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I share your objections to her, and your sense of repellence, Gordon, believe me, I just try to look past it to focus on the core stuff.

Good post, and I agree with most you say. Not being American, and thus not needing to make a choice, I still can say that there was a time I really liked McCain - before he became a candidate. I was even inclined to see his rightwing posturing as pure election tactics. But with Palin on the ticket one cannot really trust that he is lying any more, as someone said about Obama and Nafta.

However I don't really agree with your description below:
"rising oil costs [...] are as much the result of speculation trading by unscrupulous investors as anything else. At least McCain also supports cracking down on these sorts of abuses"
That is simply not true. Oil speculators do not buy and store real oil and do not drive the current increase in price. The wow to crack down on speculation is therefore just another populist cry that will not do much to lower the price. This was explained pedagogically in a recent article in The Economist. The same speculation is e.g. letting the airlines use oil today at a lower price than the spot price which is helping them through spells of higher price. The McCain (and Obama) anti-speculation promises is actually just another point of anti-science. In this case basic economic science.

Great comment I saw on a blog:

"Sarah Palin - Cheney with lipstick."

If you thought Obama's church was scary, take a look at Palin
talking in her church and at the Masters Commission she mentions: v=QG1vPYbRB7k v=xJnhRhJW35o

However, I guess I find all religious beliefs scary :)

Sorry, here are the links:

OKay, enough with the Palin-bashing, folks. Yes, she's appalling. But the actual presidential CANDIDATE is McCain. And you're just playing into the GOP Playbook's manipulative hands by obsessing over the VP pick.

Yes, Ma'am. I am not even American and look at how worked-up I am...;)

Thanks for understanding, Gordon. :) It's easy to get carried away when feelings start running high, is all...

Thank you for this post. It is stellar and outlines the reasons why I hope that people are listening to what is being said and think about how it will impact our future.

I don't know Mcain's position on stem cell research. Is there a danger that he will ban all stem cell research in the US? Or is he just opposed to taxpayer funded embryonic stem cell research like Dubya? Have important discoveries been made from stem cells that have not come from embryos or are embryos the key to succesful stem cell research?

McCain's "official" position on stem cell research is that he opposes it. Like everything else, he skimps on specifics, and I wouldn't hold my breath expecting him to be any more forthcoming between now and the election.

Thanks for providing the link to Mcain's website, here's what is says about stem cell research. It is revealing.

"As president, John McCain will strongly support funding for promising research programs, including amniotic fluid and adult stem cell research and other types of scientific study that do not involve the use of human embryos."

"Where federal funds are used for stem cell research, Senator McCain believes clear lines should be drawn that reflect a refusal to sacrifice moral values and ethical principles for the sake of scientific progress, and that any such research should be subject to strict federal guidelines."

Great post, linked.


I'll be glad when this election is over; however, it will be back to business as usual. Don't say I didn't tell you so. Nonetheless, this blog is very thought provoking and interesting.

Any word on the Top 100 Popular Science Books list?

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    Physics Cocktails

    • Heavy G
      The perfect pick-me-up when gravity gets you down.
      2 oz Tequila
      2 oz Triple sec
      2 oz Rose's sweetened lime juice
      7-Up or Sprite
      Mix tequila, triple sec and lime juice in a shaker and pour into a margarita glass. (Salted rim and ice are optional.) Top off with 7-Up/Sprite and let the weight of the world lift off your shoulders.
    • Listening to the Drums of Feynman
      The perfect nightcap after a long day struggling with QED equations.
      1 oz dark rum
      1/2 oz light rum
      1 oz Tia Maria
      2 oz light cream
      Crushed ice
      1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
      In a shaker half-filled with ice, combine the dark and light rum, Tia Maria, and cream. Shake well. Strain into an old fashioned glass almost filled with crushed ice. Dust with the nutmeg, and serve. Bongos optional.
    • Combustible Edison
      Electrify your friends with amazing pyrotechnics!
      2 oz brandy
      1 oz Campari
      1 oz fresh lemon juice
      Combine Campari and lemon juice in shaker filled with cracked ice. Shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Heat brandy in chafing dish, then ignite and pour into glass. Cocktail Go BOOM! Plus, Fire = Pretty!
    • Hiroshima Bomber
      Dr. Strangelove's drink of choice.
      3/4 Triple sec
      1/4 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
      2-3 drops Grenadine
      Fill shot glass 3/4 with Triple Sec. Layer Bailey's on top. Drop Grenadine in center of shot; it should billow up like a mushroom cloud. Remember to "duck and cover."
    • Mad Scientist
      Any mad scientist will tell you that flames make drinking more fun. What good is science if no one gets hurt?
      1 oz Midori melon liqueur
      1-1/2 oz sour mix
      1 splash soda water
      151 proof rum
      Mix melon liqueur, sour mix and soda water with ice in shaker. Shake and strain into martini glass. Top with rum and ignite. Try to take over the world.
    • Laser Beam
      Warning: may result in amplified stimulated emission.
      1 oz Southern Comfort
      1/2 oz Amaretto
      1/2 oz sloe gin
      1/2 oz vodka
      1/2 oz Triple sec
      7 oz orange juice
      Combine all liquor in a full glass of ice. Shake well. Garnish with orange and cherry. Serve to attractive target of choice.
    • Quantum Theory
      Guaranteed to collapse your wave function:
      3/4 oz Rum
      1/2 oz Strega
      1/4 oz Grand Marnier
      2 oz Pineapple juice
      Fill with Sweet and sour
      Pour rum, strega and Grand Marnier into a collins glass. Add pineapple and fill with sweet and sour. Sip until all the day's super-positioned states disappear.
    • The Black Hole
      So called because after one of these, you have already passed the event horizon of inebriation.
      1 oz. Kahlua
      1 oz. vodka
      .5 oz. Cointreau or Triple Sec
      .5 oz. dark rum
      .5 oz. Amaretto
      Pour into an old-fashioned glass over (scant) ice. Stir gently. Watch time slow.