340 meters per second

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.

&mdash Alfred Adler (1870-1937)

Thursday, April 13, 2006


A professor at someplace called GateWay Community College created a neat JavaScript interactive diagram of the human muscle system. It's just a tutorial, but the level of detail is surprisingly good and it's completely intuitive. Check it out.

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For years, I subscribed to The New Yorker: sophisticated editorial content broken up by pretentious marketing campaigns and self-congratulatory navel-gazing urbanite wit. I enjoyed the monthly window into a world wholly unlike my own and they did have a remarkable ability to attract some of the finest short-story writers in America.

Anyway, I've since dropped my subscription but I still check out their site occasionally. This month, they're carrying an excellent piece by Seymour Hersh:"The Iran Plans: Would President Bush go to war to stop Tehran from getting the bomb?" is a crystal-clear summation of the White House's plans to go to war with Iran in the enar future. Citing one source after another, from DoD officials, to senior intelligence analysts and members of the House, Hersh leaves little room for argument: G.W. Bush, with what one senior member of the House Appropriations Committee referred to as a "messianic vision," is hell-bent on pockmarking Iran with blackened craters and filling the autumn siroccos with radioactive dust.

All emphases are mine.

The rationale for regime change was articulated in early March by Patrick Clawson, an Iran expert who is the deputy director for research at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and who has been a supporter of President Bush. “So long as Iran has an Islamic republic, it will have a nuclear-weapons program, at least clandestinely,” Clawson told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 2nd. “The key issue, therefore, is: How long will the present Iranian regime last?”

When I spoke to Clawson, he emphasized that “this Administration is putting a lot of effort into diplomacy.” However, he added, Iran had no choice other than to accede to America’s demands or face a military attack.


“This is much more than a nuclear issue,” one high-ranking diplomat told me in Vienna. “That’s just a rallying point, and there is still time to fix it. But the Administration believes it cannot be fixed unless they control the hearts and minds of Iran. The real issue is who is going to control the Middle East and its oil in the next ten years.”


The lack of reliable intelligence leaves military planners, given the goal of totally destroying the sites, little choice but to consider the use of tactical nuclear weapons. “Every other option, in the view of the nuclear weaponeers, would leave a gap,” the former senior intelligence official said. “ ‘Decisive’ is the key word of the Air Force’s planning. It’s a tough decision. But we made it in Japan.”

He went on, “Nuclear planners go through extensive training and learn the technical details of damage and fallout -— we’re talking about mushroom clouds, radiation, mass casualties, and contamination over years. This is not an underground nuclear test, where all you see is the earth raised a little bit. These politicians don’t have a clue, and whenever anybody tries to get it out” -— remove the nuclear option -— “they’re shouted down.”

The entire article, in a printable format for the evening commute home, is right here (will launch in a new window).


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