Terrorism database

Right up front, I’ll point out that this could be very useful in political discussions about the current state of American. However, until I’ve had time to view more of the data and get an idea of what’s in there, I’ll avoid any actual discussion of political implications. That out of the way, now is a good time to read up on the global terrorism database put together with funding from the Department of Homeland Security.

The majority of terrorist attacks result in no fatalities, with just 1 percent of such attacks causing the deaths of 25 or more people.

And terror incidents began rising some in 1998, and that level remained relatively constant through 2004.

These and other myth-busting facts about global terrorism are now available on a new online database open to the public.

The database itself is accessible through a University of Maryland web site.

Continue reading Terrorism database

RIP Mr. Wizard

Sad news for the sci-geek world – Mr. Wizard has died.

Don Herbert, better known to generations of TV viewers as Mr. Wizard, died yesterday at the age of 89. The cause was multiple myeloma. From the 1950s through to the 80s, Herbert brought science to the small screen in a way that captured imaginations and sent many children down the path towards a scientific career. His ability to make his material approachable to the public makes his passing a great loss for the scientific community.

. . .

Herbert’s work occupied a key place in science education. It helped demonstrate how science could provide an explanation when common sense failed, and it was able to do so in a way that was both exciting and approachable. Science was not only fun, but useful, and something everyone could do. He didn’t make the big, complicated findings of modern science any easier for the public to understand, but he sent children down the path to understanding them by making it seem worth the effort. His efforts targeted kids at the ages we are increasingly realizing are essential for establishing a scientific understanding.

Mr. Wizard, you’ll be missed. I remember watching so many shows.

[tags]Mr. Wizard passes on, RIP Mr. Wizard[/tags]