Thank you, Lisa, but now the pressure’s on, and I hope I can live up to it!

shuttle being readied
charles w luzier/reuters

The Shuttle is ready for another takeoff, this time to help get the International Space Station into its proper orbit, bring supplies, and do general maintenance. This will also be the first Shuttle mission with the new modernized cockpit, which is as state-of-the-art as computers that run a Space Shuttle can possibly be. DAMN! The launch was postponed due to high winds. Bummer.

In readying myself for hearing oral arguments in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale at the Supreme Court Wednesday, I found a good summary of the issues involved, and the potential scope of the eventual ruling. I’m slowly making my way through the NJ Supreme Court majority opinion; since the conversation at the Court tends to be more about specific points of law and interpretation based on precedent, I like to at least come close to being able to keep up.

Very very interesting: in response to preliminary inquiries by Republicans into this weekend’s events, a senior White House official has been quoted as saying “If they want hearings to explore this, then the responsibility will rest with them when we have no choice but to focus on things that have not been put into the public debate about the environment the boy was living in.” I wonder what this means…

What a complete buffoon. Matt Drudge started a conspiracy movement two nights ago by questioning the authenticity of the photos released that day of Elian with his father. Yesterday, the family released new photos, but took an extra step to authenticate them — they released the roll of undeveloped film to the AP Washington bureau, and let them develop, inspect, and print the film. Did Drudge then recant? No, he simply removed the sensationalist headlines from his site, as if he never had started the ruckus. As I said to Dan Budiac last night, the thing that angers me about Drudge isn’t his political bent (annoying, but not angering), it’s that he gleefully stirs up the political pot, but feels he has absolutely no responsibility to acknowledge and apologize when he goes too far.

On the same note, in light of the fact that there clearly was a warrant to go into the house, has Tom DeLay, the third-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, acknowledged that he spoke out of his ass and misled the entire American populace on Sunday’s Meet the Press? (He sure as hell grandstanded in apologizing to all Americans who were “morally offended” by the raid.) UPDATE: I wrote Tom DeLay an email asking him this same question, and got a canned response back. Sadly for him, and for the people who elected him, that canned response has a grammatical error in it; the second sentence reads “I will carefully consider you input and get a response back to you.” Very sad.

The thing that has not ceased to amaze me is how little understanding the Miami relatives have of the way the law, and law enforcement, works; in particular, it’s clear that Marisleysis, the cousin, is completely clueless. She is currently screaming her head off, saying “I demand and I think I have a right to see this boy,” yet as things now stand, she and her relatives have no rights whatsoever. She keeps claiming that the federal raid was conducted during honest negotiations by the family, yet apparently when Reno finally told the mediator in the house that he had exactly five minutes to agree to send Elian to Washington, he had to try to wake the entire family up. And then she decries the use of weapons and force to get Elian out, yet was quoted in the days before the raid by people in her own community as saying that any Federal agent who entered their house would be hurt.

The FDA has approved Zyvox, the first of a new class of antibiotics known as oxazolidinones. Early data shows that it is effective against vancomycin-resistant enterococcus, a fatal infection that has been near-impossible to eradicate. Since it’s a patented synthetic drug, the price will probably be pretty high; all that Pharmacia has said is that it will cost slightly less than Synercid, which is around $85 per dose.

Friday, a Los Angeles jury ruled against Disney, agreeing that the company had coerced one of their executives dying of AIDS to sign away over $2 million in stock options based on false allegations of corruption. This is the first I’ve heard of this case, so I don’t know any details, but if it’s all true, then it’s a scary picture of Disney.

Ummmm… could this computer be any cooler? It’s the size of a portable CD player; I see a ton of cool uses of something this size. (This could easily be the start of a legit wearable computer.)

I don’t know how I missed this on MetaFilter, but an interesting question in raised in this News & Observer story: is a man still obligated to pay child support when DNA test confirm that he is not a child’s father? It appears that there are somewhat tragic numbers of men who are tricked or pressured into acknowledging paternity when it isn’t actually the case, and these men then end up with enormous child support bills.