(The interior of the NIF target chamber. Credit is given to Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Department of Energy under whose auspices this work was performed.)
At a time when we're arguing vehemently about what government should and shouldn't be doing, I thought I'd point out something pretty amazing an arm of the government just did.
It looks like backers of a marijuana legalization initiative in California have gathered the signatures they need to get on the ballot this fall. Depending on your perspective, this is either a tribute to the power of ordinary people to enact commonsense change when their government is too timid to do so, or more evidence that the initiative system is out of control.
If there's one reason to think that health-care reform will still succeed, it has to be because of the speaker of the House. Here's what she said Thursday, via Greg Sargent:
You go through the gate. If the gate’s closed, you go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we’ll pole-vault in. If that doesn’t work, we’ll parachute in. But we’re going to get health care reform passed for the American people.
A few weeks ago, in a column about the politicized nature of science in America, I noted that according to international data, Americans express far greater skepticism about evolution than citizens of any other Western democracy. Well, it looks like there are some in the U.K. who would like to catch up, and they're working hard to get into positions of influence in medicine and science: