Wednesday, May 28, 2014

COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey with Neil DeGrasse Tyson

I've watched the first 7 episodes of COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey with Neil DeGrasse Tyson. I hope you are watching the series as well. Episode 7, The Clean Room, tells the story of Clair Patterson's studies measuring lead to determine the rate of decay of radioactive elements and thus the age of our planet. Along the way, he realized that lead pollution was increasing human exposure to lead, and he advocated for its regulation. Unsurprisingly, the petroleum and chemical industries resisted regulation and supported scientists who argued against Patterson's claims. This reminded me of Merchants of Doubt, a book I reviewed.

Full episodes are still available online.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Law & Order: SVU S14E04 - The Writers Get it Wrong

Michael Muhammad Knight critiqued "Acceptable Loss," an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit from 2012.
As long as writers treat religious identity as the sole factor that determines every Muslim’s motivations or behavior, or imagine Islam as a source of universal norms, their Muslim characters will never be fully human. Read more ...