Scientific American (July, 2007) by John Rennie

By John Rennie

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By John Rennie

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Lethal injection, in which three poisonous chemicals are administered to the condemned, largely replaced execution by hanging, fi ring squad, gas chamber and electric chair, each of which had at some point been judged to be inhumane or excessively violent. Yet this method is far from foolproof. According to reports, unskilled executioners have caused prolonged suffering in the condemned by mishandling the deadly drug jabs— instances in which they missed veins, used blocked IVs or miscalculated doses, leading to failed anesthesia and chemical burns.

As the fall of the Berlin Wall neared in late 1989, the shredding began. People knew about the Stasi, but few guessed how far the police network had penetrated daily life. Agents recognized that they would have to answer for their activities. The most important and sensitive documents went fi rst. The Stasi’s shredders burned out quickly from overuse, says Berlin Stasi archive bureau chief Günter Bormann, and so agents and whoever they could recruit did it by hand. “They were tearing day and night,” Bormann recounts.

The question after 2005 was, Had SSTs in fact risen already and to what extent was global warming responsible? Hotter Spawning Ground Climatologists are not certain about the number of hurricanes that occurred worldwide before 1970, when satellite observations became routine. But they consider the record in the tropical North Atlantic quite reliable from 1944 on, when aircraft surveillance of tropical storms began. A look at that history indicated that the number of named storms and hurricanes in the North Atlantic had risen since 1994 — and that, notably, the rise coincided with an increase in SSTs in a latitudinal region from about 10 to 20 degrees north.

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