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Dumb As A Box Of Rocks

A is for Arsenic someone thought fun
To include on the icing on top of a bun.

— “ABC” by The Tiger Lilies & Kronos Quartet

When an undergraduate and folks asked me why I went into geology, I’d reply, “Because you can talk to rocks and they don’t talk back.” Unlike with humans, entities that are another variety of dumb.

1) You’ve lost me, Mr. Obama.

What’s even more puzzling is the apparent indifference of the Obama team to the effect of such gestures on their supporters. One would have expected a candidate who rode the enthusiasm of activists to an upset victory in the Democratic primary to realize that this enthusiasm was an important asset. Instead, however, Mr. Obama almost seems as if he’s trying, systematically, to disappoint his once-fervent supporters, to convince the people who put him where he is that they made an embarrassing mistake.

Whatever is going on inside the White House, from the outside it looks like moral collapse — a complete failure of purpose and loss of direction.

2) “Who cares, it’s done, end of story, we’ll probably be fine.”

BP initially ordered the extra centralisers. But when the devices arrived at the rig, engineers mistakenly thought they were the wrong type. BP decided at this point to continue with the project without the additional centralisers, taking other safety steps.  It also decided not to rerun the cement modelling software, and questioned the accuracy of the technology.

3) Aliens! Bears! Alien Bears! Shut up.

Regardless, the runaway speculation in the blogosphere imperils the work of trusted science reporters who respect the embargo system and may have wanted to cover the paper. Most professional science journalists have access to Science’s embargoed papers through the EurekAlert! service run by AAAS (which publishes Science) and would have been able to easily figure out that the research behind NASA’s cryptic press release did not support the hype about aliens.

CJR should have said “runaway speculation in the blogosphere AND the following unvetted copycat reporting by the lamestream media.”

I don’t really blame Kottke for connecting the dots wrong because a) nowhere does he call himself a scientist and b) he said he was guessing. But, for everyone else online to get their undies in a wad because Kottke Said Something and for so-called Real Journalists to ignore the whole vetting thing before publishing just so they can be Fr1st!!!1!! is irresponsible.

To top it all off, it’s not even an arsenic-based lifeform.

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