Open thread

Be sure to visit Tangled Bank #58 for a lot of excellent science writing across a multitude of disciplines and topics.

After a whole lot of outcry regarding the Department of State charging Americans $3,000 per head to evacuate them from Lebanon (or any other area ravaged by war), something I mentioned briefly, the government decided to waive the fee for now.  After all, if we are able to spend $300 – $400 billion on the Iraq war, surely our government also has some of our tax money left over to use for protecting American citizens, n’est-ce pas?

Fly over to I and the Bird #28 for all the bird news you can stand.

Zoinks!  Scooby and the gang get their doubt on with Skeptics’ Circle #39.

Once again, our elected officials are busy tending the critical needs of our country.  You know, like trying to keep the courts from deciding the constitutionality of the Pledge of Allegiance.  Yep, that’s right; there’s nothing more important than protecting the “nation’s spiritual history” as it was said.  Sadly, the “one nation, under god” part was added as part of the Cold War, is not a part of the original pledge, and should be removed because it’s an endorsement by our federal government of a single religion.  Again, aren’t there more important matters that should be addressed?  Is the unconstitutional protection of a single religion the best they could come up with?  I really don’t understand Republicans anymore…

Snake gulps queen-size electric blanket: “It took surgery to save a 12-foot Burmese python after it swallowed an entire queen-size electric blanket — with the electrical cord and control box.”  At least the snake unplugged it first.

Who do you think should actually be included in a “database tracking foreign terrorism”?  Foreign terrorists, perhaps?  Or suspected terrorists?  Sure, but that’s not all.  Anyone protesting military recruiters at college campuses gets dumped in it as well.  It would appear both the military (902nd Military Intelligence Group) and Department of Homeland Security were both involved with collecting information on the protesters and ensuring they were added to the foreign terrorism database.  I swear you can’t make this shit up.

You HAVE to go see these cool macro photos.  They’re all close-ups, most of insects, and each a spectacular work of art (not just the photo quality, but the subjects as well).  [via Biomes Blog]

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