Beijing, We Have Liftoff

Ted Rose: “The longstanding but chronically underfunded program is finally pressing ahead, fueled by revenue from trade zones like Shanghai and Hong Kong. China's motives are unclear - outside of bragging rights over galactic wannabes like India and North Korea.”

Well, the United States Air Force's expressed desire to control and dominate space might have something to do it.

Longing to be taller

"Longing to be taller" [no author?]

Anybody who's seen Gattaca (my favourite SF movie, because it dispenses with the special effects and tells a great story) knows what this is about. Surgery to make one taller is increasinly popular in China. Not as reprehensible as eye surgery to make Asian women's eyes less "Asian" (but definitely more painful!), it's still an example of the lengths Asian women feel they need to go to to be 'acceptable'. Memo to Asian women: you're beautiful just the way you are!

How Hamas controls Israel

William Saletan: “Sharon says Palestinian terrorists have been attacking Israel in order to bully him into offering concessions at the bargaining table. Accordingly, he has made the cessation of violence a prerequisite to political talks. By laying down that condition, Sharon thinks he's reasserting Israeli control of the chain of consequences. But the consequence to which he has committed himself—refusing to negotiate—helps the terrorists more than it hurts them. Sharon isn't controlling the terrorists. They're controlling him.”

Jam On It

"Jam On It" by Will Hermes

Easily my favourite rock journalist, Will Hermes does tend to ride DJ Shadow's jock. This is the third time he's made reference to Shadow in an article not about Shadow: the first in a review of Hive's Devious Minds (calling Hive the "DJ Shadow of drum'n'bass") and State of Bengal's Visual Audio, calling it their "Endtroducing....". Yeesh.

High IQ Gals

Maureen Dowd: “Kevin Johnson from Chicago: "A woman who has qualities that put me in awe is far more likely to make me think she is worth falling for."”

I know a woman like that.

This Train Runs on Time

"This Train Runs on Time" by Jared Mitchell

I've always had a latent interest in trains. I grew up 3 blocks away from the train tracks in my hometown, had train wallpaper when I was a lad, and absolutely loved the train trip while in China (despite the smelly people!).

Friendly Fire

Scott Shuger discusses the Pentagon's record on friendly fire. I was reminded of this article upon hearing the news that United States F-16s dropped at least one (maybe two) bombs on Canadian troops during a training exercize. This is big news here, because the “incident, [...] involving troops who had begun their Afghan deployment in January, caused the first Canadian deaths in an offensive combat operation since the 1950-53 Korean War.” [quote from the news story]

25 to 1 and No Nookie

Lisa Gabriele : “Each woman on The Bachelor was asked at one point, 'Why are you doing this?' One contestant said she'd tried bars and the Internet, then she saw the Bachelor show ad. Why not? What do I have to lose? she said, as though dignity was a self-replenishing resource. As though there was no other choice.”