Monday, December 31, 2012

End Of The Year Tab Dump - Art

It's the end of 2012 and my folder full of tabs / bookmarks that I've been meaning to share is over flowing.  The end of a year seems like a good enough reason to get them all out there for your perusal and it doesn't hurt that it will help get me up over the 100 post threshold for 2012 either.

We're gonna do this categorically, sort of at least, some other links ended up on twitter; check the sidebar for those or @hcoppola.

And now it's time for Art, and/or art type things that didn't fit in anywhere else.  There were fewer of these lying around than the other categories I could come up with.  For the most part it's easy to share art stuff so I get to it more often.

Orhan Pamuk built a museum in a house in Istanbul that comes from a book that he wrote and was financed with his Nobel Prize money.  I've read two Pamuk books they were both pretty weirdly intense and one was fascinating and the other didn't hold my interest and no I don't recall the title of either.

Jeff Koons taught a bunch of second graders an art class and someone did this delightful little write up.

There is a dude who does photo-drawing mashups and calls them Pencil vs Camera...

A Japanese collective of sorts makes occasionally mesmerizing spinning animated GIFs...

Steve Winter takes pictures of tigers and of people and of how they interact and inter-relate.

Stay tuned as we close out 2012 and roll into 2013 there's still more to come...

End Of The Year Tab Dump - Politics

It's the end of 2012 and my folder full of tabs / bookmarks that I've been meaning to share is over flowing.  The end of a year seems like a good enough reason to get them all out there for your perusal and it doesn't hurt that it will help get me up over the 100 post threshold for 2012 either.

We're gonna do this categorically, sort of at least, some other links ended up on twitter; check the sidebar for those or @hcoppola.

You knew this one would be in here and that it would be a biggie.  At least we're gonna tackle Politics early on so there'll be some fun and light stuff to round your evening out with...

Here's everything I have left over from the election.  Most of these I read at least some of, some of them had good recommendations and I haven't gotten to yet or just never got to...

There are plenty of other things bouncing around that I haven't gotten to posting though.

There was a post election flurry of stories about the state and future of the filibuster in the Senate including ones from Ezra Klein who's been looking at this for a while now, Dylan Matthews, and Rik Hertzberg (also a filibuster follower).

Frank Rich, bless his heart, spent a week immersed in right-wing media and lived to tell the tale.

The frequently interesting, often fantastic, and nearly always worth reading Ta-Nehisi Coates went long on America's first Black President.

Matt Taibbi, the heir to the good doctor's desk at Rolling Stone, sunk his teeth into the HSBC drug money laundering settlement.  You shouldn't be surprised that he was less than pleased with how things played out.

Charlie Pierce said what needed to be said about the dearth of a true pro-choice movement in America.

Occupy kept chugging along as they got involved in Sandy relief and launched Rolling Jubilee which has raised more than $500k and retired retired more than $10 million of debt to date.  It's a very interesting idea and project.

Juan Cole and John Cassidy wrote passionate and very important pieces on the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America's surrender to a security state and the extent to which that means that the attacks achieved their goal.

Speaking of values, here is a fascinating look inside Halden Prison and the Norwegian prison system in general.  To state the obvious the US is not doing very well when it comes to prisons.

Staying with international stories, this personal reporting from a high ranking Australian soldier on dealing with his issues as he tried to reenter regular society after serving in Afghanistan is something you should read.  We have this problem times a whole bunch for American service men and women who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq and we aren't doing a terribly good job of dealing with it or talking about.  If this is up your alley make sure that you're reading Tom Ricks regularly.

The NYT got Mohamed Morsi to answer questions from its readers.

The NYT also spent time with US military drone pilots.  They fly these things at bases stateside and then go home at night, it's a freaking day job.

Nick Hanauer stirred up a little controversy with his TED Talk on taxes and job creation.  He makes a lot of sense to me...

And can you believe that Mayor Bloomberg and President Obama both had big interesting profiles of them published that had Way in the title?

Stay tuned as we close out 2012 and roll into 2013, I've got a few more of these to go this evening...

End Of The Year Tab Dump - Food

It's the end of 2012 and my folder full of tabs / bookmarks that I've been meaning to share is over flowing.  The end of a year seems like a good enough reason to get them all out there for your perusal and it doesn't hurt that it will help get me up over the 100 post threshold for 2012 either.

We're gonna do this categorically, sort of at least, some other links ended up on twitter; check the sidebar for those or @hcoppola.

