Archive for November 2010

A Nation of Secrets

November 30, 2010

(Cross posted at Balloon Juice)

So, Wikileaks tells us that Arab nations don’t like Iran very much.  That Qadhafi likes blondes. That Putin and Berlusconi don’t mind stacking up some green together.  There is more serious stuff there too, of course, (e.g. Red Crescent gun running; North Korea/Iran putting the ballistic missile evil in that “axis of evil” stuff) and no doubt, more to come.

I’m hearing the arguments we all could predict.  Larry Sanger, one of the founders of Wikipedia, has written of his view that the global dump of diplomatic secrets is (a) dangerous to individual lives and to teh project of making sound policy in a dangeraous works (b) so indiscriminate that it can’t be seen as attempt to bring transparency on specific government misdeeds being covered up. Rather, Sanger argues, this is what enemies of the United States do, in what seems to him to be a transparant assault on US capacity to do anything for good in the world.

Josh Marshall, less explosively, says something similar, writing

I don’t recognize what Wikileaks is doing here as some righteous act of government transparency. It’s more like an attack, albeit one with consequences which can easily be overstated.

Me — I think “attack” is one of those words that’s easier to write than to defend.  My impression, supported by only one quick conversation with someone with actual experience in the national security apparatus, is that this is less an attack than relatively harmless vandalism — but that’s not a position I can defend with any vigor.  I just don’t know.


But what I do know is that this leak is a reminder of what it means to live in a national security state.  Not in the sense that these particular documents impinge on my civil liberties or yours.  Rather, it’s the combination of sheer volume — that quarter-of-a-million cables number — and the banality of so much of what’s come to light so far.  (I guess I’m glad to know that “nurse” is a euphemism in Libya too…but still.)

We live enmeshed in secrets.  The Harvard historian of science Peter Galison has been digging into the empire of unknowing that our government now rules, and I just reread this remarkable paper, written all the way back in 2004.  Consider this:

The number of carefully archived pages written in the open is large. While hard to estimate, one could begin by taking the number of items on the shelves of the Library of Congress—one of the largest libraries in the world: 120 million items carrying about 7.5 billion pages, of which about 5.4 billion pages are in 18 million books…

…Some suspect as many as a trillion pages are classified (200 Libraries of Congress). That may be too many. 2001, for example, saw 33 million classification actions; assuming (with the experts) that there are roughly 10 pages per action, that would mean roughly 330 million pages were classified last year (about three times as many pages are now being classified as declassified). So the U.S. added a net 250 million classified pages last year. By comparison, the entire system of Harvard libraries—over a hundred of them—added about 220,000 volumes (about sixty million pages, a number not far from the acquisition rate at other comparably massive universal depositories such as the Library of Congress, the British Museum, or the New York Public Library). Contemplate these numbers: about five times as many pages are being added to the classified universe than are being brought to the storehouses of human learning including all the books and journals on any subject in any language collected in the largest repositories on the planet.

Galison in this piece focuses on the irrationality of the classification scheme, and it’s voraciousness.  Secrecy breeds secrecy; knowledge disappears from view on a data-level invocation of the one-drop rule.  Galison tells us that there aren’t that many people empowered to imprison information in the classification gulag:

…Just over 4000 for the whole of the United States—who bear the title of Original Classifiers. Only this initiated cadre can transform a document, idea, picture, shape, or device into the modal categories Top Secret, Secret, or Confidential. And of these 4132 or so Original Classifiers, only 999 (as of 2001) are authorized to stamp a document into the category Top Secret.

Those few people are the unmoved prime movers of the classified world—it is they who begin the tagging process that winds its way down the chain of derivative classification. For every document that subsequently refers to information in those originally classified gains the highest classification of the documents cited in it. Like the radio-tagging of a genetic mutant, the classified information bears its mark through all the subsequent generations of work issuing from it. More numbers: in 2001 there were 260,678 original classifications (acts that designated a body of work classified) and 32,760,209 derivative ones. A cascade of classification.

All this (and more — really, go read the whole thing) leads up to the point that returns us to the depressing glimpse of the way we live now produced by the Wikileaks dump. That would be Galison’s depiction of the actual impossibility of rational secrecy. What we get instead of security, he argues, is the dystopia Thomas Pynchon saw in The Crying of Lot 49:

…a universe so obsessed with concealment and conspiracy, with government and corporate monopoly control of information, that the causal structure and even the raw sequence of events hovered perpetually out of reach…Secret societies with private communication desperately tried to counter the monopoly on information—Pynchon’s world crawls with disaffected engineers trying to patent Maxwell’s demon, would-be suicides, and isolated lovers all seeking to break the out-of-control monopoly of knowledge transmission.

Galison has a number of targets in this piece.  But the biggest one, or at least that which resonated now as I read this essay again, is that once you set out down a road where each unknowable fact needs its hedge of other secrets to preserve the original wall of ignorance and so on…you end up in a position where it becomes impossible for the governed to give informed consent to their governors.

There is the obvious problem, of course:  bits of knowledge that disappear into the nothingness of the security apparatus, not because of any danger they pose, but because they impinge on the autonomy of the state.  Things that if we knew them we’d react badly to, the sweetheart deals or the unobservered f**k ups that it’s just easier (for some) if hoi polloi don’t know.

But those are probably the easy misdeeds to correct:  if the catastrophes are obvious enough, then there are threads to pull if we had more McClatchy’s and no Foxes on the job.  The deeper issue is that of the paternalistic state, one in which secrets are kept simply because everything runs so much more smoothly if we don’t know precisely what is being done, to and for whom.  Here’s Galison again:

In the end, however, the broadest problem is not merely that of the weapons laboratory, industry, or the university. It is that, if pressed too hard and too deeply, secrecy, measured in the staggering units of Libraries of Congress, is a threat to democracy. And that is not a problem to be resolved by an automated Original Classifier or declassifier. It is political at every scale from attempts to excise a single critical idea to the vain efforts to remove whole domains of knowledge.

That’s right, if unsatisfying. I see no sign that things will change soon; the national security state has too many layers of justification (many classified, of course, but trust us….) to suggest that the ratio of classification to declassification is going to change anytime soon.

Which, by the long road home, leads to Wikileaks.


I understand the view that unfiltered dumps of classified documents about anything can be reckless, or worse.  But at the same time if Wikileaks did not exist, it would be invented.  When we make more secrets than knowledge we can share, that ever-growing Fort Knox of unknowing will inevitably draw its safe crackers.  And if we are horrified when those crackers actually steal something we care about, we might want to look again at how we decide how much we think it wise not to know ourselves.

Images:  James Jacques Joseph Tissot, “The Harlot of Jericho and the Two Spies,” c. 1896-1902.

Diego Velázquez, “Las Meninas,” 1656–1657.

Thanksgiving Day PSA: What to do when enforced gaiety don’t cut it no more, serious alchohol dept.

November 25, 2010

Cross posted at Balloon Juice

It is a truth universally acknowledged that sometime today, many among us in possession of a full bellies will be in need of powerful psychic analgesics to counter the effects of overdoses of loved, liked, and despised ones.*


I’ve been lucky on this score.  My late, and genuinely much loved Uncle Dan and his wife, the indomitable Aunt Helen, introduced me to a key Thanksgiving tradition designed to meet this need many years ago —  back around my freshman year in college (aka, just before we gave up our clay tablets and styli for some less stable word processors).


That would be the revelation that it was 5 p.m. somewhere no matter how resolutely the clock told us it was 11 a.m. wherever we happened to be.


The drink of choice there was one form or another of daiquiri, and I recall (sort of, in a not-to-testify-under-oath kind of haze)  Thanksgiving  started before noon with the boiled shrimp and the drinks  (strawberry, peach, and lime being the favorites — and what can I say…we were young then) and the day just kind of oozed from there until we reached total turkey and red wine suspended animation.


So, in honor of that great man and in support of a practice that has served many of us, (I’d guess), here are some of the drugs of choice being considered around this household right now.


1.  (As noted in a prior thread) pomegranate cosmopolitans.


I was just introduced to this drink at a dinner party at the home of a noted brain-and-cog researcher.  I woke up more cog than brain after two iterations of 4 parts lemon vodka, 4 parts good (aka, not Trader Joe’s) pomegranate juice, 2 parts Cointreau, and 1 part lime juice.


