Water on the Moon

You’ve no doubt seen the news that there is “water” on the moon.
If you have read or seen more than the nightly news, then you know, of course, that the phenomenon isn’t really as susbtantial as reports might lead you to believe. Outgassing of hydroxyl ions is exciting because its a geological/astrophysical process that we never, ever, expected to exist before! But its not like Armstrong could have dug a well and gotten liquid water out of the deal.
Still, the existence of this stuff could make a lunar base a much easier prospect, down the line.

The evolution of Tim Pawlenty

It has been fascinating, in a “I’m stuck in a car with this guy” way to watch the evolution of the outward political beliefs of Tim Pawlenty, our Minnesota Governor.
Once upon a time, he cast himself as a Republican moderate, a Republican anyone in Minnesota could and did vote for.
Now, as his political ambitions turn toward 1600 Pennyslvania avenue, that has changed.
First, was his unilateral “unallotment” method of budget balancing by simply underfunding or not funding hundreds of programs in Minnesota
Second, there was his flirtation with tenthers,
Now, he is walking back his previous moderate stand on climate change.
In 2007, he used his time as chair of the National Governor’s Association to suggest ways to improve, develop and advance clean energy. The effort was meant to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil, but Pawlenty also didn’t deny that it was an attempt to clean up the environment.
[…]
Pawlenty was a vocal advocate of creating a cap and trade system to curb greenhouse gas emissions. In 2008, he and Janet Napolitano, then Arizona’s Democratic Governor, recorded a radio ad urging Congress to address climate change.
[…]
Pawlenty has changed. Now, he uses climate change as a punch line.
In June, Pawlenty wrote a letter to Minnesota’s Congressional delegation criticizing proposed cap and trade legislation in the U.S. House. He also came out against the Midwest Governor’s Climate Change initiative — an effort he helped launch.

I don’t know what is in Pawlenty’s heart, if he’s changed his views or not. But its clear his political ambitions have caused him to evolve into a far more right-leaning candidate for higher office.

20th Issue of Prim Perfect now out

The 20th issue of Prim Perfect magazine, the online magazine devoted to Second Life is now out. And as usual, I have a small article in it too (under my byline Jvstin Tomorrow). This issue, we tackle a set of sims which represent New England!
http://primperfectblog.wordpress.com/2009/09/20/spend-fall-in-new-england-with-issue-20-of-prim-perfect/

Raptorex

You’ve no doubt seen the news about the T-Rex ancestor found…
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8259902.stm
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/18/science/18dinosaur.html?_r=1&hp
http://scienceblogs.com/notrocketscience/2009/09/raptorex_tiny_king_of_thieves_shows_how_tyrannosaurus_body_p.php
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112925703
Raptorex kriegsteini is 1/100th the size of T-Rex. Of course, given the size of T-rex, this means that Raptorex, at 9 feet tall, weighed about as much as an adult human!
Even stranger, this ancestor has the same “jaws on legs” body plan that T-Rex has: relatively useless arms, oversized skull and teeth. The fact that this body plan “scaled up” so massively suggests that it is indeed a recipe for Mesozoic carnivore success!
It also makes me think that this nonsense that “T-Rex was just a scavenger” is patent nonsense. I can’t possibly see the evolutionary advantage to scavengers scaling up like this, and if Raptorex was a carnivore, why did the larger descendants change over to being obligate scavengers?