First up is Food...

The best history of bourbon that I've read, and arguably the most authoritative one out there was authored by Circuit Judge Boyce F. Martin, Jr. for the US Court of Appeals, Sixth District.  It starts on page three with these words "All bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon." (pdf)

Andy Revkin's students in a Pace University course made this interesting 14 minute doc on how the cork gets in the bottle of wine and the still simmering controversy and competition between corks, synthetic corks, and screw caps in the wine world.

A.A. Gill is not pleased with the Michelin Guide.

Pretty much everyone in the world has used or tasted Maggi at some point in their cooking and eating experiences.  The cultures and cuisines that use a lot of Maggi all think it belongs to them; turns out it was invented in Switzerland in the 1880's by a guy named, wait for it, Maggi.

Eric Ripert got in on the new You Tube channel and show movement (which I really need to delve a little deeper into, that's another post though) and this episode with Stanley Tucci is pretty great...

Stay tuned as we close out 2012 and roll into 2013...

Come On Baby

Light my seriously cool fire in this BioLite portable camp stove thingy.  I've been meaning to put something up about this gadget for quite a little while now.  It's ostensibly a camp stove, but really it burns wood and puts out electricity through a USB port.  You could use one or even better they have great applications for charging small electric devices off the grid in developing countries around the world with a bigger version.

Here's the camp stove style intro video...

You can learn more about the project on the BioLite website and even pick up a stove for $130.  Outside gave it a good review and the BioLite team picked up an epic award with another good review from Gear Junkie.  You can also see more videos of the BioLite in action and check out reviews from real world users across the interwebs.

(via LS)

Monday, December 24, 2012

What? I Don't Know Who That Is...

It never gets old, especially with some fun new twists and appearances...

Joe Pos also wrote an updated version for the winter meetings which you should take a minute to read.

Just in case you need a refresher on the original here it is...

It's wild these days to just pull up a video version on you tube and send it out into the interwebs.  Growing up one of my friends had this on tape and we'd have to go over to his house to listen to it.  The times they are a changing...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hey Snowflake

I'm beginning to worry that we may not see any snow this winter here in DC.  If we do though, this video will help you understand the science behind those pretty little flakes...

(via Crave)

American Rights

The Onion is mostly thought of as a humor source, but I think they often do their best work in more trying times.  As American's we now have the right to "live our lives in complete, stunned horror"...

WASHINGTON—In the wake of yesterday’s gruesome mass shooting that claimed the lives of 27 people, including 20 schoolchildren, the United States ratified a new constitutional amendment this afternoon guaranteeing American citizens the right to live life in a perpetual state of abject horror. “The provisions of the 28th Amendment will fully protect the right of all individuals to spend every waking moment utterly terrified at the thought of a deranged stranger with a semiautomatic combat rifle gunning them down,” said House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), explaining that the measure also permits Americans to suffer panic attacks anytime their loved ones go to work, school, malls, or virtually any other public location. “In addition, the new amendment prevents the government from ever infringing on a citizen’s inalienable right to lie awake at night visualizing the images of crying children being ushered out of a school and wondering where it could happen next.” The new amendment comes on the heels of numerous other proposed changes to U.S. law, including a highly contested bill that would protect the right of Americans to ignore a widespread, deadly problem until it is far too late.
That's the whole thing because I want to be sure you read it.  Click through for more Onion coverage of our most recent mass shooting.

Via Kottke, who has been assembling a good round up of important gun violence and control coverage while wondering if The Onion is our most emotionally honest media source.  For what it's worth I think he's probably right about that.

To find out what you can do to help make America safer please visit the Brady Campaign.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Yo Holmes To Bel-Air!

I am very entertained by Jimmy Fallon these days, dude is legitimately crushing it...

See also pretty much any musical skit from his show.

And then I got caught up in whether to spell it holmes or homes.  I went with my first instinct and I would say the l is pretty much silent.  You can kill some serious time checking out how other folks choose to spell it on the interwebs if you want though, just sayin...

Friday, December 7, 2012

Read This Now - Heritage Just A Tank

You may have guessed that I would tend to disagree with much (if not all) of what the Heritage Foundation and now former Senator Jim DeMint have to say. I don't think that either of them do anything to raise the level of discourse in the country or around Washington and I certainly have my doubts about any whether they do any real thinking.

Ezra Klein has a good run down on DeMint's appointment as the head of Heritage and the death of Think Tanks...

