30. A federal judge has struck down the “indefinite detention” in the NDAA as unconstitutional. It’s always encouraging to see the judicial branch actually checking the legislative branch’s attempt to give the executive branch unrestrained power. The battle is far from over, though, as it sounds like the Obama administration is challenging the decision. Still, it’s a hopeful sign for now.
31. The Senate might pass a bill requiring cops to get a warrant to read your e-mail. Of course, this little bit of overdue restraint might be offset by other news like the House’s extension of other warrantless surveillance powers or the latest former NSA official to come out and claim the “US is illegally collecting huge amounts of data on his fellow citizens,” but, hey, we’ll take what we can get.
32. There have been some encouraging polls concerning upcoming ballot measures in Washington and Colorado that would legalize marijuana and regulate it similarly to alcohol, with support at 57-34 and 51-40, respectively. The second link notes that California’s 2010 measure polled at 52% and still failed, but Washington’s support looks even stronger. I continue to view this as an inevitable trend.
33. A few months ago I reported on New Hampshire’s new pro-jury-nullification law. It looks like the law is already paying dividends, as a jury has nullified a man accused of growing marijuana in his backyard. The acquittal is also being cast as an encouraging victory for the Free State Project. If you’re not familiar with the subject of jury nullification, see my previous post “Jury Nullification: Our Secret Weapon.”
34. Russia has declassified a secret diamond field that is allegedly “by a factor of ten bigger than the world’s all known reserves.” (I’m hoping the content was translated better than the grammar.) For someone interested in economics I’m probably not familiar enough with the “de Beers diamond cartel” everyone seems to hate (note to self: read this when you have some time), but it sounds like there’s a possibility this could disrupt them, though there are also articles saying they’re not the right kind of diamonds for jewelry.
35. NASA says a warp drive might actually be plausible. Something about moving space around the spaceship so it can go faster than light without actually going faster than light. They used to think you needed “exotic matter” the size of Jupiter for this kind of thing, but now they think they only need the mass of, say, a small car. It sounds like we don’t really have any exotic matter at all yet, but, hey, this sounds like progress.
36. Japanese scientists have “created a microscopically thin film that can coat individual teeth to prevent decay.” It’s being touted as “the world’s first flexible apatite sheet,” whatever that means. Apparently it’s a projected five years from market.
37. Advances in stem cell research are helping scientists figure out how to make organs from your own body’s cells, which “all but eliminates…the risk that foreign tissue will be rejected by the recipient.”
38. I’m still not convinced global warming is real, but if it is, this guy thinks technology will save us. Natural gas is buying us time, and apparently solar power is getting better and better. Maybe that’s why Apple is building a massive solar farm.
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