One of the issues that’s come up repeatedly in contemporary US politics is the idea that the 2nd Amendment conveys an individual’s right to obtain, possess, and openly carry firearms.
The realm of law and order is not unlike the fashion world in that over time, new trends emerge and fresh items of interest arise, while established trends can be played down or may fall out of favour entirely. Interpretation matters most, and that interpretation is generally subject to the linguistic evolution and societal attitudes of the period. In the case of the 2nd Amendment, the legislation has been furiously debated in a modern setting as to the merits of its grammatical structure and meaning, other historical precedents, and differences between the original and ratified versions.
The recent push for widespread ‘freedom’ enshrined in law as permitting individual gun ownership wasn’t always so. Up to the turn of the 21st century, it was widely accepted by many (even conservative Chief Justice Warren Berger) that an individual right to bear arms wasn’t a thing. Many conservatives at the time carried the same torch and stood in opposition to what they believed was a silly, if not fairly hazardous, idea.
Posted on2015 March 13|Comments Off on A Primer on Global Warming and Climate Change
Chances are you’ve heard some mention in the media or among government in recent years about the topics of global warming, extreme weather, or climate change. I won’t do scientists the indignity of considering the matter a ‘debate’ much less use this word, because it would imply we’re still at the stage of trying to see if the meter swings one way or the other on this important issue. No, much to the surprise of many, science has developed itself extensively and spoken in great certainty: there is no longer any debate, and global warming and climate change are both real and caused by humans.
So if there’s one post you peek at on the subject today, let it be this one.
Posted on2015 February 02|Comments Off on Understanding Electronics: The (Non)Magic of Free Energy
I figured I’d make a brief post to wet my readers’ feet in the vast pond of electronics engineering. Here’s a really interesting video about the subject of free energy, narrated by a specialist who actually works in and understands electronics, and is able to point out in fairly common terms why and how free-energy devices are not possible to create.
TL;DR — it’s not because there exists any set of special workarounds to our existing laws of physics, or that alternate laws of physics exist for well-known phenomena that are somehow waiting to be written. Rather, it’s almost universally the case that people, even well-meaning ones, tend to misinterpret units of measure, fail to properly conceptualize mathematical equations, and fail to incorporate numerous scientific procedures and principles in their work. To add fuel to the fire, most people who champion free energy devices generally choose to spend their time with those of the same mindset, an effect which in time multiplies the shaky deviations of comprehension and foundational studies, and further diminishes the capacity to be self-correcting.
Comments Off on Understanding Electronics: The (Non)Magic of Free Energy
Posted on2013 April 14|Comments Off on Anti-Vaccine Crusader Andrew Wakefield Marked by Science Community as Discredited, Fraudulent
So … I was reading FARK today when I came across this: the man cited as the initiator for much of the current climate of anti-vaccination fear has been called out as fraudulent and discredited by the British Medical Journal (see also: coverage via Seth Mnookin and NYT Magazine). Wakefield was the person who tried to claim that MMR vaccines cause autism — an unproven allegation that has unfortunately carried a disproportionate amount of weight in the minds of some parents.