To state the obvious, you don’t name Jim DeMint head of your think tank because you’re trying to improve the quality of your scholarship. You name DeMint head of your think tank because you’re trying to become the leader of the conservative wing of the Republican Party.

There’s much that DeMint can bring to his new job as president of the Heritage Foundation. Deep connections with lawmakers. Genuine respect from the Tea Party. An immense talent for fundraising. A keen political sense. He might make the Heritage Foundation, which is already an able and effective advocate, a much more powerful force in Republican Party politics. But he will not make it a more respected force in the world of ideas.
There's the kernel of a great idea behind the notion of Think Tanks, that they could develop new and innovative solutions to policy challenges that the nation faces and that politicians in office don't have the time, knowledge, or courage to work on or propose.  Instead they seem to operate more like well staffed SuperPAC's these days and it's a shame.  Read the whole piece above for a quick look at the situation, it won't take you long.

There are good ideas out there and we need them.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mr. Burns & Romney

Not surprisingly Mr. burns is still a bit torn up about President Obama's reelection, but it's time for him to suck it up and help explain the 'fiscal cliff'...

Every once in a while the Simpsons still brings it. Spot on, one might say.

(via DB on fb)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Beck's Latest Album, er Book?

Beck has always been a bit of an iconoclast and never seemed satisfied to do the same thing twice.  So it isn't terribly surprising to see him launching a far out concept for his next album.  You may have heard that it's being released as the sheet music for all of the songs that make up the album with the notion that other folks will play and record it and share the music.  It's a fascinating idea but I've been a bit skeptical; I figure part of what I like about Beck's albums is hearing him play the music that he's written and this will be missing that crucial aspect and will probably suffer for it.

This morning I caught my first listen off of the album (The album is titled Song Reader by the by) as some of the NY'er staff dropped a pretty high production value recording / video of Old Shanghai.  And, well, it's great...

Beck also wrote a preface for the album for the NY'er (it goes a bit long but is worth the time)...

But actual, playable songs were still a necessity. I started to think about what kind of songs have a quality that allows others to inhabit them and to make them their own. What is it about a song that lets you sing it around a campfire, or play it at a wedding? Is it the simplicity of the sentiment? A memorable melody? What makes certain songs able to persist through any era, and adapt themselves?
The album website already has plenty of uploads for you to peruse, and it seems as though this may well be an interesting project to follow if nothing else.  I really hope that Pomplamoose gets in on the action.

You Keep Using That Word...

Slipping in pop culture references is always fun, especially when you're referencing The Princess Bride while talking about the NFL...

Well played sirs.

(via kottke)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I (Don't Really) Want My MTV

It's been at least 15 years (I'd guess) since I turned on MTV, but even then at the end of my time in high school we were already complaining that they weren't playing as many videos as they once had.

This video helps to explain why music videos have only become rarer since then on MTV, it's been making the rounds online and it's worth your 3 minutes.  In addition to being pretty funny and spot on, it has a bunch of interesting social commentary about how we consume music as a society (and generationally) has been changing and the rise of the importance of the interwebs for music promotion and distribution.  Have a gander...

(via sort of everywhere, but I finally watched when kottke put it up)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Election Season Is Over

Can I get a Hell Yeah?!

But in case you were busy watching an actual news source for the election results last week and you missed the utter nonsense (yes even more than is to normally be expected) that went down on Fox News, Jon Stewart has the recap for you...

Video Game Trailers

Video games are big business these days complete with blockbuster movie size budgets and rool outs that includes hollywood style trailers and ad campaigns.

Occasionally though, they keep things at least a little old school and give a nod to history and where video games came from.  I have only vague memories of the original Karateka but this trailer for the new updated version is one of the best video game ads I've ever seen.

Polygon has more on the reboot.

(via DF)

Friday, November 9, 2012

That's Still President Obama To You

So I finally saw Luther the anger translator in action and I laughed.  Hard.

Here's the first introduction of Luther, also a winner (and NSFW due to f-bombs and the like)...

NPR had a good piece on the history of Presidential impersonations and Obama in particular last week.

More from Key & Peele here, I haven't watched anything other than a couple of the Luther clips though so don't take that as an endorsement just yet.

Carl Sagan Day

Happy Birthday Carl Sagan; you said some brilliant things over the years...

