Gongol.com Archives: September 2010
Brian Gongol

September 3, 2010

Threats and Hazards Censorship just isn't a good idea, period
Officials are trying to keep bad news off the minds of the 33 miners trapped in Chile, but even though it's well-intentioned, it's a bad policy. They're going to be down there for at least several more weeks -- if not a few months. If you received nothing but syrupy, happy news in that length of time, wouldn't you begin to believe that people were deliberately keeping things from you? And wouldn't that paranoia be worse than having a degree of normalcy in life -- even if that normalcy involves occasional bad news? After all, they're trapped in a mine -- it's not like they won't have a bit of perspective on how important (or not) Tiger Woods's divorce really is. The Iranian government is using a similar chain of reasoning for censoring news about the political opposition there, saying it's bad for the public to hear about those people. It doesn't take forever for people to realize they're being fed a line of nonsense, so why pretend like it's for their own good?

Science and Technology Stephen Hawking thinks gravity initiated the Big Bang
People are trying to spin this as a religious conversion on Hawking's part. The real story is that Hawking is pretty confident that we may have actually cracked the code that explains how the process of the initiation of everything we know came about. People are welcome to adopt whatever explanation for their personal beliefs might be, but it's truly exciting to think that we may be as close as Hawking apparently thinks to having a real, evidentiary basis for drawing the conclusions we do.

Iowa Iowa should not delay on installing more median barriers
Tensed-cable barriers running down the middle of expressways save lives, period. We know that they work, and we know that there are some stretches of road where head-on collisions are unusually common. Of all the investments we could make in infrastructure, adding some of these barriers to high-frequency accident locations should be toward the top.

Humor and Good News Does Chinese food leave people hungry shortly after eating?
It's certainly a widely-accepted legend, but is it true? And if so, why? This might be one for which science has no firm answer, but there is at least a little bit of evidence in the form of satiety indices, which suggest that some of the major components of Chinese food tend not to satisfy hunger as well as some major components of Western food.

Aviation News Boeing is running behind on delviering its new 787
It's already years behind schedule, and the longer it takes, the more time Airbus (makers of the ridiculous A380) has to woo their customers.

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