2.  This one entered my life — rather as Grabthar’s hammer handles its business — just this last Tuesday, when MIT’s science writing grad students held a first-ever cocktail party for their faculty (begging for comment here, which I will not supply), featuring the alcholic stylings of the award winning Louisville bartender Jeromy Edwards.  Let me simply say that his cider Manhattan is way too complicated to attempt after one’s first drink, but is worth the effort if you have a designated boozemaster on hand.  Here’s the recipe (which won a bourbon company’s national Manhattan competition:


2 oz. good bourbon
¾ oz. cider reduction (I’d guess on tasting that the cider was simmered down to about half its original volume.)
½ oz. Antica Vermouth
Dash Angostura bitters
Grand Marnier flambéed cherry (preferably Rainier).


Here Jeromy took about an ounce of Grand Marnier and essentially cooked the cherry in it for about thirty seconds or so, in the martini glass.


Take the first four ingredients, pour them over ice in a cocktail shaker, swirl the shaker until the mix is cooled, and then pour the lot over the Grand Marnier and the cherry.  Repeat with extreme caution.


3.  Finally, y’all know I think a lot about World War I, with all the sorrow engendered in those years, and so much of the woe to come seeded there as well.  One minor unintended positive outcome of all that, though, was what I think of as the golden age of cocktail invention of the ‘teens and ‘twentie.

Some years ago, at the 11 Madison Park restaurant in New York, I encountered a drink from that era that is still just about my favorite mallet to the skull.  As a bonus, it connects directly with its historical context.


That would be the French 75 — which honors one of the most innovative and widely used artillery pieces employed by the French army and the American Expeditionary Force as well throughout the 14-18 affair.  Its liquid form debuted  in 1915 at the legendary Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, where it was billed as the way to experience what it was like to be on the receiving end of a cannonade from the real thing.


It is deceptively simple, though the proportions vary slightly among the authorities.  Basically, take two ounces of good gin, 1/2 to one ounce of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon powdered sugar, and chill.  Pour the mixture into a flute or a narrow highball glass, top up with champagne.


Drink. Reel.  Repeat.  (One of the most prized characteristics of the artillery piece was its rapid rate of fire.  Emulate at your own risk.)


OK — I’m done.  I’d consider it a kindness if y’all would treat this as a special invitation for the F**k You Up drinks that have served you well over the years.


*Please take as read the necessary apology for yet another ruination of that greatest of all first lines.

Images:  Currier and Ives, “Come! Take A Drink,” 1868

and, (again, predictably)

Éduoard Manet, “A Bar in the Folies-Bergère,” 1881-2

Because You Can Never Know Enough About Your Turkey’s Genome

November 24, 2010

Cross posted at Balloon Juice

For your pre-Thanksgiving edification, I give you this delightful photo-feature on the genetics of tomorrow’s feast.

I’ll add just one note of unmerited self-satisfaction.  Emily Anthes, the writer of this piece, is an alumna of the MIT Graduate Program in Science Writing — which I have the honor of directing.  She’s been doing great work since she left us (and before)  and it is part of my Thanksgiving Day treat to take pleasure in such outcomes.


So as not to be unseemly in this public space, I’ll just stop with the advice that you would be wise to keep an eye on Emily.

Image:  Pieter Claesz.“Still Life With Turkey Pie,” 1627

No More Sexy Time For Poor Ireland — or Ross Douthat Discovers His Inner De Valera

November 22, 2010

This is just a  (sort of) quick hit before returning to the Brooksalypse I’ve promised here more than once, but I thought today’s Douthat ejaculation deserved just a bit of slicing and dicing in its own right.

For those of you with the good sense to save your neurons and avoid baby Bobo’s deep thoughts, here’s a shorter:

“I don’t know anything about Ireland that John Wayne didn’t teach me, but this poor island sold it’s good Catholic  soul for a mess of pottage served in MacMansions.  Once Ireland got the pill and Irish women stopped being permanently pregnant, the country went sex-and-cash crazy, but then all that nasty fun had to come to a halt.

Why, precisely?  Well, apparently the beast-with-two backs is kind of to blame for bankster thievery, not to mention that pride (wealth) goeth before a fall.  Oh, and Europe is a bad idea too. Plus, modernity sucks.”

Not kidding. That’s really about it.  Before I go to town on Douthat just a little bit, can I ask what on earth the Times was/is thinking when it hired this guy?