(via UCS)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Night

It's almost all over but the counting at this point (plenty of people not living in the eastern time zone still have to vote) and while the pundits scream about it being too close to call the actual number crunchers say things aren't actually razor tight (see last night's Colbert to help understand that conclusion).

In addition to watching The Report here are a couple of other things to check out while you wait for the results map to get colored in...

Why do so many people not vote?  The WonkBlog team takes a look (with charts) and it seems like a lot of them are lazy.

One of the dominate themes from the day, even in non-competitive areas like here in DC, has been loooong lines at polling places.  It is a travesty and an inexcusable one that we make it so difficult to vote in this country (wait maybe this has something to do with why some people don't bother to vote) and Andrew Cohen elaborates on this point in more depth than I'm willing to get into.

Referring back to the Nate Silver interview in the Colbert episode (you watched that already right?) Adam Gopnik breaks things down in this Moneyball election season.  Silver fought this battle in the baseball world already and he was and is right.

The times have changed since we last did this dance and I'll be commenting on twitter, if at all, the rest of the evening.  Not sure what we'll have on the TV since PBS doesn't come in over our bunny ears (guess that's why we have the interwebs).

Friday, November 2, 2012

Climate Change - Not A Joke

Most serious people and anyone who takes a good look at what the evidence and the experts have to say agrees.  Mitt Romney though, not so much...

(via DR Grist)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Mitt Romney Style Will Bring About The Zombie Apocalypse

Both of these videos have made me laugh recently, and given the crush of the end of the campaign and the overwhelming nature of all things political right now I'll take some levity anywhere I can get it...

Also you might want to sign up for a parkour class just in case...

(Joss Whedon via JC, Mitt Romney Style via sort of everywhere)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Take A Look It's In A Book...

We grew up with Reading Rainbow and some of us also grew up with our parents old Doors albums and well Jimmy Fallon must have too...

How did I not know about this before now?!  Many thanks to WAMU for playing a clip of Kojo asking LeVar Burton about this earlier this year on the radio today; otherwise I still wouldn't know what I was missing.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Read This Now - Mitt's Mendacious Tax Plan

Bloomberg has the simplest, most straight forward break down of why Mitt Romney's tax plan won't work...

Mitt Romney’s tax plan has three key planks. He cuts personal income tax rates by 20 percent across the board; he eliminates deductions, exclusions and credits so that the deficit does not grow; and he doesn’t make the tax code any less progressive. Unfortunately, as the Tax Policy Center has shown, only two of these planks can co-exist.

Conservatives have reacted aggressively against the TPC report. It seems that Mitt’s plan should be viable: If you cut tax rates proportionally across the board, and eliminate tax deductions proportionally, it seems progressivity should be unchanged. In fact, if you eliminate tax breaks starting with the wealthy, as Romney says he would, it seems he should be able to make the tax code even more progressive.

The idea is intuitive, but wrong. And it’s wrong because of something people don’t realize: The tax preferences that exist today overwhelmingly benefit people with lower and middle incomes, not the wealthy. While tax rate cuts reduce income tax burdens proportionally, as TPC notes, there aren't enough tax preferences for wealthy people to offset Romney's cuts at the top.
Read the whole thing for the details (you've already read almost half of the original post if you've gotten this far, why stop now).

(via BOTM)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Positive Political Ads

This one is somber, but I'm putting it into the positive category because it's main focus isn't trashing the opponent.  My biggest disappointment with the current election cycle is that it's taking us even farther away from the issues than we often get and mostly degenerating into name calling, speckled with mendacity and outright lies.

This ad made me feel a little bit better about things though...

Maybe it was just Morgan Freeman doing the voice over, he always makes me feel like things are going to turn out alright, I mean he got to fishing after all.

(via TPM)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

How They Handle Hypocrisy In Australian Politics

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has had just about enough hypocrisy from the leader of the opposition...

That's on the floor of Parliament no less.  I appreciate that the Aussies, like the Brits, don't dance around the issues, obfuscations, and out right lies in their political dealings, they up and call it like they see it.

The NY'er has the back story for the speech, which is worth taking a look at as well.

(via the NY'er but their video link was broken so I got it here via @FiredBigBird)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Scott Simon Can't Handle The Truth

Teachers work hard and they deserve to be paid well.  An investment in the education system and educators is an investment in our children and the future of America itself.  Unfortunately NPR's Scott Simon doesn't seem to feel that way.

