An Endorsement for Francis Collins as Pres. Science Advisor

Over at Monkey Trials, Scott Hatfield suggests that in the next administration the new presidential science advisor should be a famous science popularizer such as EO Wilson or perhaps even better Neil deGrasse Tyson. Not only would these individuals have the breadth of knowledge to advise in multiple areas of science, but just as importantly, they could serve as leading public ambassadors for science.

Just one problem: Most science popularizers such as Wilson or Tyson don't have the years of government experience to understand the machinations of Federal science policy. Moreover, they have a paper trail of strong opinions on issues that might make appointment politically tough.

Yet there is one person that scores high on all of these dimensions, plus one other major attribute. And that person is Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Project. Not only does Collins have top government experience but he is also a successful popularizer. And perhaps even more importantly, based on his background and writings, he would make a perfect science ambassador to religious America.

22 months of war - condensed in a 1-minute video

No, the Syrian civil war is not over. But it might be soon. Time for a recap

Strange Maps
  • The War in Syria has dropped off the radar, but it's not over (yet)
  • This 1-minute video shows how the fronts have moved – and stabilised – over the past 22 months
  • Watching this video may leave you both better informed, and slightly queasy: does war need a generic rock soundtrack?
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Bespoke suicide pods now available for death in style

Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.

The Sarco assisted suicide pod
Technology & Innovation

Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco! 

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How to bring more confidence to your conversations

Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.
  • To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
  • Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
  • There are 3-5 questions that you would generally want to ask people you are talking to.
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