Rest in pieces

I just read the best obit of Jerry Falwell that I could imagine, by Christopher Hitchens. A taste:

"The discovery of the carcass of Jerry Falwell on the floor of an obscure office in Virginia has almost zero significance, except perhaps for two categories of the species labeled "credulous idiot." The first such category consists of those who expected Falwell (and themselves) to be bodily raptured out of the biosphere and assumed into the heavens, leaving pilotless planes and driverless trucks and taxis to crash with their innocent victims as collateral damage. This group is so stupid and uncultured that it may perhaps be forgiven. It is so far "left behind" that almost its only pleasure is to gloat at the idea of others being abandoned in the same condition."
It only gets better from there.

For a complete(ish) listing of Hitchens articles, look here, it's some good readin'.


Save us Plankton!

On the theme of climate whatnot, I recently came accross an interesting article in Wired about a new method of modeling phytoplankton which should have quite an impact on the long-term climage change predictions. I.e., make those predictions less of a wild-ass guess. Faster please.

Which reminds me,Plankton farming strikes me as a reasonable way to take care of that CO2 we're pumping out, keeping this in mind of course:

"Some Silicon Valley technocrats are betting that it just might. In an effort to ameliorate the effects of global warming, several groups are working on ventures to grow vast floating fields of plankton intended to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and carry it to the depths of the ocean. It is an idea, debated by experts for years, that still sounds like science fiction — and some scholars think that is where it belongs.

But even though many questions remain unanswered, the first commercial project is scheduled to get under way this month when the WeatherBird II, a 115-foot research vessel, heads out from its dock in Florida to the Galápagos and the South Pacific...

The idea is similar to planting forests full of carbon-inhaling trees, but in desolate stretches of ocean. “This is organic gardening, not rocket science,” said Russ George, the chief executive of Planktos, the company behind the WeatherBird II project. “Can it possibly be as easy as we say it is? We’re about to find out.”

For Mr. George, this is not just science and environmentalism but business, possibly big business. Around the world, new treaties and regulations are forcing corporations to look for ways to offset their carbon emissions, and Planktos and its competitors may be able to charge millions of dollars for their services."