Friday, October 8, 2010

New and Noteworthy (Solar Wind Power, Rare Earth Mineral Politics, Ireland, Bad Science Journalism)

In today's edition:

* By way of, a piece in New Scientist discussing the prospect of harnessing the solar wind to meet the Earth's energy needs.

* An article in LiveScience discussing China's blocking a shipment of rare-earth minerals to Japan, which the author links to the dispute over Japan's arrest of a Chinese fishing crew. (Indeed, Leonard David at references the possibility in his discussion of the question of whether resource politics on Earth make moon mining a national security imperative for the U.S..)

* A report from National Public Radio on popular reaction to the country's economic troubles. Ireland's case is all the more noteworthy given that the "Celtic tiger" had not only appeared to perform so well in the years prior to the 2008 crisis, but had been widely held up as a success story of neoliberal globalization; and afterward, suffered particularly deeply (as noted in the report firm Ernst & May, the GDP decline rated the D-word--"depression")--arguably, because of how closely it hewed to the same fashionable prescriptions for which it was so highly praised.

* By way of Futurismic, a piece by "Lay Scientist" Martin Robbins in the Guardian satirizing bad science journalism, which is, of course, far and away the predominant kind. (Case in point: Time magazine's annual list of "50 Best Inventions," which I discussed on this blog a couple of years ago.) Since then, Robbins has offered a follow-up in which he offers his more straightforward critique of the field.

The Real Unemployment Rate

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