Blotting Out Sun May Soon Be Banned [via Discovery News]
A meeting of the United National Convention on Biological Diversity is considering several moves that could help negate the effects of climate change and preserve the world’s diverse biosphere — including a ban on blotting out the sun. Technically more of a screen, in theory such a device could limit the sun’s warming of Earth and help slow down global warming. Many are concerned about the possibility that the practice could lead to further abuse of fossil fuels or have unforeseen consequences for the global climate.
Judge-cum-Comedian’s Appeal Tests N.J. Court System’s Sense of Humor [via The American Lawyer]
New Jersey judge Vincenzo Sicari is taking his comedy routine on the road, all the way to the state Supreme Court. Working by day as a judge in South Hackensack, Sicari moonlights as a stand-up comedian — or, rather, he used to. An advisory committee on extrajudicial activities recently gave him the blinking red light, saying that “some of his material could suggest bias, predisposition and lack of impartiality, which could negatively impinge on the perceptions of litigants, witnesses and the public at large.” Sicari, whose stage name is Vince August, has gotten the New Jersey Supreme Court to hear his case. Until they rule, Sicari says, the show will go on.
‘Fractal’ mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot dies aged 85 [via the BBC]
Franco-American mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot, widely considered the father of fractal mathematics, died has died of cancer at the age of 85. Fractals are a mathematical method to apply infinite complexity to nature and have made a major impact in almost every area of science; using fractals, scientists can measure coastlines or determine the geometry of a lung. Fractals also led to technological advancements in digital music, cellular telephones and image compression. French President Nicolas Sarkozy praised Mandelbrot for his “powerful, original mind that never shied away from innovation and battering preconceived ideas.”