Saturday, January 01, 2005

Science Saturday

"Justine," he said. "You know? In twenty years I firmly believe we will be traveling instantaneously by transposition of matter. You get in this glass box, see, if you want to go to, say, Omaha, and someone in Omaha gets in another glass box--"

"I travel fast enough as it is," said Justine, "and way too far."

"You haven't traveled so far," Duncan said. "Then bulletin boards would spring up everywhere: 'Gentleman from Detroit wishes to go to Pittsburgh; does anyone in Pittsburgh wish to go to Detroit?' There would be new hope for the unemployed. Bums could make money being transposed to Cincinnati when someone in Cincinnati wanted to get out. You go to a park bench. 'Look, fellow,' you say--"

"But it would always be me who ended up accepting," said Justine. She rose, and for no apparent reason examined her face in the speckled metal switch plate on the wall. "I can turn into anyone. That's my curse." (Anne Tyler, Searching for Caleb)

This is so too a Science Saturday entry. Teleportation became a reality in 2004. Really. It's just not the way we imagined it would be yet because it's still at the atomic stage.

Three pages worth of the top science books of 2004. (Discover)

Life at the molecular level is sheer chaos. (Seed Magazine)

"Over the past four years the EPA has allowed the agricultural services and products industry -- which, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, has contributed nearly $15 million to GOP candidates since 2000 -- to crush any chance at regulation" of rat poisons. The American Association of Poison Control Centers has reported nearly 60,000 cases of poisoning by rodenticides between 2001 and 2003, many of them involving children. (MoJones)

Ecological sucide is the subject of Jared Diamond's latest book, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. (CSMonitor)


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