The Battle Between Religious Freedom and LGBTQ Rights Continues

This term, the clash between freedom of speech and LGBTQ rights continues as the Supreme Court is slated to hear oral arguments in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis. The following question is before the Court: Whether applying a public-accommodation law to compel an artist to speak or stay silent violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.

Lorie Smith is the owner and founder of 303 Creative LLC, a graphic design firm that offers graphic and website design services to the public. Smith wishes to expand her portfolio to include wedding-related services. However, Smith refuses to design websites for same-sex weddings on the ground that it violates her religious beliefs. She claims that offering wedding-related services to non-heterosexual couples “would compromise [her] Christian witness and tell a story about marriage that contradicts God’s true story of marriage – the very story He is calling [her] to promote.”

Smith wants to post a message on her business page explaining her wedding service policy, but the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (“CADA”) prohibits businesses open to the public from discriminating on the basis of a protected characteristic, including sexual orientation. Further, CADA includes a Communications Clause that prohibits businesses from posting a notice that indicates that goods or services will be denied to an individual based on a protected characteristic. Smith brought this action to challenge CADA’s constitutionality.

Lots of tough questions asked of folks who feel they have a “God-given” right to discriminate against fellow citizens of the GOUSA.

Solar Snake

The ESA-NASA Solar Orbiter mission captured this timelapse video of a “solar snake” crossing the surface of the Sun. The snake is a tube of plasma cooler than its surroundings, suspended by magnetic fields. It took about three hours for the snake to make the journey seen in the video, traveling at about 170 kilometers per second (106 miles per second). A plasma eruption then came from the region where the snake originated, raising the possibility that the two events were linked. The images of the solar snake were captured on Sept. 5, 2022, and this video was published by ESA on Nov. 4, 2022.Video: ESA / NASA / Solar Orbiter / EUI Team / Frédéric Auchère, IAS

Comfortably Numb

When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse

Out of the corner of my eye

I turned to look but it was gone

I cannot put my finger on it now

The child is grown, the dream is gone

I have become comfortably numb

Scientists simulate a ‘baby’ wormhole without rupturing either space or time

Researchers have announced that they simulated two miniscule black holes in a quantum computer and transmitted a message between them through what amounted to a tunnel in space-time.

They said that based on the quantum information teleported, a traversable wormhole appeared to have emerged, but that no rupture of space and time was physically created in the experiment, according to the study published in the journal Nature on Wednesday.

Experts who were not involved in the experiment cautioned that it was important to note that a physical wormhole had not actually been created, but noted the future possibilities.

Daniel Harlow, a physicist at MIT, told the New York Times the experiment was based on a modelling that was so simple that it could just as well have been studied using a pencil and paper.

“I’d say that this doesn’t teach us anything about quantum gravity that we didn’t already know,” Harlow wrote. “On the other hand, I think it is exciting as a technical achievement, because if we can’t even do this (and until now we couldn’t), then simulating more interesting quantum gravity theories would certainly be off the table.”

And so it goes…

New Mexico on the Movie Map

The film and TV tax credit that put New Mexico on the map is now nearly two decades old. Launched in 2003, it didn’t just transform the production landscape in the Land of Enchantment, along with a new tax credit in Louisiana, the state also kicked off a domestic incentives arms race that created vibrant industry hubs across the country and changed how projects are financed.

Today, New Mexico offers a base 25% refundable tax credit that can go as high as 35% when other uplifts are factored in. For instance, productions can earn an additional 5% by shooting in one of the state’s 15 qualified production facilities, an offer the state would’ve been unable to make in the early days of the incentive, when productions searching for soundstages usually had to settle for an abandoned warehouse or factory.

Direct production spend in New Mexico hit a record $855.4 million in fiscal year 2022, up 36% year-over-year from 2021. The state has also been benefiting from the trickle-down effects of film and TV tourism.

And, of course, reliable work for technical and creative staff enables folks to move here, live here…continue earning their living somewhere laid back and mellow.

Too much of a certain smell!

If you were a teenager (or slightly older) in the eighties, there is a good chance you tried out Calvin Klein cologne. It was quite the thing — it was everywhere, so much so that you couldn’t tell if the cologne smelled like the magazines or the magazines smelled like the cologne. The musky smell was a bit too much, and you started to despise the smell and its omnipresence after a little while. I have been reminded of that overwhelming experience where the scent became a stench over the last few days on Twitter.

And the reason, of course, is again too much musk.

Om rocks!

OK. Back from my morning walk.

Tunisia side celebrating Wahzi Khabri’s goal

Not even going to turn the TV back on till the Saudi Arabia vs Mexico match. The Tunisia vs France match ended with an apparent tie resulting from what appeared to be a French goal in the last 10 seconds of 8 minutes of stoppage time.

And it was overturned when officials actually got the VAR running. So, Tunisia won the match. Still, France won the group and goes through to the next knockout match. The other relevant scores weren’t enough to change standings and Tunisia didn’t qualify to go through. But, they still enjoyed the pride of beating their former imperial bosses.