I mean really – this is Brooks without the sophistication, and I say that, sadly, with a straight face. (I’ll admit, a competition between these two on most subjects, but especially economics, resembles a wine tasting featuring Ripple vs. Mad Dog).


Douthat begins  his piece by describing the insight he gets from driving from Dublin to Ireland’s west coast and discovering that there are new houses built next to traditional villages.  He really does invoke The Quiet Man, and says, apparently sincerely, that,

…it’s as if there were only two eras in Irish history: the Middle Ages and the housing bubble.

Which suggests, I guess, he doesn’t think that several centuries of British colonial rule have anything to do with Ireland, early or late.


Seriously, “my taxi driver explained it all to me” meme is simply pathetic.  (And no, it doesn’t get better if you are the one behind the wheel.  It’s worse, obviously, as you only have the echo chamber of your own head to ratify your sudden, deep insight into a country, history and culture not your own.)


Whatever the Times paid for this column, Douthat stole.*


But even though Douthat discredits himself from the first lines of this piece, what fascinates – and horrifies – here is the relentlessness with which Baby Bobo wills the Irish story into the same morality tale he always wants to tell, terrified as he is of coupling bodies and the exercise of human reason.

I’m not going to fisk the entire piece here – this is just too silly a piece to warrant such effort.  But a couple of examples will show just how fraudulent are any Douthat claims to public intellection.

He writes:

Progressives and secularists suggested that Ireland was thriving because it had finally escaped the Catholic Church’s repressive grip, which kept horizons narrow and families large, and limited female economic opportunity. (An academic paper on this theme, “Contraception and the Celtic Tiger,” earned the Malcolm Gladwell treatment in the pages of The New Yorker.)

Well, that’s one lasting benefit of the last few decades of Irish cultural evolution.

But in fact, this is just a piece  of careful misdirection.  The “theme” that Gladwell discussed was not the cap on female opportunity that comes with large families – though certainly, child-rearing constrains access to the paid-work economy.


Rather, the point made in both Gladwell’s treatment and the underlying paper is that the reduction in family size altered Ireland’s  dependency ratio.

That is: when there is  a reduction in the proportion of the population, old and young, that cannot work, the output of those who can must support fewer people, resulting in more wealth per person.  As Gladwell’s sources, David Bloom and David Canning put it in another paper,

This boost in the growth rate coincides closely with the falling dependency rate in Ireland. Thus, the raw data are consistent with the view that demographic change contributed to Ireland’s economic surge in the 1990s.

Nothing there about what Douthat rails against as “a reminder that the waning of a powerful religious tradition can breed decadence as well as liberation.”  It ain’t the sexy time that his dreaded secularists identified when they looked at actual data – it was just a quick look at who was supporting whom.


Just to check the score here at halftime:  Douthat argues that abandoning rigid fidelity to the Irish Catholic hierarchy and thus releasing Irish women into non-traditional roles is somehow to blame for Ireland’s current financial troubles.

Not only is this nonsense on its own terms — Ireland’s crisis has its roots in very specific banking and real-estate transactions, not in a somehow overly feminized work force — Douthat simply misconstrues the data he attempts to cite.  You can argue that he was dumb and/or ignorant in doing so, or you can argue that he’s smart enough to recognize the sleight of hand he attempts here.  Neither conclusion speaks well, either for him or his employer.


The rest of Douthat’s blather is of much the same level of sophistication.  Love of money is a sin, and, says Douthat “utopians of capitalism” need remember “that the biggest booms can produce the biggest busts, and that debt and ruin always shadow prosperity and growth.”

This means exactly what?

To begin with, it’s wrong on its face.  Debt and ruin do not always shadow prosperity. Or rather, debt is not in and of itself a measure of nearness to ruin; it is rather, an essential tool in the construction of growth, which like any tool, can be turned to purposes well or ill.

But the larger implication here is what at once silly and malign.  Is Douthat telling us that capitalism dooms us to suffer impoverishment in cyclical lockstep with encounters with wealth?

Tell that to this chart.  Busts are enormously painful.  They are also blips in the larger historical time-line.  Economic growth due to iscientific and technological inquiry, industrialization and capitalism, is one of the single greatest generators of human well-being ever.  Probably the greatest, full stop.

That the transformation of the material conditions of existence carries an abundance of costs and complications is a given.  That there are losers and winners, ditto.  That the epithet “free” market is a cartoon, an abstraction and a bludgeon wielded by the politically vicious, understood.  But to wail pathetically about “debt and ruin” stalking prosperity and growth is both nonsense and, by implication, murderous.   Dearth and misery are what you get when you don’t achieved prosperity.

And this is Douthat’s high point of analytical precision.  He goes on to writes that

The Irish experience should be a reminder that the waning of a powerful religious tradition can breed decadence as well as liberation…

…by which I take him to argue that the very partial rejection of the Irish church hierarchy is to blame for failures of Ireland’s small banking and speculative elite.


There are at least two fundamental errors here.  One is the absolute and false dichotomy:  Ireland must choose either unstable wealth (and sex-for-fun) or abject poverty and the consolation of religion.


Is that really all there is?  Just off the top of my head, I might suggest that the Irish try some modest banking regulation just to see if they could dodge the need to hand back all those contraceptives and tie Irish womanhood back to the kitchen and the crib.  Just a thought….

And notice that Douthat slyly conflates “decadence” with klepto-captialism.  But if he does that, he has to explain why godless Scandinavia isn’t being bailed out along with the still quite Catholic Irish Republic.  Despite his wishing it to be so, there is little evidence, if any, for Douthat’s persistent belief that accepting the greater wisdom of Benedict and his hierarchs actually produces better outcomes of health, wealth and happiness than cheerful godlessness.  He might wish it were so, but the experience of billions is against him.

Believe it or not, it gets worse.  Douthat actually says that

….the Irish government’s hat-in-hand pilgrimages to Brussels have vindicated every nationalist who feared that economic union would eventually mean political subjugation. The yoke of the European Union is lighter than the yoke of the British Empire, but Ireland has returned to a kind of vassal status all the same.

Oh my FSM, what grotesquely self-confident ignorance lies there.


To get just a glimpse of the morally bankrupt cynicism behind that statement, check out this chart. It documents the depopulation of Ireland in the wake of the Great Famine.  There is an ongoing argument whether the colonial power’s role in that disaster was one of active genocide or malign neglect, but anyone who conflates membership in an economic union and superstate-compact with the full and often murderously oppressive weight of imperial rule is laboring to deceive.

Which returns me to my original question.  I know some folks at the Times. They aren’t stupid.  They can read.  They have to recognize that Douthat is not just a hack, but an ignorant and obvious one.  The Quiet Man! for FSM’s sake!

So I guess I’m wondering if he’s at the Great Grey Lady (no longer) of 43rd St. because he’s legitimately the best right-wing pundit they could find – which says volumes one way…

…or if this isn’t some 11 dimensional chess on the part of the “liberal” New York Times to allow the right wing to self-immolate weekly on their pages.

I’m betting on door number one, myself.

*This is what I mean about Brooks being more sophisticated than Douthat.  He disguises the utter paucity of his actual knowledge much more gracefully.  In the column I promise I’ll get around to skewering – and soon – Bobo begins by writing of “the psychologists, artists and moral philosophers I know.”  Now that’s a nice touch.  Just as unverifiable as Douthat’s driving impressions, but so much more authoritative, invoking both access to and membership in an elite.  This is what distinguishes  the bumbling apprentice from the old pro.

Images:  Judith Leyser, “The Proposition,” 1631.

and, inevitably,

Vincent van Gogh, “The Potato Eaters,” 1885.

(Cross Posted at Balloon Juice)

On Veterans Day

November 11, 2010

Over at Balloon Juice, I wrote yesterday of war in the abstract, of the sorrow to be read in the numbing, enormous tallies of weapons bought and sold.

Today, on Armistice Day/Veterans Day itself, it seems to me more appropriate to center on the individual experience of war that the day itself evokes.

