Friday, January 29, 2010

Informed Voters

Results of a Pew Poll: Only 26% of Americans know that it takes 60 votes to break a fillibuster.

Only 32% of Americans know that the Senate version of the health care bill was passed without a single Republican vote.

Speaking of Republican votes. Today, every Republican senator voted against re-establishing pay-as-go. These are the guys that are so concerned about deficit spending.

UPDATE: Concerning restablishing pay-go Steve Benen says: "Republican obstructionism has reached the level at which they oppose ideas they support."

Ode to My Path Students

Our lives are filled with joys and strife,
And what is death but part of life?
Will come the day that we must die,
And leave behind those learning why.

Education is hanging around until you've caught on.

-- Robert Frost

Thursday, January 28, 2010

70% of Polled Share Pres. Obama's Priorities

An "instant poll" conducted right after President Obama's speech last night indicated that 70% said President Obama "shares their priorities for the country". This was "up from 57 percent before the speech."

This is good. Doesn't this mean that President Obama should have no problem moving forward on his priorities since 70% of the country supports him? I bet not. Having a majority of the votes in the U.S. Senate these days no longer guarantees passage of legislation. You need 60 votes to pass legislation now.

Colorful Dinos

This changes everything. All future movies that show dinosaurs will have to do away with grey-colored, lizard-skin look. Oh yeah, and we've got to add feather too. This should be great news to all you chicken-lovers. You are now the proud owners of the decendents of dinosaurs.

How do you determine the color of a dinosaur from fossil imprints? Well, it has do be done indirectly. Paleontologists have discovered fossils of feathered dinosaurs. When these feathers were examined microscopically, dark rod-shaped structures were seen that at first were thought to be bacteria. Turns out they are melanosomes, structures that contain the pigment melinin. The melanosomes are not only present in feathers but also in the skin. You can read more about this discovery here.