Last week, another SoT, but the special guest didn't show as she had a last-minute emergency (or, she had an exam the next day. That's an emergency). So it was just the regular crew.Download here
Topics covered:End of an era - final launch of the Space Shuttle Program (youtube)
;I brought up space elevators, because I'm contrary like that
;Australian eruptions overdue
......but also why it's probably not all that likely to be much of a problem in the near future
;The Irish ancestry of polar bears
;NASA borrows from Dune - the first accessories for drinking your own waste in space!
;Setting the record straight is almost impossible - the effects of misinformaiton on memory
and finally, one that later caused a bit of controversy from someone I know: Greenpeace protesters destroy a GM wheat trial
On the final one, my views on GM food are complicated. I don't think they're the great evil as every greenie on the planet seems to think, but I think the technology is a bit too dangerous to be put into the hands of greedy multinationals. Moreover, I don't buy that "GM will feed the world" line. The problem, as it's always been, is distribution, not nutritional value of the food or ease of growth. And on that, more food will lead to exploding populations, which will cause more problems of food shortages. It's...fucking complicated, and an emotional issue.
That being said, I have no problem with using GM technology to fiddle with plants to make them more profitable, provided that potential harm to the environment around these crops can be shown to be minimal or non-existent.
I certainly have no problem with eating GM-derived foodstuffs, as they've almost overwhelmingly been shown to be harmless. Just don't get me started on Monsanto...
Also on that, I hate Greenpeace. I hate their narrow-minded, black-and-white view of the world. I hate the fact that they can somehow get away with wholesale damage like this and not be held to account. People's research money, and students' research projects
, were no doubt affected by this act of idiocy.
Also, Penny was in Western Australia last week, and got some cool pictures of thrombolites
(which we may have referred to as "stromatolites" in the podcast, which are similar but not the same) from Lake Clifton, near Bunbury
This week, we're recording on Wednesday, and have another special guest. Who will turn up. Hopefully.