Munich Supercomputer

A new supercomputer in Munich is efficiently cooled with hot water, instead of air. This saves a remarkable amount of energy. It is efficient, cheap, and environmentally friendly.

This computer will be used by scientists around Europe, collaborating on studies of earthquakes.

The field of supercomputers, incidentally, is ruled by Linux


A transgender girl may be forceably institutionalised

In Germany, Alex, an 11-year-old girl may be forceably comitted to a mental-health institution and forced to live as a boy. Alex says that she has identified as female for as long as she can remember.

She is accepted as female at school, and has been registered as such from her earliest days there.

Her mother is also fully accepting. It’s her absent father who’s causing the problems. Feel free to sign the petition. Of course, the ethics of treating transgender children are complex, but that does not mean that Alex’s clearly-stated position should be simply ignored.

Incidentally, you can also sign a petition asking the press to show more respect to transgener people. Trans* issues have been in the news a lot recently.


Porn and Pontiff: Contradictions and Assumptions

So, Greta Christina, celebrated writer on sex, atheism, and other issues, is definitely porn-positive and would quite like to do porn herself, but feels constrained by cultural expectations. If she did porn, that’s all she’d be remembered for; her other work would be forgotten. Meanwhile, the Pope is definitely anti-porn, which didn’t stop the Roman Catholic Church making money from publishing the stuff.

I’d quite like a snappy summary sentence here, but I suppose it isn’t really necessary.


The Best Countries

Newsweek has a summary of the best countries in the world, measured by a number of different criteria, such as quality of life, political freedom, and economic vitality. It’s pretty interesting.


British Muslims Are More Bigotted than French or German Muslims

According to a Gallup poll, “British Muslims hold more conservative opinions towards homosexual acts, abortion, viewing pornography, suicide and sex outside marriage than European Muslims“.

(Incidentally, don’t you just love how, even in The Guardian, the British are not European?)