- Do you know what Twitter is? It is a social networking and microblogging service that allows its users to send and read other users' updates (otherwise known as tweets or twits), which are text based posts of up to 140 characters in length. It is becoming a major source of news. For example, the first news of the plane landing in the Hudson River came from a passenger sending tweets. Today there was a story with the suggested headline: "Loose Twits Sink Shifts". You should read the original story, reported in successive twits, but here is the basic summary. A Virginia state senator was about to switch parties, which would shift control of the Senate. But it was all behind closed doors until it became public knowledge due to someone's tweets, which caused the whole deal to fall apart. I love the headline.
- Today President Obama announced his choice for "Drug Czar". Why did this make me angry? First, it was a guy, and I'm getting tired of all these posts going to men. Secondly, the guy is a big city police chief and military veteran. This means Obama is going to continue the "war on drugs" and to treat drug abuse as a crime. We've been doing this for years, and it simply doesn't work. Drug abuse is a health problem - not a criminal one - and until our leaders realize this, we'll never make any progress.
- Do you believe in evolution? That depends on your level of education, according to a recent Gallup poll, conducted in honor of Darwin's 200th birthday today. 21% of those with a high school education believe in evolution and 27% do not. The rest (52%) had no opinion - obviously not taught to think. 74% of those with a post graduate degree do and only 11% do not. Those with some college or a college degree fall in between. Whew, I'm sure glad you need a post graduate degree to be a doctor, because I certainly wouldn't want a doctor operating on me who didn't understand that evolution is the basis of all science.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Tidbits from the News
Here are three stories I read today - the first made me laugh, the second made me angry, and the third was just interesting.