The Texas Education Agency’s director of science cirriculum is resigning. Check this out:

In documents obtained Wednesday through the Texas Public Information Act, agency officials said they recommended firing Comer for repeated acts of misconduct and insubordination. But Comer said she thinks political concerns about the teaching of creationism in schools were behind what she describes as a forced resignation.Agency officials declined to comment, saying it was a personnel issue.[source]

Continue reading

There are still climate change deniers out there, and if you are one, I’d like to take a moment to annoy you with the following story:

Nearly 300 cases of chikungunya fever, a virus that previously has been common only in Africa and Asia, were reported in Italy – where only isolated cases of the disease had been seen in the past.”We were quite surprised,” said Stefania Salmaso, director of Italy’s Center for Epidemiology at the National Health Institute. “Nobody was expecting that such an unusual event was going to happen.”While the outbreak was largely the result of stronger trade and travel ties, some experts believe it is a sign of how global warming is creating new breeding grounds for diseases long confined to subtropical climates.Officials at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said the particularly mild winter in Italy allowed mosquitoes to start breeding earlier than usual, giving the insect population a boost.”This outbreak is most important as a warning signal,” said Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, a climate change expert at the World Health Organization. “Climate change affects the breeding of every mosquito on earth.”More mosquitoes will mean more disease. With warmer temperatures in the future, Europe and North America might be hit by outbreaks of diseases usually confined to southern continents.

Get your details here.

Blogging on Peer-Reviewed ResearchThe origin and early history of Native American people has always been an issue of debate and contention. There has never been a moment when all, or even most, interested parties agreed on anything close to a single story. New research published in the Open-Access journal PLoS Genetics tends to support a very traditional (among archaeologists) view of a single relatively simple migration from Siberia across the New World, more or less from north to south. Continue reading

…rapid judgments of competence based solely on the facial appearance of candidates predicted the outcomes of gubernatorial elections, the most important elections in the United States next to the presidential elections. In all experiments, participants were presented with the faces of the winner and the runner-up and asked to decide who is more competent. …Predictions were as accurate after a 100-ms exposure to the faces …as exposure after 250 ms and unlimited time exposure …. Asking participants to deliberate and make a good judgment dramatically increased the response times and reduced the predictive accuracy of judgments … competence judgments collected before the elections in 2006 predicted 68.6% of the gubernatorial races and 72.4% of the Senate races … These effects were independent of the incumbency status of the candidates. The findings suggest that …

Well, who really cares what these scientists think. I don’t care. Do you care, Jesse????i-252036600dff5b27a4530b3bf455bc52-ventura_boa.jpg Continue reading

It may be nothing more than slinging shit, but when you run out of shit:

Wild gorillas have been seen using “weapons” for the first time, giving a new insight into how early man learned to use sticks and stones for fighting and hunting millions of years ago.Researchers observed gorillas in the Cross River area of Cameroon throwing sticks, clumps of earth and stones at human “invaders”.It is the first time that the largest of the great apes has been seen to use tools in an aggressive way.

[source]

Asked if he would ever nominate a Muslim for his cabinet, he replied:

“…based on the numbers of American Muslims [as a percentage] in our population, I cannot see that a cabinet position would be justified. But of course, I would imagine that Muslims could serve at lower levels of my administration.”

In a way, I agree. When it comes to Mormons, anyway. This country is just not ready for a minority (Mormon) president.[source]