August 30, 2006

From Andrew Johnson:

Re: A trip to cannibal country (Aug. 29): You? published this rubbish?

Yes, and in Jayapura there is a travel agent who for $1500 promises visitors will get to meet genuine head-hunters. The fact that sciencists since 1870 have been trying to dispell this mythos does not seem to have discouraged these tourist operators nor the Freeport McMoRan and Rio-Tinto and other mines digging up West Papua in cooperation with their TNI military General business partners from Asia.

There has never been any evidence discovered to support your assertains about the indigenous Australian of West Papua, during the fifty or sixty thousand years that they have occupied Australia both before & after the raising sea levels split it into todays three parts of Tasmania, the arid mainland, and New Guinea; there has never been a period during which anyone needed to resort to the eating of human flesh which a few Malya & Polynesian cultures adopted.

Before your magazine published propaganda about the “stone-age“, or “primitives“, or “head-hunters“, or “cannibals“ of West Papua. . . . . . could you PLEASE first read the US government & UN records about West Papua to understand why a group of US corporations want to paint West Papuans as savage sub-humans unworthly of the “self determination“ rights written into the United Nations charter & Human Rights Declaration etc.

Information Kit:

I would greatly appreciate a display of integrity if you would publish a retraction at least until such time as the TNI and Jakarta allow free media and NGO access to investigate if such claims of cannibal cultures are valid.

From Glenda Blackwell:

Re: Jilted dogs feel intense jealousy, study finds (Aug. 22): I am a cat owner and I have experienced ”jealousy” in a cat. This particular cat spent a lot of time with me from birth. I carried him in a shoulder bag and we would go window shopping and visiting together and he slept at the end of my bed. As he grew up he would act in a sexual manner towards me, rubbing himself on my legs. When I would go to go out without him he would literally go and sit in the middle of the road almost as if to say ”if you’re going I’ll sit here and you’ll be sorry.” More strikingly if I had a male visitor he would sit in a tree near my patio watching closely. After a prescribed amount of time (approximately an hour) he would jump down and scratch and claw the unfortunate male’s legs. When I started a new job which involved some travel, the first time I was away for 2 days ( he was being fed by a friend) I returned to find he had disappeared and never saw him again.

From T.R. Stone:

Re: Pluto no longer a planet (Aug. 24): I’m in complete agreement with Hal Weaver of Johns Hopkins University on this issue: the caveat about “clearing the neigh­bour­hood around its or­bit” is pointless and arbitrary. First of all, that should technically mean that a “planet” can’t have a moon. Secondly, one could ask: “clearing the neigh­bour­hood” to what degree? Will the concentration of smaller objects in the space which makes up the planet’s so-called “neighborhood” have to have a predefined maximum value of so many bodies per unit volume to qualify? This whole “definition” flap is a prime example of how foolish even people with PhDs can be.

Just go with something simple, eggheads: “A planet shall be considered to be any non-self-luminous/non-incandescent body in orbit around a star, said body having sufficient size to gravitationally assume a spherical shape, said shape being considered spherical if it presents an ellipsoid having an eccentricity not exceeding (such-and-so a value).”

Fix the eccentricity limits right, and you cover bodies that go from perfectly spherical (eccentricity = 0) to noticably ellipsoidal (like Saturn), while excluding the obvious potato-shaped monstrosities like alot of the asteroids. And there you have it; a definition which doesn’t entail nebulous concepts like “clearing the neigh­bour­hood around its or­bit of smaller objects”.

Now, how hard was that? ;-)

T.R. Stone
Omaha, NE

From Ronald Van Hook:

Re: Race not just a “social construct,” studies suggest (Jan. 31, 2005): I look at racial differences from a ‘common sense’ stand point. When the visible and physiological differences are obvious between differing races, so must there also be a genetic difference. If two colors of paint have been applied to two separate automobiles, wouldn’t one with half a mind conclude that this final differing color exists as a result of different compounds that exist in the paint itself?

Regardless of how insignificant that or those variations in gene patterns may seem amongst different races of human, when a rat is 95% the equivalent of the human, the conclusions that one must derive seem obvious.

Conclusion: The most obscure genetic differences between races make the individual races what they are and account for the variations that obviously exist. A .01% to 3% difference from a genetic standpoint is a huge gap. (Referring to the original 99.9% similarity theory as compared to the recent findings showing only 97% similarities)

Scientists need to work on this. This needs to be narrowed down. I believe the orchestrater of the 99.9% theory has some agenda he is attempting to propagate.

