Opposition questions Harper’s ethics

From the how-the-tables-have-turned files, the CBC is reporting that the opposition questions Harper’s ethics:

Opposition MPs blasted Stephen Harper on Thursday for his refusal to co-operate with the federal ethics commissioner, with one MP threatening to hold the prime minister in contempt.

Jack Layton sums up the situation nicely:

On an election that was supposed to be about ethical behaviour, the first thing we have is an effort to try and fire somebody who is looking into the ethical behaviour of the prime minister

I’m always amazed that voters are so eager to fall for promises of accountability from politicians on the campaign trail. It’s a promise that they just can’t keep; not because politicians are in any way more evil than the rest of us, but merely because they are under far more scrutiny than most of us.

Of course, Harper should be smarter than to get into the hole that he’s now dug himself into. Not co-operating with an ethics commisioners investigation is just plain stupid.

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Consensus Web Filters

Kevin Kelly has a nice round up of consensus web filters:

Like a lot of people, I find that the web is becoming my main source of news. Some of the sites I read are published by individuals, but I find the most informative sites are those published by groups of writers/editors/correspondents, including those put out by Main Steam Media (MSM). However for the past three months my main source of “what’s new” has been a new breed of website that collaboratively votes on the best links.

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Did humans decimate Easter Island on arrival?

According to an article by Bob Holmes for New Scientist, a new study by Terry Hunt finds that humans decimated Easter Island on arrival:

Archaeologists had thought that humans first arrived at the island around 800 AD, based on radiocarbon dating of kitchen scraps and cooking fires. Since the first signs of severe deforestation do not appear until the 13th century, this suggests the Easter Islanders lived several centuries without serious impact on their environment.

Not so, says Terry Hunt, an archaeologist at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Hunt and Carl Lipo of California State University at Long Beach, US, radiocarbon-dated charcoal from the earliest human traces in a new excavation on the island. The site, Anakena, is Easter Island’s only sandy beach and has long been regarded as the likeliest spot for first colonists to settle. To their surprise, the wood dated no earlier than 1200 AD – several hundred years more recent than they had expected.

No future for fusion power, says top scientist

David L Chandler reports for New Scientist that there is no future for fusion power:

Nuclear fusion will never be a practical source of electrical power, argues a prominent scientist in the journal Science.

Even nuclear fusion’s staunchest advocates admit a power-producing fusion plant is still decades away at best, despite forty years of hard work and well over $20 billion spent on the research. But the new paper, personally backed by the journal’s editor, issues a strong challenge to the entire fusion programme, arguing that the whole massive endeavour is never likely to lead to anything practical or useful.

Now that that’s settled, we can get all those nuclear physicists working on some of the really important problems, like creating a variety of broccoli that tastes like chocolate.

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Why I Hate Frameworks

Benji Smith explains why he hate frameworks in a wonderfully entertaining rant:

I’m currently in the planning stages of building a hosted Java web application (yes, it has to be Java, for a variety of reasons that I don’t feel like going into right now). In the process, I’m evaluating a bunch of J2EE portlet-enabled JSR-compliant MVC role-based CMS web service application container frameworks.

And after spending dozens of hours reading through feature lists and documentation, I’m ready to gouge out my eyes.

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