Thursday, October 1, 2015

Link roundup

1. "Every eighteen months, the minimum IQ necessary to destroy the world drops by one point."

2. "A Scientist’s Look At THE MARTIAN":
I was fortunate enough to attend a talk by Weir several months before the movie’s premiere, and he outed himself on being wrong on only two major accounts: (1) the physics of the Mars atmosphere are such that no Martian storm could ever generate the gale-force wind loads that instigate astronaut Mark Watney’s troubles, and (2) percholates in the Mars soil make it generally too toxic to support agriculture.
3. "The Sad, True Story of the Ground Zero Mosque":
As it turned out, the money behind the site was worth investigating, though perhaps not for the reasons Republican politicians and right-wing activists might have hoped or expected: In its early years, Abdul Rauf’s Cordoba Initiative was reportedly funded in large part by R. Leslie Deak, a Muslim convert with CIA ties. (“The Ground Zero Mosque Was an Inside Job,” Gawker quipped.) On the other side of the argument, the Islamophobes were heavily bankrolled by hedge-funder Robert Mercer, who personally paid for a million-dollar advertising campaign stirring up anti-mosque sentiment.