August 22, 2006

From Ricardo deSouza:

Re: Human-an­i­mal mix­ing go­ing too far, re­port says (Aug. 9): I think most of the rea­sons for the ob­jec­tions still have re­li­gious over­tones. As you have stat­ed - an­cient greek and ro­man my­thol­o­gy had hy­brid man-an­i­mal (or fish) life. In­deed today- Hin­dus and Bud­dhists still wor­ship half man-half an­i­mal gods. Some of them be­ing Ga­ne­sha, garuda, etc. My point be­ing here- In­di­a as well as a host of bud­dhist coun­tries will e­ven­tu­al­ly car­ry out, and some al­read­y are car­rying out gene mix­ing as there are no eth­i­cal bar­ri­ers in this as­pect. In­di­an Hin­dus and most bud­dhists be­ing veg­e­tar­i­an are in a far bet­ter po­si­tion to ac­cept the cre­a­tion of hu­man -an­i­mal hy­brids. Coun­tries with strong Chris­tian, Judeo, Mus­lim cul­tures will al­ways re­sist this mix­ing of genes. How­ev­er, the win­ners as al­ways will be the spe­cies that sur­vived to ar­gue its case. Life is far too di­verse to re­spect self im­posed bound­aries and as in the Dar­win­i­an way, on­ly the fit­test life forms will sur­vive to e­volve on.

From David Barclay:

Re: Stu­pen­dous crash proves “dark mat­ter” ex­ists, as­tronomers claim (Aug. 21): In my o­pin­ion this ar­ti­cle is pure bull­sh*t...... if they don’t know what it is, how could they pos­si­bly prove it ex­ists...... would they e­ven know it if they fell o­ver it. I don’t think so. Dark mat­ter and dark en­er­gy were in­vented to ex­plain what could not oth­er­wise be ex­plained, just like neu­tri­nos if you know the sto­ry be­hind that lit­tle slight of hand trick­...... there was no mis­sing en­er­gy to be ac­counted for in the first place, just a lack of un­der­stand­ing of the sit­u­a­tion.

August 20, 2006

From Peter (Dusty) Miller:

The article Now downloadable: “music” of the stars (Aug. 13) refers to “The first piece of music composed for stellar instruments: the slowly-building Stellar Music No. 1 by Jenõ Keuler and Zoltán Kolláth.”

Come back Robby, they’re playing your tune... This music is eerily reminiscent of the soundtrack from that 1950s pioneering sci-fi movie Forbidden Planet (1956 – Walter Pidgeon, Leslie Nielsen, Anne Francis). Also featuring -- the “the first all-electronic musical soundscape in film history” courtesy of Louis and Bebe Barron, and “a dutiful robot named Robby that speaks 188 languages.” This was the stuff of a 13-year-old boy’s dreams – I was completely awed by the whole thing. And I avoided all puns on “stars.”

From Jody Magee:

Re: Why is yawning contagious? (March 5, 2005): So the long and short of it is, there is no answer at this time; just a few ideas. That would have been a great opening sentence to position one to better understand and enjoy the article.

From Brian Blankenship:

Re: “Toxic en­vi­ron­ment” mak­ing kids fat, study claims (Aug. 11): I agree completely. America's leading food producing removes fiber and adds artificial flavoring and other crap we don't really need, which in turn makes us fat and addicted to it. My theory is that they are doing this deliberately, and I mean, they know what this does. They deliberately put sugars and fatty substances into our foods to make us addicted, which causes people to want to buy more of their foods. I have a thought however... is there a way to suppress the effects of Dopamine and insulin? Doing this may make people less addictive to foods and in turn, allows Leptin to work correctly. However, I wouldn't say suppressing the insulin completely, because doing so may cause people to stop eating completely, because people would not longer have an urge to eat, thus starving themselves. People need some sort of addiction, but not a big one to cause obesity.

We have to do something about the overweight issues, I believe in the next decade, or generation, there will be very few athletic people, or healthy people for that matter. The business people don't care what happens to us, all they care about is money, which makes me angry. It hurts me to think that one day, there would be rarely any healthy people, which means people would lack the urge to mate and thus either almost or wiping out the human race because there would be nobody to populate the world. I honostly don't think there is a legal way to stop this. The government needs to stop this, not us, the non business people; we can't we aren't that powerful. The government, is taking away our ability to live freely in this world, to live persue happiness. Freedom would be gone, overweightness enslaving us, and we wouldn't be able to do the things we once loved.