Links for 2012-08-15 [del.icio.us] #art
- Fukushima 'caused mutant butterflies' in Japan
Genetic mutations have been found in three generations of butterflies from near Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, scientists said on Tuesday, raising fears radiation could affect other species.
- Is Ramallah’s economic boom a sign of progress or surrender?
Some Palestinians see the boom as a perversion of the Palestinian independence movement, an indication that the government has given up its political program in favor of meaningless economic reforms. Forty-four years into the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with a peace plan nowhere in sight, the Ramallah boom looks more like an attempt to placate a battle-worn Palestinian populace than to prepare for its independence. “It is a five-star occupation,” a skeptical Palestinian businessman named Sam Bahour told me. “It gives the impression to the outside world that everything is OK in Palestine.”
- DARPA Funding For Hackers Hackerspaces And Education Panel
DARPA Funding for Hackers, Hackerspaces, and Education: A Good Thing? Mitch Altman, Psytek, Willow Brugh, Fiacre O'Duinn, Matt Joyce Mitch Altman caused a stir this spring when he publicly announced that he would not be helping U.S. Maker Faires this year, after it was publicly announced that they received funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). So, what's the controversy? DARPA, an agency of the U.S. military, has funded many famous projects over the past several decades, including GPS and the Internet. People in DARPA are now making large amounts of grant funding available for hackers and hackerspaces to do projects of their choice, as well as funding for education through hands-on learning, which MAKE Magazine is using to help schools. Does it matter that DARPA is responsible for the development of new technology for the U.S. military with an annual budget of $3.2 billion? What are the ethics of using funds from people or organizations that may or may not
- Paul Ryan: Mitt Romney's choice as his vice-presidential running mate. What is it about Ryan's ultra-draconian proposals that so appeals to the Republican right?
The liberal thinktank Center on Budget and Policy Priorities called it "Robin Hood in reverse – on steroids". Party political hyperbole, surely? You know how hysterical liberals can get. Ryan's plan proposes that 62% of the trillions it hopes to cut should come from low-income programmes. It would give all those earning more than $1m a year tax cuts worth nearly $400,000, increasing their net incomes by an average of 12.5%, while low-income people would experience tax rises.