Here is my letter to NPR's Weekend Edition regarding Simon's comment's during last weekends interview with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

To Whom It May Concern,

I was shocked and saddened by Scott Simon’s repeated insistence last weekend that teachers do not work hard nor deserve to be paid better or even well for the work that they do (Duncan On Chicago: 'When Adults Fight, Kids Lose' Weekend Edition, 9/22/12).  Not to mention Simon’s ridiculous insinuation that he has as much effect over whether the Cubs win the World Series as the Secretary of Education has over the state of the American public school system.

Mr. Simon’s tone and dismissal of the incredible work that many of our nation’s teachers do was insulting; he owes the nation’s teachers, and his listeners, an apology.

You can read or listen to the interview here.  A recent study from The Gates Foundation determined that American teachers work 10 hours and 40 minutes in an average day, and research conducted by the Economics Policy Institute has found that American teachers are paid 12% less than other professions requiring a comparable amount of education and training. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Sarah Silverman Is Not Amused With Voter Suppression (NSFW)

Sarah Silverman got a shout out in the last post for her work in the last election cycle and now she's getting her own post complete with video.

Silverman wants to make sure that everyone can vote, even in the face of new voter ID laws.  One thing to do is to go get yourself a gun (only sort of a joke, you'll see)

(this video is NSFW due to all kinds of language, and no there isn't a cleaned up version thank you very much.)

More on voter suppression and supposed voter fraud here and here.

(via NYer)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sam Jackson Thinks You Should Vote For Obama (NSFW)

And he's not messing around...

(this video is NSFW due to f-bombs; edited version here)

This video is from the Jewish Council for Education and Research, who put together The Great Schlep project with Sarah Silverman the last time we elected a President.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


In order to exercise the franchise (as none of the kids have probably ever said, but maybe should have) you need to be registered to vote.  Yes, some states will let you register on election day at your polling place, but why wait.  Get it done today - it is National Voter Registration Day after all.

Rock The Vote will help you out as will the NVRD website.  If you live in the DC area you should check out the great new resource that is  The site will help you check your registration status, get yourself registered, and figure out absentee and early voting as well.

Be sure you're ready to get out there and do your thing, it's your chance to participate in your democracy and you should do it.  Too few people vote in the US these days with only about 60% of potential voters in Presidential election years and less than 40% showing up to vote in the midterm elections.

Read This Now - The NFL Refs And Labor Union Struggles

Brad Plummer has a good quick look at how the locked out NFL Refs are just like every other labor union fighting for a better deal for it's members...

In many ways, however, the NFL referee feud is perfectly representative of modern labor battles playing out in Wisconsin and elsewhere. In this case, one of the biggest sticking points, as Dave Jamieson explains, involves pensions. The league wants to replace the defined-benefit pensions for referees that have been in place since the 1970s with riskier and stingier 401(k)s. The referees, by contrast, point out that the NFL hauls in $9 billion per year and can afford to provide generous retirement packages.
If you read the whole thing, and you should, you'll be left wondering if Scott Walker knows the real refs are union guys.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Refreshing Campaign Ad

Being in DC and not watching much TV means that I only really see spill over VA campaign ads during the Skins games, so I have it pretty good (friends in Boston say that they're about ready to start throwing things at the screen if they see Scott Brown's truck one more time).  Even if I was on ad overload I think I'd enjoy this one...

Not only is it fun, this ad also brings up an important non-partisan election and voting issue.  You can get the back story on the ad from the WaPo.

Make sure you vote and that you fill out the entire ballot this fall.

I miss the West Wing...

(via all over the place)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fraggles and Five

Ben Folds got the band back together and threw in some Fraggles, and it was good and the people were happy...

(via Nerdist w/ an assist from LS)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Read This Now - Use It Or Lose It

It should be a fairly common sense acknowledgement that walking more is good for your overall health.  So the flip side of that notion being true shouldn't really come as a surprise either; sitting around all day can kill you (more or less)...

"Those who were sitting more were substantially more likely to die," Blair says.

Specifically, he found that men who reported more than 23 hours a week of sedentary activity had a 64 percent greater risk of dying from heart disease than those who reported less than 11 hours a week of sedentary activity. And many of these men routinely exercised. Blair says scientists are just beginning to learn about the risks of a mostly sedentary day.

"If you're sitting, your muscles are not contracting, perhaps except to type. But the big muscles, like in your legs and back, are sitting there pretty quietly," Blair says. And because the major muscles aren't moving, metabolism slows down.

