Daily Archives: April 1, 2009


According to recent press reports, the creationist organization Answers in Genesis will merge with the troubled insurance giant American International Group. The new corporation will be named AIG, for American Indulgences Group.

AIG chairman Edward Liddy will become the chairman of AIG. AIG chairman Ken Ham will be second in command and will continue to direct the Creation Museum, which will be renamed Credit Management. CM will rate bonds that are based on credit-default swaps on a scale from AAA to aaa. AIG will also subcontract with the Vatican to market indulgences in the United States. These indulgences are expected to become AIG’s major product. The Vatican, in an ecumenical gesture, agreed that it would not impose a religious test on those who purchased its indulgences.

Ham argues that redirecting his organization from young-earth creationism to voodoo economics is not as much of a leap…

Read the rest here

So Called “Small Clawed Otters” Got Bornd. Supposedly

Zoo Borns claims “A second serving of adorable Asian Small-clawed Otter pups born just three weeks ago at Sea World Orlando. As you can hear on camera, these social otters often communicate vocally, in this case with a very fitting chirp.”

Then they have these bogus video:


I’m sure these are going to turn out to be Large-clawed Otters. What do you think?

Anderson: Life with no parole.

Minnesota and the Upper Midwest, for some reason, is the home of (by US standards, anyway) some of the most extreme (or at least interesting) criminal behavior, and not just in the movies. And today, in Shakopee, Minnesota, a freshly convicted 20 year old was sentenced to life in prison with no parole because of his killing of Katherine ann Olson (24 years old) using Craig’s List as a tool to lure his victim into a deadly trap.

Surely, that is the ultimate example of incivility on the internet.

Here is a pretty good overview of the slaying (you may not be able to see this because it is a newspaper site and newspapers do not know how to use the Inernet). And here is the latest news on the conviction.

The news on the sentencing is not in print as of this writing, I’m going with word of mouth here.


SHAKOPEE, Minn. (WCCO) â?? A Savage man, convicted in the shooting death of a woman he lured to his home with a fake ad for a baby sitter that he posted on Craigslist, is sentenced to life is prison with no possibility of parole.

District Judge Mary Theisen decided the sentence for 20-year-old Michael John Anderson just before noon Wednesday.

After about six hours of deliberation Tuesday, the Scott County jury found Anderson guilty on all counts, including first-degree premeditated murder, for killing Katherine Ann Olson, 24. Anderson looked straight ahead and showed no emotion as the jury returned its verdict.

“The light of Christ has shown in the dark valley we have been walking through,” said the victim’s father, Rolf Olson.

He said the New Testament teaches that forgiveness means to let go.

… prosecutors said Anderson’s acts were premeditated. Chief Deputy Scott County Attorney Ron Hocevar told the jury Anderson simply wanted to kill someone on Oct. 25, 2007.

“He brought her over because he wanted to know what it felt like,” Hocevar argued. “Well, he did.”

Margoles argued that Anderson, who didn’t testify during the week-long trial, lured Olson over with no clear idea of why. He said that when she tried to leave, Anderson, who had no experience with women, fell back on his video game experience and pulled his father’s gun on her. He said Anderson then shot her accidentally when he tripped or flinched.

He also asked jurors to consider that Anderson lives in an “unreal world.”

“He’s to tell a woman at gunpoint that he wants to be her boyfriend?” Margoles asked. “Demand sex? We don’t know. All we know is that this is a bizarre kid with no social skills.”

After the verdict, Margoles said his case was hindered by the judge’s refusal to allow him to discuss Anderson’s Asperger’s syndrome in court. …

“I think things would have been different if we were allowed to bring Asperger’s in, to explain why he became obsessed the last few days,” Margoles said.

Bell Museum Events

Greetings Science and Culture Enthusiasts!

This April promises to be filled with engaging and thought-provoking science and culture programming from the Bell Museum of Natural History. In addition to our Cafe Scientifique and Science Trivia programs, we are planning multiple outdoor field trips as well as hosting a special Earth Day film series event. Attached you will find detailed program information. We hope to see you this month!


*Café Scientifique
: Honey Bees and Human Health Tuesday, April 21, 2009, 7 p.m. Bryant-Lake Bowl, Uptown 810 W. Lake St., Minneapolis $5 — $10; pay what you can * What can we learn about human health from honey bees and how can we keep honey bees healthy along the way? University of Minnesota entomologist Marla Spivak and her research partners think they may have found an answer to those questions. Among other things, they are researching a possible connection between propolis—a plant-derived resin that honeybees deposit in their hive—and an antidote to human HIV.

