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Iceland Taps Facebook To Rewrite Its Constitution Screenshot-sm 264

An anonymous reader writes "Iceland is finally overhauling its constitution, and it has turned to the Internet to get input from citizens. More specifically, the 25-member council drafting the new constitution is reaching out to its citizens through Facebook. Two thirds of Iceland's population (approximately 320,000) is on Facebook, so the constitutional council's weekly meetings are broadcast live not only on the council's website, but on the social network as well. 'It is possible to register through other means, but most of the discussion takes place via Facebook,' said Berghildur Bernhardsdottir, spokeswoman for the constitutional review project."
Medicine

Family To Receive $1.5M+ In Vaccine-Autism Award 594

An anonymous reader, quoting from CBS News, writes "'The first court award in a vaccine-autism claim is a big one. CBS News has learned the family of Hannah Poling will receive more than $1.5 million for her life care, lost earnings, and pain and suffering for the first year alone. In addition to the first year, the family will receive more than $500,000 per year to pay for Hannah's care. Those familiar with the case believe the compensation could easily amount to $20 million over the child's lifetime. ... In acknowledging Hannah's injuries, the government said vaccines aggravated an unknown mitochondrial disorder Hannah had which didn't 'cause' her autism, but 'resulted' in it. It's unknown how many other children have similar undiagnosed mitochondrial disorders. All other autism 'test cases' have been defeated at trial. Approximately 4,800 are awaiting disposition in federal vaccine court.' How did this happen when all the scientific data points otherwise?"
Earth

NASA Attempts To Assuage 2012 Fears 881

eldavojohn writes "The apocalyptic film 2012 has dominated the box office, taking in $65 million on opening weekend. But with all those uninformed eyeballs watching the film, NASA has found itself answering so many common questions that their Ask an Astrobiologist blog offers calming, professional reassurance that there is no planet Nibiru, nor will it collide with Earth (although I do recall a massive solar storm forecast). NASA's main site even offers a FAQ answering similar questions. NPR has more on NASA scientist David Morrison and his efforts to calm the ensuing public hysteria, but survivalists are already planning for the big one. Pretty funny, right? Not according to Morrison: 'I've had three from young people saying they were contemplating committing suicide. I've had two from women contemplating killing their children and themselves. I had one last week from a person who said, "I'm so scared, my only friend is my little dog. When should I put it to sleep so it won't suffer?" And I don't know how to answer those questions.'"

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