Here’s a selection of some of the most interesting features we’ve seen on the Internet this week:
- Physicist Frank Tipler observes that a couple of the most prominent physicists – including Einstein and Feynman – owe their success not so much to raw intelligence or “brightness,” but rather to an unwillingness to take conventional wisdom for granted and a courage to take the seldom trod trail. See: “Was Einstein Bright” from Power Line.
- From NASA scientist Dr. Richard Fisher – an alarming new forecast of potential death and destruction caused by an anticipated fury of solar activity in 2013. This is a bit surprising because his colleague, NASA scientist David Hathaway is expecting a lower than normal solar cycle. Which forecast to trust? Here’s one often useful evaluation technique that does not require intimate familiarity with solar science. Ask yourself which forecast sounds most like the forecaster is shamelessly pandering for more research funds. Then trust the other guy. See also Slashdot and Instapundit.
- Our terrorist foes – are they really nitwits? So ask David Byman and Christine Fair in The Atlantic. Hat Tip: Radley Balko.
- I’m an AT&T Wireless subscriber whose contract is up and I’m looking for a new phone. I want to be able to tinker with my phone so an iPhone is out. And AT&T keeps crippling their Android phones. I’m waiting for an AT&T competitor to match their $15/month data plan rates to entice me to make the jump. Verizon? T-Mobile? Anyone listening?
- Is climate change legislation really dead? Kevin Drum at Mother Jones thinks so. Would it be discourteous of me to add: “I certainly hope so?”
- A lengthy and interesting biography of Thomas Paine by George Smith. Hat Tip: Dale Amon at Samizdata.