Summaries of podcasts, lectures, and interviews.

September 29, 2015



Quote of the Day

“[There is] liquid water on present-day Mars,”

– says Mary Beth Wilhelm, a scientist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Ames Research Center


Taliban have taken control of Kunduz, a city in the North of Afghanistan. Afghan security forces retreated to the airport on the outside of the city. This is a disturbing sign for Afghanistan. The formal NATO mission there ended less than a year ago, and the government’s ability to maintain peace and control was already fraught. This is the first time the Taliban have won an Afghan city since 2001. The insurgents set the city’s police stations on fire and looted jewelry stores. Kunduz’s official population count is 300,000. The actual number is probably lower, considering how many refugees have had to flee the violence.  Read Mas


On the TV program “60 Minutes” presidential candidate Donald Trump revealed his policies:
Tax and Trade:

-A “large segment” of the population, those in the lower income brackets, won’t pay taxes. He’ll also decrease corporate taxes.

In response to how the country can afford those tax breaks, Trump said the economy will grow because he’ll recover jobs from China, Japan, and Mexico.

-He called the North American Free Trade Agreement “a disaster.” That’s very unusual for a conservative candidate.


On immigration:

-Full wall sealing the border.

-Of the millions of immigrants already living in the States, Trump said “We’re rounding ’em up in a very humane way, in a very nice way.”

-When told that the Constitution, Congress, and Supreme Court will tell him no, Trump repeated: “We’ll see.”


– Syria: He wants Assad’s forces and ISIS to kill each other off so that the US can go in later and kill whomever’s left standing.
-Iraq: “You gotta knock ’em out.” He’s willing to put boots on the ground.


Guess what NASA says is on Mars? Water.
NASA scientists revealed that water occasionally flows across the surface of Mars. That does not mean that life exists on Mars – just that it’s possible. Researchers found light waves across the surface’s seasonal dark streaks. The streaks are from chemicals – they detect what kind of chemical things are by measuring the wavelength of its light rays – that pull water down from Mars’ atmosphere.  Where on Mars the water comes from is still a mystery. Read Mas
Russia and America continue diplomatic tensions at the UN
American and Russian diplomats clashed at the UN about the civil war in Syria, blaming each other for how bad its gotten. Both President Obama and Vladimir Putin gave speeches in front of the United Nations’ General Assembly. President Obama criticized Russia for supporting the Syrian government (Syria has been suffering from a deadly civil war, the President al-Assad has used chemical weapons, and it was also in Syria that ISIS originally formed), and for its policy in Ukraine, where they annexed the Crimean peninsula and are aiding the rebels.  (Pro-Russian forces in Ukraine also shot down a passenger airliner). Putin defended Bashar al-Assad, saying that he is a force for stability in the ISIS-ravaged area. Putin also proposed an international coalition to fight ISIS. Read Mas


Cool Sh*t: A Real Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle

Check out this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle – okay it only looks mutant, but we heard it is signing up for karate classes.

This Month’s Book Summary