"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

Science is best when discussed: leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Something in the Air 

Since September 2001, American travelers have been subjected to ever-increasingly ridiculous and ineffective 'security measures.' The most recent set of rules, which comprise TSA's War on Moisture, bans passengers from carrying any liquids or gels onto a plane, in response to a botch attempt at a scientifically impossible attack.

Now, it comes out that the rules themselves are posing a real health threat to passengers: people attempting to comply have been putting contact lens solution into smaller containers, only to inadvertently put other things in their eyes. Admittedly, doing this borders on Darwin Award territory, but due to poor general knowledge about such things as sterility, etc., it is a serious health risk and one that can be easily prevented.

Speaking of Darwin Awards, smoking should garner some sort of honorable mention. We all know how bad it is for us, but people continue to insist that they're *special* or don't care and keep smoking, dragging down everyone else's health too. And, of course, this is all more than a little bit due to tobacco companies' aggressive marketing tactics. The newest game - "potentially reduced-exposure product" (PREP) cigarettes - are claimed to be 'less likely to cause cancer,' an easy out for smokers who don't want to quit. Needless to say, there is no evidence to support these safety claims, but I doubt that will stop anyone making them.

Finally, Indian car maker Tata has licensed technology to produce an air-powered car. I don't really understand how the powertrain works, but if it does like it claims, it'll be a GINORMOUS deal: to eliminate fossil fuel burning engines (or even just reduce their use) would have incredible benefits for everyone. Except Halliburton and Exxon, so don't expect the things to be available in the US anytime soon.

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