Ukip stands for the UK Independence Party, an anti-European Union party whose biggest successes have come in EU elections. While I'm sure the party members themselves would argue that they are not xenophobic, they clearly benefit from anti-immigrant sentiment, which in the UK also includes a certain level of anti-looks-like-a-Muslim totally-not-racism-honest.
Wednesday, 12 December 2012
It turns out that everyone's favourite exploiter of xenophobia also has plans for homophobia:
Friday, 7 December 2012
As a follow-up to my post from a couple of days ago, I thought I'd comment on the announcement by the Golden Spike company to land on the moon by the end of the decade. In a more general sense, there's the question of commercial space travel; I'd somehow missed the news that the SpaceX company successfully delivered cargo to the ISS earlier this year.
Wednesday, 5 December 2012
On the subject of research papers, I recently came across a paper by Ian Crawford on the science of the Apollo missions. It's a review written at a non-technical level; it's from the journal Astronomy and Geophysics, but the only link I've found is at the arXiv. I encourage anyone curious about the scientific merits of the whole affair to read it. One interesting quote compares what Prof. Crawford achieved on a field trip on Earth to the moon missions, concluding
I do not think that we were inefficient, and we were in fact well-pleased with what we accomplished (which will result in several peer-reviewed publications), but clearly what we achieved in 42 man-days at one site in Iceland pales into insignificance to what the Apollo astronauts achieved in 25 man-days at six sites on the Moon under far more difficult operating conditions. Based on my own experience I find the field efficiency of the Apollo astronauts to be simply staggering.