Daily Archives: March 21, 2008

Expelled! The Movie To Be Pulled From Theaters Following Myers/Dawkins-Gate Screwup

There once was a librarian who was an absolute horror, a bitch, a true shit of a person. Her name was Nancy. No one liked her, she liked no one else. Her employees suffered greatly, and the only people who could work with her for more than a few months were Morris and Igor (assumed names) because they were like her. One day an employee who was receiving chemotherapy once a week informed Nancy that she had to start taking chemo twice a week. Nancy fired her on the spot. That was what it was like every day working for her, but because she kept the library running very nicely, her superiors would not listen to the employees or anyone else, and she kept her stranglehold on that library and her stranglehold on the people who worked there for years and years and years.Then one day she accidentally called her boss’s wife a bitch while he was in ear shot. Ooops. She was gone by the end of the week. There was dancing in the street. Dancing. Seriously.Once there was a guy named Ben Stein, who made a movie… Continue reading Expelled! The Movie To Be Pulled From Theaters Following Myers/Dawkins-Gate Screwup

Chocolate Rain

And the winner for best music video: “Chocolate Rain.” Tay Zonday morphed from an unknown musician to an Internet superstar who got booked on national TV shows after his song “Chocolate Rain” – an amateur clip of his baritone crooning – went viral last year. Now he’s among the 12 winners of the second annual YouTube Video Awards, recognizing the top user-created videos of 2007.[source]

Genie Scott Scores Another PhD

i-719d2583938cfb5054e1bdb5852f8085-04-Genie-KY-200.jpgGenie Scott, director of the National Center for Science Education and author of Evolution vs. Creationism: An Introduction and Not in Our Classrooms: Why Intelligent Design Is Wrong for Our Schools, will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Science, from the University of New Mexico.This will be her sixth honorary degree. Had she known that she would have been bestowed all of these doctorates, would she have bothered with the first, hard earned PhD????(Probably)Congratulations Genie!Details here.

Opposition to Antievolution Bills in Florida

From the National Center for Science Education

The antievolution bills recently introduced in the Florida legislature continue to elicit opposition. The bills closely resemble a string of similar bills in Alabama — HB 391 and SB 336 in 2004; HB 352, SB 240, and HB 716 in 2005; HB 106 and SB 45 in 2006 — as well as a model bill that the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, the institutional home of “intelligent design” creationism, recently began to promote. Asked by the Miami Herald (March 13, 2008) whether “intelligent design” constituted “scientific information” in the sense of the bill, a representative of the Discovery Institute equivocated, saying, “In my personal opinion, I think it does. But the intent of this bill is not to settle that question,” and adding, unhelpfully, “The intent of this bill is … it protects the ‘teaching of scientific information.'”

…. Continue reading Opposition to Antievolution Bills in Florida

Robots Advance in Cognitive Domain

New breed of cognitive robot… a puppy? from PhysOrg.com
Designers of artificial cognitive systems have tended to adopt one of two approaches to building robots that can think for themselves: classical rule-based artificial intelligence or artificial neural networks. Both have advantages and disadvantages, and combining the two offers the best of both worlds, say a team of European researchers who have developed a new breed of cognitive, learning robot that goes beyond the state of the art.[]

pre-Columbian use of rafts to transport goods

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Oceangoing sailing rafts plied the waters of the equatorial Pacific long before Europeans arrived in the Americas, and carried tradegoods for thousands of miles all the way from modern-day Chile to western Mexico, according to new findings by MIT researchers in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering….[This] supports earlier evidence documented by Hosler that the two great centers of pre-European civilization in the Americas–the Andes region and Mesoamerica–had been in contact with each other and had longstanding trading relationships. That conclusion was based on an analysis of very similar metalworking technology used in the two regions for items such as silver and copper tiaras, bands, bells and tweezers, as well as evidence of trade in highly prized spondylus-shell beads.

See the press release here. Continue reading pre-Columbian use of rafts to transport goods

This Blog Endorses Ashwin Madia for US Congress

i-42463a742e85439b72c48a8d3e7dcc49-madia.jpgThe Third Congressional District from Minnesota, in which I live, has been a Republican seat since the districts around the Twin Cities were Jerrymandered some time ago. The Republican incumbent in this district is retiring this year, and there is a reasonable chance of flipping the district to a Democrat. Ashwin Madia is moving quickly towards attaining the DFL (That’s Minnesotan for ‘Democratic’) endorsement. (I caucuses for him in the Senate Distract convention a couple of weeks ago). He’s an excellent candidate, and will make an excellent member of congress. If you are a voter in the Third District, please consider supporting him this November.Visit Madia’s web site and have a look.

The Flores Hobbits Were Members of a Separate Species

ResearchBlogging.org… according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study compares skull measurements of Flores material with a wide range of other hominid data and concludes that Flores cannot be clustered with Homo sapiens. This is the first published study that takes into account how size affects shape. By correcting for size, this study makes, the authors claim, a more valid comparison between measurements taken on the Flores material and other comparative data. Continue reading The Flores Hobbits Were Members of a Separate Species