A Candle in the Dark

A look on science, politics, religion and events

Archive for April 2009

Congressman Joe Barton supposedly “baffles” Dr. Steven Chu?

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Barton: Dr Chu, I don’t want to leave you out. You’re our scientist. I have one simple question for you in the last six seconds. How did all the oil and gas get to Alaska and under the Arctic Ocean?

Chu: (Laughs) This is a complicated story, but oil and gas is the result of hundreds of millions of years of geology and in that time also the plates have moved around. And so, it’s a combination of where the sources of the oil and gas…

Barton: Isn’t it obvious that at one time it was a lot warmer in Alaska and on the North Pole? It wasn’t a big pipeline that we’ve created from Texas and shipped it up there and put it under ground so we can now pump it up?

Chu: No, there are continental plates that have been drifting around throughout the geological ages.

Barton: So it just drifted up there.

Chu: Uh…That’s certainly what happened. It’s a result of things like that.

Chairman: The gentleman’s time has expired.

And from his twitter page, Joe Barton boasts,

I seemed to have baffled the Energy Sec with basic question – Where does oil come from?

The sad part is, he probably doesn’t bother to listen to the explanation the Prof. Chu provided in the limited time, or follow up and try to learn the actual science.

Written by parseval

April 23, 2009 at 7:53 am

Posted in people, politics


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From the BBC,

Punjab disability ‘uranium link’

Tests on children with cerebral palsy or mental disabilities in the Indian state of Punjab have revealed high levels of uranium.

A charity based in Faridkot city said chemical analyses of hair specimens collected from 149 children in its care showed “unexpected amounts” of toxins.

The result has baffled the authorities as there are no known sources of uranium in Punjab.

Here’s the Punjab health minister Lakshmi Kanta Chawla on the issue

“This is not a health subject. We don’t know how children are showing such high concentrations of uranium”, Punjab health minister Lakshmi Kanta Chawla said.

“It is for the central government in Delhi to deal with the problem.”

A prime example of why politicians are redundant. It’s because they exist only to deflect any sort of responsibility up the hierarchy, before it gets lost in the singularity at the top.

Written by parseval

April 2, 2009 at 6:11 pm

Posted in people, politics, science