Gongol.com Archives: April 2009
Brian Gongol


April 28, 2009

Socialism Doesn't Work General Motors will kill off Pontiac and submit to government nationalization
They're going to wipe out 42% of their dealers and 89% of the firm will soon be owned by the UAW and the Federal government. It's a dark day for many reasons, especially because GM didn't have to go this way. Besides, it's going to be a sad loss for people who feel a real affection for the Pontiac brand. Brand loyalties can run exceptionally deep in a free society -- witness the people who choose to be interred in Cubs-themed crematoria. For General Motors to "restructure" in a way that makes it something less than a profitable public company is a real disappointment.

Health How hydrogen sulfide, usually poisonous, might save lives
It appears to be capable of putting mammals (including us) into a state of hibernation, which could in turn allow us to save lives that might otherwise be lost to traumatic accidents far from help

Socialism Doesn't Work New Catholic bishop in Hong Kong wants China to reverse official policy on Tiananmen Square
But he seems afraid to rock the boat too much, saying he won't protest but will only pray. The members of the Hong Kong University Student Union just voted overwhelmingly -- 93% -- in favor of a motion requesting that the Chinese government apologize for the killings. We are nearly 20 years removed from the event, but political freedom for China still appears to be some distance away.

Water News EPA plans a survey on emerging contaminants

Science and Technology Forget red-light cameras: Better road design can do more to protect travelers
A story in the Washington Post discusses how the "maze of roads" around the Pentagon tends to confuse drivers, but most especially drunk drivers. The net effect is that they become quite easy for the police to identify and capture. The effect, supposedly, is entirely unintentional. But it goes to show that the way in which a road system is designed can have a significant effect on the way in which those roads are used. And it further buttresses the point that red-light cameras are a lazy way of trying to deter collisions at intersections. We know quite well that there are ways to design intersections better in order to prevent collisions -- ranging from extending the duration of yellow light periods to replacing intersections altogether with roundabouts. But instead, some communities have installed red-light cameras and use them to conduct remote surveillance on drivers, which is creepy and liberty-eroding. Americans have a right not to be watched, literally or figuratively, by a government that can get the same job done (in this case, reducing traffic accidents) without watching them.

Health New research says the heart generates new cells throughout a person's lifetime
It was previously thought that we were born with all the heart cells we'd ever have

Broadcasting Podcast: Bicycle trails in Central Iowa
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Broadcasting Podcast: Snowblowers and other things
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