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The Adventure of Links: Sept. 13, 2010

September 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Ed Yong of Not Exactly Rocket Science posts a weekly summary of interesting links. Since this is one of the posts I most look forward to reading, I thought I would start my own version.

Welcome to The Adventure of Links for Sept. 13 2010.

Health

The weaknesses of the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Health Check Program.

Doctors warn against homeopathic “vaccines” which may leave patients vulnerable to fatal diseases.

Yet another study which shows absolutely no association between thimerosal and autism.

Crap about electromagnetic hypersensitivity in the Winnipeg Free Press. Once again, they refuse to interview anyone who actually knows what they are talking about but instead opt for scare tactics to increase readership.

More alternative medicine propoganda from the Huffington Post.

Study suggests that when parents are more accepting of children’s sexual habits, it results in a reduction in teen pregnancy.

Astronomy

Large solar flare from September 8 caught in photos.

The ancient Greeks may have documented Halley’s comet back in 467 BC.

Special relativity could explain the origin of galactic magnetic fields.

Physics

“The Physics of Mud and Hair Gel”

The future of nuclear energy could rest on the use of Thorium for fuel. Thorium is theoretically more energy efficient and less likely to produce materials which could be used in weapons.

How breakfast cereal can help physicists explain the universe.

Australian scientists developing a real life tractor beam. It can only move tiny particles about a meter, but its a start.

Researchers at MIT announce they are creating self-repairing solar cells.

Stephen Hawking said some stuff in the past week which had nothing to do with god, but is much more important to our development as a species.

Fun/Funny

Playboy magazine for the blind.

Ways to reduce the amount of cow farts which contribute to global warming.

The first ever Klingon Opera. Yup, Klingon Opera.

Sony Playstation turns 15 this year. Let us celebrate all the wasted hours I’ve spent on mine.

Vancouver using a 3D image of a girl chasing a ball on the road to get drivers to slow down.

You thought we had put this one to rest, but no. “Galileo Was Wrong: The Church Was Right”, the first annual Catholic Conference on Geocentrism is being held in November. I don’t think I’ll go, but I might get myself a mug.

Leave Galileo’s Remains Alone

June 9, 2010 Leave a comment

Hasn’t he suffered enough?

After fighting the Catholic Church (and losing), only to die in 1642 and have Catholic authorities refuse him the right to be buried on consecrated ground (i.e. in a Basilica), our poor friend Galileo Galilei now has two of his fingers and one tooth ON DISPLAY at a museum in the Italy.

In 1737, after 95 years of his body being in a storage room, Galileo was (finally!) moved to the Basilica of Florence’s Santa Croce.

But it would seem his followers decided it would be a great idea to remove two of the fingers from his right hand (how did they decide which?) and one of his teeth before finally laying him to rest in the Basilica. I’m not sure I would want to keep a piece of one of my dead friends, but that’s just me.

These remains were passed down to family members until 1905, when all traces of them were lost.

But last year, an unaware collector purchased a wooden case at a museum auction which had a bust of Galileo on it. Imagine this lover of antiquity’s surprise when he opened the case and found a glass vase with two fingers and a tooth inside!

The remains were later identified to be those of none other than Galileo Galilei.

These remains are currently on display at the newly re-named Galileo Museum in Florence, Italy.

I say: leave Galileo alone! Putting his remains on display is macabre and in poor taste. This pioneering scientist deserves a respectful and honorable resting place and burial, not to have his fingers and teeth put under glass as some sort of science exhibit.

I feel that this is wholly different from viewing other remains such as mummies. We have much to learn from mummified remains about the culture, practices, and religion of ancient Egypt. Conversely, we have written records and many other means of learning about the 1600-1700s without placing Galileo’s remains on display. They’re presence in the museum serves absolutely no purpose.