Researchers have invented a kind of soap that can be magnetically corralled to help clean up toxic spills. The feat is accomplished by infusing more mundane suds with tiny iron particles that join together and react to magnets.
The president may be urging algebra and chemistry on high-schoolers, but his administration can’t run away from the chilling effect it has had on scientific inquiry. For example, a young presidential appointee at NASA ordered Web designers to append the word “theory” after every mention of the Big Bang (scroll half-way down the article). Wanna know what it takes to become a NASA spokesman? Well, it doesn’t hurt to write columns linking Saddam to Al Qaeda, or insisting that Rumsfeld had nothing to do with the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandals.