*Ignignokt: Our god is a god of vengeance. A god of hate. *
*Err: A god of action! *
*Ignignokt: Our god is an Indian who can turn into a wolf and- *
*Err: Dude, that’s Wolfen. *
*Ignignokt: Yes, well Wolfen will come after you, with his razor.*
These bastards hate our freedom.
I’m sorry . . . I’ve been laughing my ass off about this today. I am sure this wasn’t funny for Boston, and I apologize in advance for having a sense of humor, but this story just loosens my bowels it’s so ridiculous. Yes, that’s the first time “bowels” has made an appearance in my blog, so mark the occasion.
From the photo at the left, I infer the following things. First, terrorists are now actually using terror to terrorize us. The mooninites are an advanced species, from the moon (of course), whose incredible technology far outweighs our own. Not only do we have to combat terrorists from Earth, we now have to ward off the mooninite invasion. This is a warning, and anybody driving past the lighted sign of Ignignot flipping them off couldn’t have mistaken this for anything but a bomb. Second, I infer that Bostonites are so used to being flipped off that when lighted images of mooninites doing to them appear they just see blinking lights and think “bomb”. That’s a city on the edge of exploding, I tell you.
I don’t know what set me off more – the fact that these were some cheap gimmick gone awry and misinterpreted by a humorless public constantly on the edge of panic (it’s all that shopping we have to do to sacrifice for the war), or the fact that this picture makes it look like
Ignignot is flipping off the police. Holy crap. It’s like this photo is a still from a sequence wherein Ignignot is being hauled off to jail by the cops, shouting, “You think you’ve won, but you have no idea what you’re doing. I scoff your earth ways! (INSERT BIRD HERE)”
Here are the highlights from the omnibus spending bill passed by the House today:
**NSF**:“SEC. 20916. Notwithstanding section 101, the level for ‘National Science Foundation, Research and Related Activities’ shall be $4,665,950,000, of which not to exceed $485,000,000 shall remain available until expended for Polar research and operations support, and for reimbursement to other Federal agencies for operational and science support and logistical and other related activities for the United States Antarctic Program: Provided, That from funds provided under this section, such sums as are necessary shall be available for the procurement of polar icebreaking services: Provided further, That the National Science Foundation shall reimburse the Coast Guard according to the existing memorandum of agreement.”
**DOE OFFICE OF SCIENCE**:‘Department of Energy, Science’, $3,796,393,000;
What does all this mean? Well, the FY2006 budgets for NSF and DOE were $4,387.5 million and $3,596.4 million, respectively (c.f. “http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c109:H.R.2862.enr:”:http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c109:H.R.2862.enr: and “http://thomas.loc.gov/home/approp/app07.html”:http://thomas.loc.gov/home/approp/app07.html). For NSF this is a 6.4% increase, while for DOE science this is a 5.6% increase. According to the language of the Senate Report on DOE science funding from last year (when we were still optimistic), the Senate recommended $4,241.1 million in funding for the office of science. That would have been an 18% increase for the office.
This is a SAD improvement, but at least it’s a step up rather than a step down. I guess the question now is: what will the offices within Science do with an allocation lower than their budget planning anticipated?
You can find the bill here: “http://www.rules.house.gov/110/text/110th_hjres20.pdf”:http://www.rules.house.gov/110/text/110th_hjres20.pdf
This is a critical day for U.S. fundamental, curiosity-driven research. Having failed to pass the bi-partisan proposed increases for FY07 last autumn, the 109th Congress literally passed the buck to the 110th. They threatened to respond to this mess by “skipping” FY07, funding it at the same levels as FY06, and going on with the real business of FY08. There were several dangers in this. The first is that freezing spending avoids the bi-partisan increase for basic research (14% in the DOE’s Office of Science alone, after years of cuts or flat spending that choked innovation). The second is that failed or finished projects would have continued to receive federal funds, despite the fact that nobody would be doing them anymore (very wasteful!).
Today, “the Congress takes up the proposal to reallocate within the FY06 the priorities for science, effectively delivering increases to programs without cutting or raising the overall envelope”:http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2007/130/1. The pie slices change size but the pie still fits in the pan. Let’s cross our fingers and hope for the best.