More light, more science, no subways

Yesterday was the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. So it all gets better from now on (Seasonal Affective Disorder seems to me a perfectly reasonable response to the darkness).

But what else? A Republican-appointed member of the federal judiciary has slammed the Intelligent Design crackpots, seeing them for the crypto-creationists they can barely hide being (although both Slate and Salon don't see it as an unalloyed victory for rationality). As usual, PZ Myers at Pharyngula has lots to say on the issue (as a biologist with much more standing than me, a mere cosmologists, at least until the young-earthers get back in the game). Meanwhile, Evolution has won Science Magazine's Breakthrough of the Year -- certainly a political choice, in light of the IDers ridiculous claims to be doing real science.

On the downside, my family in the New York City suburbs are finding it mighty hard to get around, even in the family gas-guzzlers. This is a tough one: I'm a big fan of unions, but it seems like both sides (the Transit Workers Union on one side, and the Metropolitan Transit Authority on the other) were working toward a settlement when the Union walked away from the table. (Although needless to say, the politicians overseeing the MTA didn't handle this as well as they could have, with Governor Pataki of New York somehow finding himself in New Hampshire -- first port of call for would-be Presidential candidates -- on the eve of the strike, rather than back home hammering out a deal.)

Update: So it looks like the NYC Transit strike is over... instead, we Londoners will have to contend with our own strike, shutting down the Tube on New Year's Eve! This seems to be a way to get out of an agreed-to set of 24-hour workdays over the course of the year.