Sunday Reader December 21, 2008  

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Zodiacal Light Over New Mexico

Orion Dawn Over Mount Nemrut

Pennsylvania Task Force Says NO to Video Game Legislation
There is good news out of Pennsylvania today, as the commonwealth will apparently not pursue video game legislation.

A working group assigned by the Pennsylvania legislature to study the video game violence issue has strongly recommended that no laws regarding video game content should be enacted.

LittleBigPlanet used to create 36-cell computer, game of life
"Some guys put together a 36-cell simulation of Conway's Game of Life inside a LittleBigPlanet level, and it's absolutely amazing," Nina wrote us. "If you actually go through and play the level, they provide you with all of the components—logic gates, their computer clock and edge detector, a multiplexer, etc—to build your own mechanical computer. "

Rule Shields Health Workers Who Withhold Care Based on Beliefs
The far-reaching regulation cuts off federal funding for any state or local government, hospital, health plan, clinic or other entity that does not accommodate doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other employees who refuse to participate in care they find ethically, morally or religiously objectionable. It was sought by conservative groups, abortion opponents and others to safeguard workers from being fired, disciplined or penalized in other ways.

Airborne agrees to pay $7M in multistate settlement
The maker of Airborne dietary supplements has agreed to pay $7 million to settle allegations by 32 states and the District of Columbia that it made false claims about the benefits of its products. While the company admitted no wrongdoing, under the settlement, Airborne Health Inc. will discontinue any claims about the "health benefit, performance, efficacy or safety" of its supplements in preventing and treating colds and other ailments.

Typo In Proposition 8 Defines Marriage As Between 'One Man And One Wolfman'
"The people of California made their voices heard today, and reaffirmed our age-old belief that the only union sanctioned in God's eyes is the union between a man and another man possessed by an ungodly lupine curse," state Sen. Tim McClintock said at a hastily organized rally celebrating passage of the new law.

If programming languages were religions...
Java would be Fundamentalist Christianity - it's theoretically based on C, but it voids so many of the old laws that it doesn't feel like the original at all. Instead, it adds its own set of rigid rules, which its followers believe to be far superior to the original. Not only are they certain that it's the best language in the world, but they're willing to burn those who disagree at the stake.

A Sun Pillar Over North Carolina

On Inerrancy
So, did God not want to communicate his message more clearly? Or did he want to, but lacked the ability to do so? Either option poses a serious challenge to belief in a benevolent, all-wise deity. Why would God even write a book - a single book, one whose origins lie in a long-ago time and a very different culture, one that is prone to mistranslation, misinterpretation and deliberate alteration? Why grant some people special access to his word, and convey the message in such a flawed and imprecise format? Why not just speak to all of us directly, impress his message on everyone's heart?

Why Life Originated (And Why it Continues)
In a recent study called “Why did life emerge?”, two scientists, son and father Arto Annila of the University of Helsinki and Erkki Annila of the Finnish Forest Research Institute, offer some insight into the general driving force of life’s origins in terms of thermodynamics. As they explain, all organisms are composed of molecules that assemble together via numerous chemical reactions. Just as heat flows from hot to cold, these molecules obey the universal tendency to diminish energy differences, so that the most likely chemical reactions are those in which energy flows “downhill” toward a stationary state, or chemical equilibrium.

Rom-coms 'spoil your love life'
"We now have some emerging evidence that suggests popular media play a role in perpetuating these ideas in people's minds.

"The problem is that while most of us know that the idea of a perfect relationship is unrealistic, some of us are still more influenced by media portrayals than we realise."

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