Did you see The Social Network? Remember the annoying twin brothers who claimed that Zuckerberg stole their idea? Well, you may remember from the end of the movie that they made off with a cool $65 million. However, it seems as if they feel like they are entitled to more still:

Winklevoss Brothers, Redux. Again.Facebook was born at Harvard University in early 2004, and since then, the company has gone through a lot of changes. But one thing has not changed: the bad feelings between Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder, and his fellow Harvard students, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, memorably dramatized in the film “The Social Network.”
 
 
From the Huffington Post, Steve Cohen writes about the trend in the United States of decreased funding for basic scientific research and the consequences this could have for our country.
The Danger of Cutting Federal Science FundingDeclining funding in the U.S. must be examined in the context of global competition. Nations like China and Korea are increasing their investments in science by about 10% a year. The Academy notes that federal research funding is declining as a share of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product. While once it was over 1 percent of our GDP, it has been declining throughout the 21st century. There was a brief bump from the frequently maligned federal stimulus program, but that is rapidly becoming a fond if distant memory.
 
 
An interesting article in The Boston Globe by conservative columnist Jeff Jacoby claims that the idea that "We don't make anything in America" is just wrong - we make more than any other country in the world, including China. According to Jacoby, we don't have as many manufacturing jobs in America as we used to because our factories are simply more productive per worker than other nations, not because we don't make things.

Made in the USA:  “The decline, demise, and death of America’s manufacturing sector has been greatly exaggerated,’’ says economist Mark Perry, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. “America still makes a ton of stuff, and we make more of it now than ever before in history.’’ In fact, Americans manufactured more goods in 2009 than the Japanese, Germans, British, and Italians — combined.
 
 
So here's the somewhat long story short: Shell had invested in 10 biofuel research projects, and planned to cut 5 of them in 2011 to focus on the most "viable". The end result? 5 projects that aim to increase ethanol yields - ethanol that can be added to traditional gasoline, that is. As for the algae biodiesel project? Axed. Go figure.

Shell Exits Algae as it Commences a "Year of Choices"
 
 
So, the individual mandate requiring all citizens to buy insurance goes against what the founders would have done, eh? That's funny, because apparently they made all male citizens buy guns. I wonder what the Tea Party's excuse is for this?

The Civic Republican Roots of the Individual MandateThe irony, of course, is that this is an example of what the federal government could require citizens to do at the founding. All able bodied male citizens were part of the militia, and therefore were required to bear arms in defense of the state. In fact, the federal government passed a militia act in 1792 that required that every citizen purchase a weapon and ammunition.


 
 
A Google Cr-48 arrived at my house last night. Here's a short look at my first thoughts on the Chrome OS powered notebook, with more to come in the near future: 
Cr-48 Arrival and First Impressions
 
 
The Economist just discovered that the economic plan of the Republicans in office makes no sense. They simply cannot say that all of our economic problems stem from the budget deficit, then make the Keynesian claim that we need tax cuts to save the economy. It's either fix the deficit, or pass budget-busting tax cuts. In economics, you can't have it both ways.

Deficit hawkery as farce: Even more confusingly, there is no plausible argument that current unemployment or slow growth stem from the federal budget deficit. The mechanism through which budget deficits can lead to unemployment and slow growth is the bond market: government borrowing raises interest rates, which makes credit more expensive for businesses. But the 5-year treasury bond is under 2%, and the most recent auction had a bid cover of almost 3 times. Unsurprisingly, with interest rates low, the cost of credit ranks low on the list of businesses' chief concerns. Those who acknowledge that deficits don't seem to be driving up the cost of credit, but still want to blame deficits for the poor economy, have pointed to business uncertainty over potential future tax increases to cover government debt. But how does enacting an $800 billion two-year tax cut and then cutting $50 billion or even $100 billion in spending assuage business uncertainty about future debt?


 
 
Making it harder to get an abortion after rape or incest is a top priority for the new Congress? To quote Back To The Future 3, "WHAT KIND OF A FUTURE DO YOU CALL THAT?"
The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape: With this legislation, which was introduced last week by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Republicans propose that the rape exemption be limited to "forcible rape." This would rule out federal assistance for abortions in many rape cases, including instances of statutory rape, many of which are non-forcible. For example: If a 13-year-old girl is impregnated by a 24-year-old adult, she would no longer qualify to have Medicaid pay for an abortion. (Smith's spokesman did not respond to a call and an email requesting comment.)
 
 
It appears that Rahm Emanuel is going to be able to run for mayor of Chicago. I'm actually pretty happy about this result, as his platform seems pretty nonpartisan. That, and the facts seem to point to his being committed to Chicago: 

Rahm Emanuel back in mayoral race after Supreme Court rules 7-0: “This is a situation in which, not only did the candidate testify that his intent was not to abandon his Chicago residence, his acts fully support and confirm that intent. The candidate told several friends that he intended to serve as Chief of Staff for no more than 18 months or two years before returning to Chicago. The candidate has continued to own and pay property taxes on the Chicago residence while only renting in Washington, D.C.’’
 
 
The Soviet Union won the Space Race? Really? REALLY? How can this woman be considered a viable candidate for President? The Tea Party sure knows how to pick 'em: 

Palin Responds To Obama's State Of The Union Speech: 'A Lot Of WTF Moments' (VIDEO): When asked if she agreed with what the president had to say about the "Sputnik moment," Palinidentified the matter as one of those "WTF" instances. "He needs to remember that what happened back then with the former communist USSR and their victory in that race to space, yeah, they won, but they also incurred so much debt at the time that it led to the inevitable collapse of the Soviet Union," she said.