The more I hear about the arrest of Minerva, the more I feel the stupidity reeking from the part of the South Korean government. Minerva is the handle of a user who writes on the Daum Agora website, a South Korean public discussion site, who had gained a reputation as a financial pundit with his predictions of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy and the declining value of the South Korean currency. The arrest is based on Minerva supposedly posting two posts with false information out of the hundreds that he had made.
Stochastic scribble of the day:
There are only three types of medicine: medicine that have been shown to work, medicine that has yet to be tested, and medicine that have failed to show any efficacy. Mainstream medicine only really cares about the first category; there's a reason why most complementary and alternative "medicine" is not mainstream.
It's a bit hard to not think that the Somalian pirates who held a Saudi Arabian oil tanker got their just desserts when they capsized after getting their $3 million ransom, probably drowning five out of the eight pirates. In their defense, the modus operandi of Somalian pirates are to hold the ship and crew for ransom and releasing them unharmed after being paid, unlike pirates old and new who kill everyone on board for the booty or sell them off as slaves.
Unfortunately, most Somalian pirates got into the business not because they like to steal and pillage, but because piracy is one of the few things available to them as a means of living after the breakdown of central government in the 1990s. Besides devastating the Somalian shoreline or occupying the country with an authoritarian presence to rebuild the economy, neither of which are palatable alternatives, there doesn't seem to be much that can be done about it, so Somalian piracy is probably going to be with us for quite awhile.
Not that most pirates start off in piracy just for the fun of it, but there's something really wrong when piracy is one of the biggest industries in a country.
The Bush administration has refrained from any attempt to overtly attack Iran's nuclear facilities and have managed to hold back Israel from doing the same. This is the good news: despite how much the Bush administration has sucked, this shows they still retain a shred of sanity and are not the worst possible administration conceivable. The bad news is that knowledge of a covert operation against Iran's nuclear program is in the news. If there is any such operation, and if Iran really does have future nuclear weapons in mind even if they have suspended development on a warhead itself, I really don't think that even revealing the existence of such an operation would be a good thing.
I get a tingly feeling when I see cosmic objects change within our lifetimes. It's no exception when I learn about a video from the Chandra X-ray observatory that shows how the Cassiopeia A supernova remnant expanded over a seven year period via Bad Astronomy.