Monthly Archives: June 2010

YNH Meltdown Updates (and, WTF Zuska?)

As you know, Oedepus Maximus, with the help of a handful of diligent women and men put all into one place the data needed to prove that the now infamous You’re Not Helping blog was not in fact written by a woman and three men of possible ethnic diversity working out of the Midwestern US. Instead, it was written by one twenty something year old grad student named William working in Alabama. Supposedly. Anyway, what you may not know is that the YNH web site was taken down last night but still exists in various easily accessible fragments here. (Poke around in the updates and comments for the links.)

But I also wanted to point out to you a few other blog posts that you should visit that relate either directly to the YNH meltdown or to the fallout.

The Problem with Sock Puppets

Fraud And Schadenfreude: The You’re Not Helping Archives And Post-Mortems

And, of course, somebody had to write a poem about it: The Saga of the You’re Not Helping Blog

Oh, and is anyone with ovaries (so that it counts) going to go and tell Zuska that she is full of shit? A 20-something year old guy pretends to be a woman to get she-creds, horribly attacks a female blogger, a half dozen people about half female and half male do a little digging, put some facts together and contribute significantly to putting a stop to it, and somehow this is male privilege attacking a few innocent sock puppets? Zuska, I am deeply embarrassed for you. You should have been on top of this. And, I think now you owe a number of people apologies.

Evolution: Education and Outreach dedicates issue to Genie Scott

The latest issue of Evolution: Education and Outreach (volume 3, number 2) is in honor of — if a few months in advance of — the sixty-fifth birthday of NCSE‘s executive director Eugenie C. Scott. Edited by NCSE’s deputy director Glenn Branch (who contributed “Three wishes for Genie” by way of introduction), it contains essays by Nicholas J. Matzke, Robert T. Pennock, Barbara Forrest, Raymond Arthur Eve with Susan Carol Losh and Brandon Nzekwe, Lawrence M. Krauss, Robert M. Hazen, Kevin Padian, Jay D. Wexler, Kenneth R. Miller, Brian Alters, and Carl Zimmer. Plus there’s a biographical appreciation by Andrew J. Petto, a bibliography compiled by Adam M. Goldstein and Glenn Branch, and a reflection on the importance of “Listening to Teachers” by Scott herself.

Additionally, NCSE’s Louise S. Mead and Scott offered a further installment in Overcoming Obstacles to Evolution Education, NCSE’s regular feature in Evolution: Education and Outreach. Entitled “Problem Concepts in Evolution Part II: Cause and Chance,” their column discusses how the concepts of cause and chance are often confusing to students and suggests “how to address these specific challenges to understanding evolution in light of recent research.” And NCSE’s Steven Newton reviewed Ralph O’Connor’s The Earth on Show: Fossils and the Poetics of Popular Science, 1802-1856 (University of Chicago Press, 2007), which, he writes, “presents a wide-ranging view of how geology, in its earliest days, appealed through drama and spectacle to an exclusive portion of the public.”

Originally, Evolution: Education and Outreach was freely available on-line. Now, as Niles Eldredge and Gregory Eldredge explain in their editorial, “After a temporary hiatus, … we are poised to come back free online — the better to serve our educational outreach mission.” Past issues will soon begin to appear on-line at the National Institutes of Health’s PubMed Central. But there’s no need to wait to read the articles by Matzke (PDF), Padian (PDF), and Scott (PDF), which were published through Springer’s Open Access program and are already freely available. Moreover, NCSE members will have the opportunity to receive a printed copy of the issue, which will be offered as a gift premium in the fall fundraising letter. And if you’re not a member of NCSE, what are you waiting for? Join today.

Wow! Quite an honor!

Deep Impact/EPOXI will fly past Earth this Today

It’s one of those hitch hiking deals:

NASA’s Deep Impact/EPOXI spacecraft will fly past Earth this Sunday (June 27). Mission navigators have tailored this trajectory so the spacecraft can “hitch a ride” on Earth’s gravity field, which will help propel the mission toward its appointment with comet Hartley 2 this fall. At time of closest approach to Earth, the spacecraft will be about 30,400 kilometers (18,900 miles) above the South Atlantic.

“Earth is a great place to pick up orbital velocity,” said Tim Larson, the EPOXI project manager from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “This flyby will give our spacecraft a 1.5-kilometer-per-second [3,470 mph] boost, setting us up to get up close and personal with comet Hartley 2.”

Press release is here.