David Savoie writes: "Sunday, December 3, 2006
Just another cog in the wheel?
A new VISA television commercial depicts cafeteria patrons moving smoothly through the check-out process, like parts of smoothly operating machine. Smooth, that is, until one "trouble maker" uses cash instead of his credit card. Then the whole "machine" comes to a standstill. The other "cogs" are presumably irritated until the offending cash user is checked-out, the patrons resume using credit cards, and the world is "good" again. Aside from the implications of using perceived social peer pressure to make non-credit card users feel ostracized, what do you think of VISA's proposition that credit cards take less time in the check-out line than cash? Is that accurate in your experience. I use credit cards for convenience, but I don't think they speed up the check-out process at a bricks and mortar retail establishment, do you?"
eldavojohn writes: "From what sounds like the opening of an X-Files episode, Canadian scientists have reportedly found organic matter on a meteorite older than the sun. In Tagish Lake in Canada, scientists believe that organic globules found inside a meteorite are organic material older than the sun. From the article,
"We mean that the material in the meteorite has been processed the least since it was formed. The material we see today is arguably the most representative of the material that first went into making up the solar system." The meteorite likely formed in the outer reaches of the asteroid belt, but the organic material it contains probably had a far more distant origin. The globules could have originated in the Kuiper Belt group of icy planetary remnants orbiting beyond Neptune. Or they could have been created even farther afield. The globules appear to be similar to the kinds of icy grains found in molecular clouds — the vast, low-density regions where stars collapse and form and new solar systems are born.
The article seems to imply that life could potentially survive in these meteorites and maybe even travel through space — supporting the theory that life arrived on earth and evolved from that point on."