Links for 2010 Jan 31

The New Yorker: Finding a Better Way to Grieve

Feels particularly relevant today. And by today, I actually today, not “in these modern times” or such thing. Although it’s also relevant for that.

FiveThirtyEight: Enough is Enough

Deeper analysis of Obama’s recent bully pulpit session with the Republicans (with video link). I like one of the bullet points of the Tom’s analysis: “My bipartisanship is bigger than your bipartisanship.”

Occupation: Girl: More on Dracula

More of the wonderful Cleolinda’s thoughts on Leslie S. Klinger’s The New Annotated Dracula. My favorite insight: “Van Helsing talks like a lolcat.”

The Economist: How Power Corrupts

Why do smart and powerful people sometimes do really stupid things? I don’t mean taking stances we disagree with, necessarily, I mean things like… well… basically everything Mark Sanford has done of late. (Daily Show reference videos.)

Not Exactly Rocket Science: Review: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

The very interesting history of the HeLa cells that are used in medical research laboratories worldwide. They’re immortal cells, having been taken from a cancerous tumor, and have been used without permission for many years. The story is really rather incredible.

Bad Astronomy: Give Space a Chance

Phil Plait starts with “For criminy’s sake. What is it with people and all the rending of garments over the impending doom of NASA?” and it gets even better. Also, why we shouldn’t yet grieve for Spirit, who may indeed one day go home. That poor little face is a great reason for a manned mission to Mars, isn’t it?