This Weeks Reader May 18, 2008  

Sunday, May 18, 2008


BioWare listens, SecuROM changed for Mass Effect
After a rather hefty backlash from fans, BioWare has confirmed that the upcoming PC version of their hit RPG Mass Effect will feature an different version of SecuROM anti-piracy technology than first announced. Originally, BioWare revealed that the software would require users to validate their game every 10 days, meaning that an internet connection would be required to play the single-player-only game. The game will now feature a one-time only authentication process instead.

Productive time-wasting
Well, I’ve got news for you. There’s a new puzzle game that you can play for hours on end and know that while you were spending hours not doing your homework/running errands/spending quality time with your s.o./writing a blog entry, you maybe did contribute to scientific knowledge.

It’s called FoldIt. The basic idea is that you get real protein structures and try to find ways of folding them up. This has, up until now, been done mostly by computers, but I think it is brilliant to try and tap into people’s problem solving abilities for this. Also, while you play, your computer is networked with the site, and the computers learn from your techniques.

'Wicked' American Decisions
One aspect of this oft-forgotten war is that it was quite divisive in its day. Whigs, particularly those in the north, opposed the war. Yet southern Democrats, smitten with the notion of Manifest Destiny and our perceived God given right to own "sea to shining sea," enthusiastically supported it. Such disagreements should not be glossed over. Abraham Lincoln, then a Congressman, remained forcefully skeptical about Mexico's alleged instigation of armed hostilities. Others, such as former President John Quincy Adams, felt the whole affair was simply an effort to expand slavery. Of the many opponents it was perhaps President Ulysses S. Grant, a young
army officer in the Mexican-American War

National News
California Supreme Court Strikes Bans on Same-Sex Marriage
Marriage is a "basic civil right" guaranteed to all Californians, "whether gay or heterosexual, and to same-sex couples as well as to opposite-sex couples," Chief Justice Ronald M. George wrote in a 121-page ruling. He repeatedly said the ruling was based on the California court's first-in-the-nation decision in 1948 to end the state's prohibition on interracial marriage, nearly 20 years before the U.S. Supreme Court took the same action.

Moon Meets Mercury


Do Apocalyptic End Times Myths Hurt Humanity?
I first came across the ‘use it up’ theory when James Watt was Secretary of the Interior under Ronald Reagan. During one of his speeches, he stated that (and this is paraphrasing) “Christ will return soon and He will be unhappy if we have not used all of the natural resources placed here for humanity.” Which explains the continued starvation of federal agencies which preserve (NPS) and the starvation of federal agencies which monitor and regulate the use of America’s land.

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