Here’s a collection of quick updates that don’t warrant their own posts, but which my readers might find interesting nonetheless.
1.) Scientists have confirmed the discovery of an “Earth-like planet.” I’d like to come out early in favor of colonization. Suggested names for the colony: New Earth, Terra Nova, or whatever “New Earth” would be in ancient Greek. Also: Awesomeopolis, Mattlantis, or just keep Kepler 22-b. That has kind of a nice ring to it.
2.) A very intelligent friend of mine has started a blog which deals with similar issues to this one. Titled “Think Like a Fox,” the blog started out pretty good and keeps getting better. I especially liked his most recent summary of why SOPA and a proposed provision for defense reauthorization are really terrible legislative ideas. (I happen to agree that they’re short-sighted changes which will ultimately be detrimental to the country.)
“Online piracy threatens the profit margins of millionaires and billionaires. Al Qaeda is a small group of ignorant men who want the world to return to the 14th century. The United States is the most powerful nation that has ever existed. Surely we can defeat these problems without sacrificing the values that made us that way.” -Privacy on Life Support in the US Congress
3.) Google Search now comes with a built-in graphing calculator. Just type in something like “graph x^2″ or “graph cos(pi*x), x” and play around with it. I feel like there’s probably a big overlap between my readers and the ≈.01% people in the country who will find this to be a tremendous time-saver.
4.) On a personal note, I’m finally considering getting one of those smartphones everyone’s always talking about. If anyone has any strong feelings on iPhone v Android v Blackberry, feel free to leave them in the comments (with a reason or two, if you don’t mind).