Broadly Focused Podcast – Episode 15

So, this episode of the podcast very nearly sucked.  I mean, it might still suck, if you have some sort of standards or something, but it nearly really sucked.  I’ve got a bunch of crazy stuff in my personal life, have money issues, car issues, and even hair issues, but got really good news literally minutes before we pressed record.  So, we drop the game again, mainly due to a massive amount of follow up and listener feedback (I know, big loss, right?), and we keep on topic – except that time or two we go off on a tangent or three for a while… you know how this podcast is.

News Items:

Gay Georgians not Peachy with Orthodox Christians

Dozens of gay rights supporters rallied for a second day in the [country of] Georgia[‘s] capital Friday after being attacked by Orthodox Christians during their initial march in the deeply religious Caucasus state. Around 60 young activists assembled on the steps of the parliament building in the overtly Christian ex-Soviet nation holding banners with slogans such as “Stop hate crimes” and “No to religious extremists”.

So, easy for us – good on ya!  They held a rare LGBT rights demonstration, were assaulted by priests and parishioners alike, and came back with police protection.  Let’s hope this is just a part of a growing civil rights movement in the former Soviet Union.

Brian brings up the point that, if viewed in a historic frame of mind, this could indicate that the LGBT’s are gaining parity with the various sects of Christianity – they just need to bring their own sticks to the conversation next time.

Suing to protect the name of Sharia law

So, this is a weird bit of neo-McCarthyism:

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a law aimed at keeping the state’s courts or government agencies from basing decisions on Islamic or other foreign legal codes, and a national Muslim group’s spokesman said Friday that a court challenge is likely.

The new law, taking effect July 1, doesn’t specifically mention Shariah law, which broadly refers to codes within the Islamic legal system.  Instead, it says courts, administrative agencies or state tribunals can’t base rulings on any foreign law or legal system that would not grant the parties the same rights guaranteed by state and U.S. constitutions.

Boy, I sure am glad they came up with a solution to this pressing problem!

Russian Moon Base declares Vladimir

“We’re not talking about repeating what mankind achieved 40 years ago,” said Vladimir Popovkin, head of Russian space agency Roscosmos, at Tuesday’s Global Space Exploration Conference in Washington, D.C. “We’re talking about establishing permanent bases.”

I would feel better if they could give us some idea as to why. Brian points out that control of the high orbitals will scare the bejeezus out of the American government, and we’ll be putting a base right next door – and reminding the Russkies that we’re the ones with mass drivers, not them.

BFP spawns a glut of astronaut applications

More than 6,300 individuals applied to become part of NASA’s next generation of astronauts. It was the highest number of applications ever received by the agency since 1978, and the call garnered more than 8,000 submissions. Typically, the agency receives between 2,500 and 3,500 applicants for astronaut vacancy announcements.

That’s right, this was totally our doing.  We love science, we talk about science, few dozen of you listen, NASA gets the second highest number of applicants to the astronaut training program in history.  The causal relationship couldn’t be more obvious.

Items of interest:

Matt – Mixlr

Live Internet Audio Broadcasting made simple. Should we attempt a live broadcast? Matt poses the question to our listening audience, providing pros (such as live chat and instant feedback) and cons (stump the hosts just became a drinking game.)

Brian- Skin Cells converted to Heart Muscle

Building on research conducted by Japanese and American scientists, Jewish scientists from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa have shown that it’s possible to take skin cells from an elderly patient with advanced heart failure and end up with his own beating cells in a laboratory dish that are healthy and young – the equivalent to the stage his heart cells were in when he was just born. Problems to address include the speed at which the cells are grown (currently takes several weeks,) and the number of cells required (researchers were able to inject millions of grown cells into rats, but the typical heart attack kills a billion cells.) Abstract in Oxford Journal

Follow Up:

Lots of follow up again!

When actor James Doohan died in 2005, the man who played Star Trek‘s engineer Scotty for nearly 40 years had one request: That his ashes be launched into space. Now, after years of delays and countless rumors,SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is not only carrying the Dragon spacecraft; according to Billionaire SpaceX Founder and CEO Elon Musk, it has the ashes of “Scotty” packed somewhere inside the rocket.

For the first time in history space station astronauts have ‘Entered the Dragon’ .. The 1st Private Capsule in Space !

The hatches between the newly arrived Dragon private capsule and the International Space Station’s Harmony Node 2 module were opened at 5:53 a.m. EDT (0953 GMT) today, Saturday, May 26 as the massive complex was flying 407 kilometers (253 miles) over the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand, just west of Auckland.

This morning, at approximately 8:42 AM Pacific/11:42 AM Eastern, Space Exploration Technologies (Spacex) completed its historic mission when the Dragon spacecraft splashed down safely in the Pacific. The vehicle will now be recovered by boats and start the trip back to land.

OK, for reals this time:,0,2131651.story

A North Carolina group said it plans to hold a public protest on Sunday to denounce a Baptist minister’s anti-gay and lesbian sermon that has drawn hundreds of thousands of views on the Internet.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a religious liberty watchdog group, has filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service, asking that it investigate the tax exempt status of Providence Road Baptist Church.

“Pastor Worley’s vicious and mean-spirited assault on gays and lesbians is bad enough,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “His pulpit command that people not vote for President Obama is a violation of federal tax law. I urge the IRS to act swiftly to investigate the matter.”

Listener Feedback

Jonathan provides the following piece for our perusal:

Would a message from God pass these Catholic rules on revelation?
It seems God’s will is subservient to the church’s – a revelation or apparition contradicting accepted dogma would be rejected.  Wherein Brian objects to the logic and conclusions of the piece’s author – pointing out that messages from God, throughout the scriptures, indicating either doom or praise, are prevalent.

Listener Brian, not Host Brian, asks Host Brian for Advice on Web Research via email. Both Hosts respond.


2 thoughts on “Broadly Focused Podcast – Episode 15

  1. I submitted my application the NASA the other day I’m happy that you guys are getting the credit. Keep up the good job on the podcast I enjoy it. I’m normally not available for live podcast but it is a great way to expose yourself to new audiences if you do it as a G+ Hangout.

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