The Golden Globes

Apparently, the Golden Globe awards were presented last night. I didn’t watch. Over the last 10 years, television and movies have mostly lost the battle for my time. There are other things I’d rather do like read, write, and spend time with the family. And besides, award shows were more fun when I lived in […]

An open letter to New Scientist’s subscription department

Dear New Scientist, I received a letter from you today that opens as follows: Dear Mr. Rubin, I admire the boldness of your scientific experiment. You wanted to determine how long you could go without benefiting from the insight and intelligence that New Scientist had been delivering to your door in each weekly issue. The letter […]

Yesterday’s payroll tax deal

At this point, I’d be happy to trade in my $1,000 tax break for a new Congress. One that, you know, has something resembling a spine running down its back and guts that aren’t quite so yellow. One that makes it clear they do what’s best for the people and not what’s best for the […]

Security vs. Freedom

I remember a graph from my political science days which had security on one axis (low to high) and freedom on the other (low to high).  As security increases, freedoms necessarily decrease and vice versa. I was thinking of this as I read that President Obama will sign the Levin/McCain detention bill into law. This […]

Some remedial math for Capital One bank

Capital One Bank’s latest ad campaign annoys me and it has nothing to do with Jerry Stiller, who I think is a great comic actor and who I loved in Seinfeld. Capital One’s latest campaign talks about how great their checking account is because it pays 5 times the national average. Five times the national […]

Election Day 2011

So I voted, despite being utterly fed up with the current state of politics and politicians in the country. I would have felt guilty if I hadn’t voted. But the truth it, I completely forgot it was an election day, until I saw the tweets start coming in on Twitter this morning. That’s how much […]

R.I.P. Andy Rooney

I hate it when I check the news in the morning only to discover that someone I admire has passed away. It wasn’t like it was completely unexpected with Andy Rooney. He was 92 years old. The report that I read said he died of complications following minor surgery. Most people I know think of […]

My letter in the Falls Church News Press

A while back I wrote a post–“The flowers on the street corner“–about a fatal accident that took place at a dangerous intersection near our house. The accident claimed the lives of two elderly people and in the time since the accident, there have been a few more accidents at that same intersection. I wrote a […]

Promoting science: where is the next Asimov, Sagan and Gardner?

With the 2012 Presidential campaigns moving into high gear, we find that science is once again under attack. There are a few voices out there making attempts to defend science. There are people calling the Republican candidates anti-science, and the Republican party the party of anti-science. But science is not Republican or Democrat. Science policy might […]

Props to Dominion Power and Cox Cable

Although the media coverage of Hurricane Irene was awful, I have to give credit where credit is due. We did end up having a power outage. We were lucky. It occurred right around 4am and lasted until 9:30am so its impact on our daily routines and power use was minimal. Between 9:30 and noon, everything […]

The uniformly awful media coverage of Hurricane Irene

The media coverage of Hurricane Irene was about the worst I’ve seen for any weather event thus far. Media coverage of weather events have, for reasons that completely elude me, grown increasingly alarmist and outrageous with each passing event. Every major weather event needs some kind of name (“snowmageddon”) and the continuous coverage of sensationalized […]

Rant on the ignorance of the scientific method

There was a letter in the September 5 issue of Time magazine that irked me when I read it today. The context of the letter was in response to an article about autism that appeared in the August 29 issue, in which is was reported that one possible cause might be genetic. Clearly the letter writer […]