An Evening of Science Trivia April 7, 2009, 8 p.m. Nomad World Pub 501 Cedar St., Minneapolis $5-$10; pay what you can Feed your need for science and nature at the Bell Museum’s monthly Science Trivia Night. Teams of up to five people compete for prizes and questions range from basic biology to current events, from science fiction to science history. Hosted by Doomtree MC and self-professed science geek Dessa. Sponsored by the Bell Museum and the Nomad World Pub.


* LIFE: A Journey Through Time February 14 – April 12, 2009* The University of Minnesota Bell Museum of Natural History is proud to host the North American premiere of this internationally acclaimed exhibit. LIFE: A Journey Through Time, interprets the evolution of life on Earth through photographer Frans Lanting. Lanting’s lyrical photos trace Earth’s history from the beginnings of primordial life to the ascent of mammals through otherworldly landscapes and breathtakingly intimate portraits of animals and plants engaged in million-year-old rituals. Many of the exhibit’s 62 photographs are matched with real animal, fossil, and plant specimens from the Bell Museum’s collection. Born in the Netherlands, Lanting serves on the National Council of the World Wildlife Fund and is a columnist for Outdoor Photographer and has received the BBC Wildlife Magazine’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award and the Sierra Club’s Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography.


Sustainability Film Series at the Bell Museum This free film series offers viewers the chance to see cutting edge documentaries on pressing sustainability challenges facing our society today. Organized in tandem with Sustainable People, Sustainable Planet (SUST 3003) and the Sustainability Studies Minor, and co-sponsored by the Bell Museum of Natural History and the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology. Where: Bell Museum of Natural History When: at 7 pm (click here to see the list of films and for specific dates) http://www.sustainability.umn.edu/minor/sustfilm.html. Cost: Free admission!

Nature Poetry with the Laurel Poetry Collective Friday, April 3, 2009, 7 p.m. Bell Museum Auditorium Free In recognition of National Poetry Month, the Laurel Poetry Collective and Bell Museum host some of the region’s most talented poets in an evening of live readings on nature and springtime in Minnesota.

A Sense of Wonder: Earth Day Film Screening Wednesday, April 22, 2009, 7 p.m. Bell Museum Auditorium Free The Bell Museum and Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) present a special Earth Day screening of the new film, A Sense of Wonder. Based on the life and writings of environmentalist Rachel Carson, the documentary-style film stars actress Kaiulani Lee in Carson’s final year of life, during which she battled cancer, an unexpectedly high public profile and backlash from her critics in the private sector. The film was shot in high definition by two-time Academy Award-winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler at Carson’s cottage on the coast of Maine. A panel discussion with experts from the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health and IATP’s Healthy Legacy campaign will follow.


Early Migrant Songbirds Saturday, April 18, 2009, 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. Hyland Lake Park Reserve, Bloomington $10/$8 museum members; registration is required Songbirds and waterfowl such as sparrows, kinglets, and hermit thrush are making their spring appearance. Practice your identification with a real bird expert, Bruce Fall — one of Minnesota’s most experienced and engaging bird authorities.

Owl: Identification and Biology Tuesday, April 21, 2009, 7 to 9 p.m. University of Minnesota, Ecology Building $10/$8 museum members; registration is required
Owls are mysterious and fascinating birds. Join ornithologist and former president of the Minnesota Ornithologists Union Ann Kessen for an evening of owl biology and a chance to brush up on your identification skills.

Spring at Nine Mile Creek Saturday, April 25, 2009, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Nine Mile Creek Park, Bloomington $10/$8 museum members; registration is required Nine Mile Creek offers some of the most diverse plant life in the Twin Cities metro area. Explore the explosion of spring flora in this remarkable preserve. Join botanist Robert Bergad for a look at early wildflowers and learn to recognize the plants that are visible but not yet in bloom.

O’Reilly on Letterman


Part I:

The first couple of minutes is Letterman making numerous jokes at O’Reilly’s expense. Nicely done.

1min 30 sec. Rush Limbaugh as new face of the Republican Party. O’Reilly takes credit for Limbaugh’s success.

3 min 50 sec. This is Letterman throwing out phrases he had apparently practiced earlier in the show (“Oh yea?” “Whatever!” and so on) much to the amusement of the audience.

4 min 50 sec: Letterman lays out the fact that O’Reilly lies. Regarding Sean Penn. Linbaugh, I mean O’Reilly starts to take it up a notch.

6 min 30 sec: O’Reilly claims to have had a conversation with Hugo Chavez.

7 min 45 sec: O’Reilly claims to be a journalist. The country does a spit take.

8 min 55 sec: Letterman compares O’Reilly, Limbaugh, etc. to Championship Wrestling.

Continue reading O’Reilly on Letterman