Brian’s Links 16 April 2012: Can You Find a Theme?

“Riding the Booster.” This video is simply amazing – the solid rocket booster goes up and it comes back down again. I must say, I got a bit dizzy after booster separation. But worth the ride!

Benedict XVI has been dubbed “The Green Pope” for his environmental concern. I like it, and not just because my last name is Green. Here’s a report from the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on Climate Change.

Ever wondered if your brain was messing with your ability to judge and reason correctly? Well, it is: here is a list of cognitive biases. And the bias I address in some of my research, teleological bias, isn’t even on this immense list. (Teleological bias is the tendency to infer purposes where there are none, e.g., the lightning striking your dog really was a random accident, not because you named your dog Zeus.)

The thought experiment of “ethical autocorrect.”

So, all your traceable purchases are being traced and compiled in myriad computers.  The easy way to stop store-centered ones is to pay cash (like a criminal) and never use those store “clubs.” But the internet is tracking you too! Here are some more sophisticated responses for the internet. And if you tell your Facebook friends to warn them, it just gives the trackers more info on you!

The Nobel Peace Prize committee is under investigation for straying from the prize’s original purpose…

Contagious twitching. A very strange case.

Muggers just need a nice dinner and some conversation.

The case of the Millionaire Metaphysician. For more info see

The Guerrilla Grafters, surreptitiously turning non-fruiting city trees into fruiting ones. I like it.

Is it wrong to father 400 children through sperm donation? (And if not, then where is the cutoff? Is there one?) Because of sperm banks, some guys are “fathering” (in a biological sense only) an immense number of children.  This is not insignificant; this is the human gene pool being altered here, not to mention people’s lives.

English Muslim baroness warns Christians to stand up for their religion.

And how to prove the absurdity of the Supreme Court case “Citizens United”? Colbert is on it. Because Mitt Romney is a serial killer. Corporation are people. Bain Capital repeatedly bought and broke up corporations, killing them. Therefore Romney’s a serial killer. I love absurdity. This link to the Colbert Report will get you the video in case the embedded video below has failed. (The embed is a mirror copy of the original (removed for some kind of YouTube terms violation) and likely won’t be alive for long.) This is a few months old, but still just as pertinent.

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