[snip] What do you get when you cross an artist and an engineer? Maybe somebody like Natalie Jeremijenko of the University of California at San Diego. According to Sierra magazine she's invented robotic toxic-sniffing dogs, masks for bicyclists that detect what's in the air they're breathing, and a "'printer queue virus' that counts the number of pages consumed by a printer and spews out a cross section of a tree stump when it's used up a tree's worth."
[snip] "The model for [Karl] Rove's conservatism . . . is liberalism," writes Andrew Sullivan in the New Republic, noting that the federal government now spends around $22,000 per household per year--up from a little under $19,000 in 2000. "The difference is merely how government directs its vast power, and for whom."
[snip] "Support for a health plan covering all Americans and financed by taxpayers can vary depending on question wording," reports the nonpartisan public-opinion monitor Public Agenda, "a typical warning sign that views on this issue may be unstable." That's the polite adjective. "About two-thirds go so far as to say the government should guarantee health insurance for every American....But 51 percent say they would not be willing to pay either higher taxes or higher insurance premiums to cover more of the uninsured."
[snip] I'd be happy to bike to work . . . in Amsterdam. The Worldwatch Institute reports that "on a per-kilometer and per-trip basis, U.S. cyclists are twice as likely to die on the road as German cyclists, and more than three times as likely as Dutch cyclists. While cycling fatalities in all of these countries have fallen in the last 25 years, U.S. cycling deaths have declined largely because of a drop in cycling . . . [whereas] in the Netherlands and Germany investment in infrastructure that makes cycling safer accounts for much of the decline."