Friday, December 3, 2010


Illinois has approved Domestic Partnerships! Both state house and senate passed it with comfortable margins. The governor will sign it soon. It's not marriage, but it is a step in the right direction.

Jon Stewart has the latest on the Senate hearings on Don't Ask, Don't Tell. He even flattens McCain, the biggest obstacle. For those that don't recognize the two fighting knights, it is from Monty Python's spoof on King Arthur. And it was very effectively used.

Most maps don't show population density, so it isn't obvious how packed China is and how sparse much of Russia is. So here's another way to look at the population of each country. Reassign the country with the most land to the citizens of the country with the most people. Do the same with the second largest area and second most populous country, and the same on down the list. The Chinese take over Russia, the Indians take over Canada. USA (3rd), Brazil (5th), Yemen, and Ireland stay put. It makes for some interesting neighbors. Look here for more explanation and here for a map with enough detail to actually read (once loaded it can be enlarged).

Rafi Ron used to work as the Director of Security at the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv (and was on duty there when 9/11 happened). He says the TSA's reliance on technology won't work. The terrorists are already a step ahead. Instead of focusing on the gadgetry, screeners should be studying the people -- human nature hasn't changed and a watchful and well informed screener can uncover explosives that machines can't. We spend too much time annoying harmless passengers and not enough time on actual threats. However, this makes me think the real goal (at least in the USA) is to annoy harmless passengers to get us used to excessive government intrusion and think it is normal and appropriate.

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