So, with apologies for republishing old material, here’s a couple of stories from that eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month from the year 1918 — the root of memory that we revisit today:

Those final six hours of the war were surreal.  The news of the cease-fire order passed swiftly down the line, but the fighting did not stop.  U.S. Army captain Harry Truman, commanding an artillery battery, fired under orders until 10:45 a.m.  British troops were ordered forward, with instructions to achieve their objectives by eleven.  German fire persisted too.  Among those killed were British soldiers wearing the Mons star, veterans of the first battle of the war.  Within the German lines, troops waited for news of the negotiations in the midst of preparations for a last battle.  Early that morning Georg Bucher went to his company commander to beg for more machine gun ammunition.   At 7:15, an attack came; Bucher’s machine guns broke it up before the Americans facing him reached his barbed wire.  His company’s casualties were light.  One new recruit went down with a chemical burn.  Bucher comforted him by telling him how much worse it could have been, how he could have lost his leg.  “The youngster seemed, God knew why, to find comfort in my words,” Bucher wrote. At that moment, Bucher’s company commander returned, leaping along like a mad man, shouting “Cease fire at eleven a.m..  Pass the word along, cease fire at eleven.”


Hearing that, Bucher wrote, “all we could think of was how to survive the next three hours.”  But within minutes, the neighboring  section of the line came under artillery fire, though Bucher knew the Americans across no-man’s land must have heard the news too.  Soldiers of proven courage began to waver, gathering their gear for flight.  At 10:30, the wounded newcomer cheered up, calling out the time left.  As he spoke, the allied artillery shifted aim, and began to shell Bucher’s position.  Gas came next, and “everyone cowered in the shelters with clenched hands.  The thought that death might overtake them a hundred times in that last half hour had completely unnerved them.”  The shelling died down, and the gas lifted.  Bucher and his company returned to the forward trench, grenades and rifles at the ready to repel any last charge.  At ten minutes to the hour, he stared over the parapet, watching the shell smoke drift in the breeze.  There was still just time for something to happen.  Time ticked on.  He stared at his watch.  The hand moved.  It was over.

Bucher’s experience was representative, but he did not experience the ultimate evil the war had to offer in those last hours and minutes.  There was one incident that captured the essence of war on the western front, the distillation of its arbitrary violence.

There was one incident that captured the essence of war on the western front, the distillation of its arbitrary violence.  At two minutes to eleven in the vicinity of Mons a Canadian private named George Price was hit by a sniper’s bullet.  He died instantly.  The man who killed him remains unknown.  That man made a choice.  He was a marksman, a skilled soldier.  He had just moments remaining in which it was legal for him to kill.  There was no need to fire, no purpose, and some risk at least to himself and any comrades near him.  If he waited until eleven, and then put his gun down, the only consequence would be that a young stranger would go home.   Instead, the shot rang out.  Two minutes ticked past.  The war ended.  George Price lay dead.

This passage comes from Einstein in Berlin, a book I published a few years ago.  Bucher told his tale in his memoir, In the Line, 1914-1918 published in England in 1932; Martin Gilbert wrote about the death of George Price in his one volume history, The First World War.


I’ve never served.  I’ve reported on one war, that parody of imperial ambitions in collision that was the Falklands conflict of 1982.  I say “reported” — but I was doing so from the safety and comfort of London, talking to Green Jackets in Whitehall and going for lunch with men who sold Rapier missiles to the armed services. No risk of dulce et decorum for me.


That little fight was memorialized in this, my favorite — if that’s the word — recent song to capture the pity and misery of war.


Wars are only little from the outside, of course.  A friend of mine lost her brother, a member of the SAS, in a quiet op on West Falkland.  I was with him on the farm to which he had long since retired from the Royal Artillery when my uncle learned that a brother officer had just been killed in Northern Ireland.  The son of a  member (when on this side of the water) of my synagogue died in the last days of perhaps the most pointless conflict in recent memory, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006.  I have thoughts of them in my heart right now. You, I’m sure, have yours.

Not to be forgotten — them, or this:

There are no small wars.

And with that, I’ll leave this as it stands, but for one last thought.  I think this is a subject and a day for memory, not for politics.

So without naming names, let me just say that when I recall George Price, shot down for…what? Fun? Because he was there?… I cringe every time I hear any valiant keyboard kommandos baying for wars they will not fight nor begin to imagine.

That is not OK.

Not today, not tomorrow, not ever.

[cross posted at Balloon Juice]

Image: Royal Irish Rifles ration party, 1 July, 1916 (probably) — the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

You Can’t Win. You Can’t Break Even. You Can’t Leave the Game

November 5, 2010

Check this out:  one video to tell you about the 2nd law of thermodynamics (the “You can’t break even” of the title), and how to make a science video.  Fun.