Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Tuesday March 2, 2004. The bus driver answered a call. After he hung up, he announced that the transit strike would start on Thursday.

Good for my health, I suppose; I'll be taking some long walks rather than riding the bus. But it's going to be greatly inconvenient.

The last strike, in 1995, also came during a Republican gubernatorial administration. And yes, there is a plausible connection -- the governor appoints members of the Metropolitan Council, which oversees Metro Transit. It's quite plausible that a Republican governor will appoint people less friendly to labor unions than a Democrat (or the recent third-party governor) would.

My solution, which isn't likely to be implemented: Turn the bus system over to a worker-owned cooperative.

I was running low on teabags, and decided to buy them _now_. Nate Bucklin had said favorable things about So-Low (a damaged-freight food outlet). I'd gone to it a few times when it was Steve's Warehouse, and decided the quality was too low for lower prices to compensate. But I'd been thinking of taking another look.

So-Low's merchandise definitely looks better than when I was Steve's Warehouse. I didn't see anything I would've really hesitated before buying. I ended up with not just the teabags, but a fair amount of other stuff.

And some of their non-freight-damaged groceries are low-priced and look fine. Particularly the fresh meat and poultry.

Not everything is low-priced. Eggs are a few cents more than at Lunds, for example. (So are the eggs at Rainbow. Seems a bit odd, since Lunds is an upscale supermarket and Rainbow is a low-price chain.)
From EurekAlert http://www.eurekalert.org/pubnews.php
Public Release: 1-Mar-2004
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Memories light up the corners of our minds
Memories do indeed light up the corners of our mind, just as the songwriter said. Scientists had previously established that people remember emotionally charged events and facts better than neutral ones. Now researchers at MIT have discovered that memories with an element of arousal or excitement are remembered by a different area of the brain--the amygdala--from memories of a calmer nature, which are remembered by the prefrontal cortex.
NIH/National Institute on Aging, National Science Foundation

Public Release: 2-Mar-2004
Physical Review E
Evidence bubbles over to support tabletop nuclear fusion device
Researchers are reporting new evidence supporting their earlier discovery of an inexpensive "tabletop" device that uses sound waves to produce nuclear fusion reactions. The new findings are being reported in a paper that will appear this month in the journal Physical Review E.
U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

From the full press release:
The technology might one day result in a new class of low-cost, compact detectors for security applications that use neutrons to probe the contents of suitcases; devices for research that use neutrons to analyze the molecular structures of materials; machines that cheaply manufacture new synthetic materials and efficiently produce tritium, which is used for numerous applications ranging from medical imaging to watch dials; and a new technique to study various phenomena in cosmology, including the workings of neutron stars and black holes.

Public Release: 2-Mar-2004
Microwaves could bring concealed weapons to light
Microwaves could provide a safe new way of finding hidden weapons and buried mines, thanks to UK research. Scientists are developing a microwave-based technique that can generate high-quality images of hidden objects.

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