"We're finding that people who sit more have less desirable levels" of cholesterol, blood sugar, triglycerides and even waist size, he says, which increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease and a number of health problems.
NPR has the rundown on the research and some tips for moving around more (from a year and a half ago no less).

It isn't that hard to walk a little more each day; take the stairs instead of the elevator, park a little farther away, get off the bus a stop early, go out for a spin around the block at lunch or in the afternoon, walk over to your co-workers' desks instead of calling them, and so on and so forth.

Basically just do what the man says...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Read This Now - Obama & Romney On Science Issues

Scientific American asked the Presidential candidates 14 questions on the top science issues of the day and you should check out what they had to say.  Remember that a huge amount of the funding for scientific and technological research and development comes from the federal government and that funding may well hang in the balance of the upcoming election.

Here are the questions; click through to read the candidates responses...

1. Innovation and the Economy. Science and technology have been responsible for over half of the growth of the U.S. economy since WWII, when the federal government first prioritized peacetime science mobilization. But several recent reports question America’s continued leadership in these vital areas. What policies will best ensure that America remains a world leader in innovation?

2. Climate Change. The Earth’s climate is changing and there is concern about the potentially adverse effects of these changes on life on the planet. What is your position on cap-and-trade, carbon taxes, and other policies proposed to address global climate change—and what steps can we take to improve our ability to tackle challenges like climate change that cross national boundaries?

3. Research and the Future. Federally funded research has helped to produce America’s major postwar economies and to ensure our national security, but today the UK, Singapore, China, and Korea are making competitive investments in research. Given that the next Congress will face spending constraints, what priority would you give to investment in research in your upcoming budgets?

4. Pandemics and Biosecurity. Recent experiments show how Avian flu may become transmissible among mammals. In an era of constant and rapid international travel, what steps should the United States take to protect our population from emerging diseases, global pandemics and/or deliberate biological attacks?

5. Education. Increasingly, the global economy is driven by science, technology, engineering and math, but a recent comparison of 15-year-olds in 65 countries found that average science scores among U.S. students ranked 23rd, while average U.S. math scores ranked 31st. In your view, why have American students fallen behind over the last three decades, and what role should the federal government play to better prepare students of all ages for the science and technology-driven global economy?

6. Energy. Many policymakers and scientists say energy security and sustainability are major problems facing the United States this century. What policies would you support to meet the demand for energy while ensuring an economically and environmentally sustainable future?

7. Food. Thanks to science and technology, the United States has the world's most productive and diverse agricultural sector, yet many Americans are increasingly concerned about the health and safety of our food. The use of hormones, antibiotics and pesticides, as well as animal diseases and even terrorism pose risks. What steps would you take to ensure the health, safety and productivity of America's food supply?

8. Fresh Water. Less than one percent of the world’s water is liquid fresh water, and scientific studies suggest that a majority of U.S. and global fresh water is now at risk because of increasing consumption, evaporation and pollution. What steps, if any, should the federal government take to secure clean, abundant fresh water for all Americans?

9. The Internet. The Internet plays a central role in both our economy and our society. What role, if any, should the federal government play in managing the Internet to ensure its robust social, scientific, and economic role?

10. Ocean Health. Scientists estimate that 75 percent of the world’s fisheries are in serious decline, habitats like coral reefs are threatened, and large areas of ocean and coastlines are polluted. What role should the federal government play domestically and through foreign policy to protect the environmental health and economic vitality of the oceans?

11. Science in Public Policy. We live in an era when science and technology affect every aspect of life and society, and so must be included in well-informed public policy decisions. How will you ensure that policy and regulatory decisions are fully informed by the best available scientific and technical information, and that the public is able to evaluate the basis of these policy decisions?

12. Space. The United States is currently in a major discussion over our national goals in space. What should America's space exploration and utilization goals be in the 21st century and what steps should the government take to help achieve them?

13. Critical Natural Resources. Supply shortages of natural resources affect economic growth, quality of life, and national security; for example China currently produces 97% of rare earth elements needed for advanced electronics. What steps should the federal government take to ensure the quality and availability of critical natural resources?

14. Vaccination and public health. Vaccination campaigns against preventable diseases such as measles, polio and whooping cough depend on widespread participation to be effective, but in some communities vaccination rates have fallen off sharply. What actions would you support to enforce vaccinations in the interest of public health, and in what circumstances should exemptions be allowed?

It isn't quite a science debate, but it's a lot better than not addressing these issues.

(via kottke