Jay Cost, “Five Reasons NY-23 Doesn’t Tell Us Anything” – fta: The pundit class is in full swing, interpreting the meaning of NY-23. “What’s it say about Obama’s administration?” “What’s it say about the state of the Republican Party?” “What’s it say for the upcoming health care debate?” So many questions. I’ll do my best to answer them, each in turn. Nothing, nothing, and nothing!
Down Syndrome Births Drop as More Women Abort – fta: Dr. Lewis Holmes, head of the genetics unit at MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston, said about 80 percent of women who learn before 24 weeks that they are carrying a child with Down syndrome choose to end the pregnancy.
Wired, “U.S. Needs ‘Hit Squads,’ Manhunting Agency: Spec Ops Report” (h/t David) – fta: CIA director Leon Panetta got into hot water with Congress, after he revealed an agency program to hunt down and kill terrorists. A recent report from the U.S. military’s Joint Special Operations University argues that the CIA didn’t go far enough. Instead, it suggests the American government should set up something like a “National Manhunting Agency” to go after jihadists, drug dealers, pirates and other enemies of the state.
Slate, “How the AvantGrand, Yamaha’s new electronic piano, improves upon a 300 year old instrument” (h/t aldaily.com) – fta: The AvantGrand can instantly retune itself to a variety of tunings, or “temperaments,” from Donald Duck’s Pythagorean scale to those that were standard during Bach’s lifetime, which is very titillating for baroque-enthusiasts. Those wishing to precisely re-create the tuning that Bach used can hit a few buttons on the control panel, and the pitches of the notes will revert to the asymmetric tuning used in the very early days of the piano, when different keys had different personalities, since they weren’t all equally corrected.