More goodies from Slate

Another great week at Slate magazine, which gives us:
* Jim Holt’s article explaining one of the several controversial theories of intelligent design :
In the early 1980s, the then-thirtysomething Linde came up with a novel theory of the Big Bang that answered three vexing questions: What banged? Why did it bang? And what was going on before it banged? Linde’s theory, called “chaotic inflation,” explained the shape of space and how galaxies were formed. It also predicted the exact pattern of background radiation from the Big Bang that was observed by the COBE satellite in the 1990s. […]
Among the many curious implications of Linde’s theory, one stands out for our present purposes: It doesn’t take all that much to create a universe. Resources on a cosmic scale are not required. It might even be possible for someone in a not terribly advanced civilization to cook up a new universe in a laboratory. Which leads to an arresting thought: Could that be how our universe came into being?

* To go with their popular “Bushisms” feature, Slate”s William Saletan has added “Kerryisms”. ‘Bout time.
* Dahlia Lithwick’s excellent rebuttal of the “slippery slope” argument against gay marriage, that if we allow to people in love to commit to each other legally, it’s just a hop, skip and jump away from letting an old woman marry her five cats. Or something.
*A review of Colonial House by Dennis Cass. I never saw CH’s progenitor, Frontier House, but I did see a couple of episodes of 1900 House. I am curious about how far back they can go with this concept. Medieval House? Roman House? Neanderthal House?
*The new realities of upscale mall food. You think Bennigan’s and Mr Chow’s? I’m talking Ducasse, Vongerichten and Bouley.