, the idea that the universe expanded extremely quickly in the first fraction of a nanosecond after it was born. What’s more, the signal is coming through much more strongly than expected, ruling out a large class of inflation models and potentially pointing the way toward new theories of physics, experts say.
“This is huge,” says Marc Kamionkowski, professor of physics and astronomy at Johns Hopkins University, who was not involved in the discovery but who predicted back in 1997 how these gravitational wave imprints could be found. “It’s not every day that you wake up and find out something completely new about the early universe. To me this is as Nobel Prize–worthy as it gets.” ...
Such a groundbreaking finding requires confirmation from other experiments to be truly believed, physicists say. Nevertheless, the result has won praise from many leaders in the field.
Much of the extreme weather that wreaked havoc in Asia, Europe and the Pacific region last year can be blamed on human-induced climate change, the U.N. weather agency says.
The World Meteorological Organization's annual assessment Monday said 2013 was the sixth-warmest year on record. Thirteen of the 14 warmest years have occurred in the 21st century.
A rise in sea levels is leading to increasing damage from storm surges and coastal flooding, as demonstrated by Typhoon Haiyan, the agency's Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said. The typhoon in November killed at least 6,100 people and caused $13 billion in damage to the Philippines and Vietnam.
Australia, meanwhile, had its hottest year on record.
"Many of the extreme events of 2013 were consistent with what we would expect as a result of human-induced climate change," Jarraud said.
He also cited other costly weather disasters such as $22 billion damage from central European flooding in June, $10 billion in damage from Typhoon Fitow in China and Japan, and a $10 billion drought in much of China.
Only a few places - including the central U.S. - were cooler than normal last year, but 2013 had no El Nino, the warming of the central Pacific that happens once every few years and changes rain and temperature patterns around the world.
Jarraud spoke as top climate scientists and representatives from about 100 governments with the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change met in Japan to complete their latest report on global warming's impact on hunger, disease, drought, flooding, refugees and war.
Speaking in Geneva, Jarraud drew special attention to studies and climate modeling examining Australia's recent heat waves, saying the high temperatures there would have been virtually impossible without the emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the burning of coal, oil and gas.
"It is not possible to reproduce these heat waves in the models if you don't take into account human influence," he said.