Daily Archives: September 9, 2010

Science Education News: Mostly about money

Sara Lee isn’t just a baked good any more:

Sara Lee Schupf, the namesake of the Sara Lee bakery brand, will this week announce a $1.5 million gift to the New York Hall of Science to create a Center on Play, Science and Technology Learning, or SciPlay at the Queens institution.

The center will serve as an incubator and research hub to develop programs and educational materials for teachers that support connections between play, science and technology. Mrs. Schupf’s gift will also provide funds to recruit a group of fellows at the center.


The Denver Science Museum (remember this?) will receive a grant of 3.27 million dollars. The good news: That’s the largest federal grant the DSM has eve received. The bad news: That is the largest federal grant the DSM has ever received? Wot????

Finally, Student researchers boost Biosphere 2 attendance. Details here.

Institute for Creation “Research” gives up bid to provide teacher’s MA’s

The Institute for Creation “Research” moved from California to Texas a few years ago in part, it is believed, to set up a masters program for teachers in life sciences. I’m guessing they figured they could get Texas to certify a bogus Masters program more easily than California. They did make some progress, but it went to court, and just recently they lost that case and had to give up on the idea.

Subsequently, they’ve pulled another rabbit out of the hat: A degree in “Christian Apologetics” which would serve a similar purpose as the Creationist MA (and it would have a “Creation ‘Science'” minor. This degree, they claim, is not subject to state certification because it is religious. But that may not, in fact, be the case. From the NCSE:

The Institute for Creation Research claims that its new School of Bible Apologetics is “exempt from licensing by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board” — but is it?

, and you can read more about it at Panda’s Thumb.

Technobabble: Microsoft hates you if you are gay, Newly minted Mint

Microsoft says Teh Gay is “inappropriate.” The corporate computer giant and evile empire banned a kid from having an X-box account because he listed the name of his home town in his profile, and happens to live in Fort Gay. The people of Fort Gay are not putting up with this. When challenged, Microsoft made up some fake story about how this happened, said they were sorry, and agreed to reinstate the child’s account. As long as he not list his home town as Fort Gay. Which part of “you are a bunch of bumbling morans” do they not understand? And these are the people who are in charge of all the software? Source and more details.

Speaking of Microsoft, have you considered trying Linux? If so, consider the “Mint” version of Linux. It may be the most friendly version for new users, and a brand new edition has just come out.

“No, wait,” you say, “always wait until the new version has been out for a while so they can work out all the bugs!”

If you thought that, you are obviously not a Linux user yet! For some computer operating systems, the new versions are marketing events full of bugs, later to be fixed by the service release. In Linux, the new version is the thing that fixes whatever bugs may have emerged since the last version, and for the main operating system itself, new versions come out very frequently, so the number of new bugs is low and the number of bug fixes is high.

So click here and find out more about Mint.

Why does the US military not consider a brain injury to be an injury?

The U.S. Army honors soldiers wounded or killed in combat with the Purple Heart, a powerful symbol designed to recognize their sacrifice and service.

Yet Army commanders have routinely denied Purple Hearts to soldiers who have sustained concussions in Iraq, despite regulations that make such wounds eligible for the medal, an investigation by NPR and ProPublica has found.

Your letter to your child’s biology teacher

You have to tell your child’s life science teacher (or, any science teacher for that matter) that your family does not support creationism, does not want to see anyone “teaching the controversy” and that you know that “Intelligent Design” is a form of creationism. I promise you, the creationist parents of your child’s peers, and some of the creationist kids in the classroom, are not keeping their mouths shut. Why should you?

So, pursuant to this, I have composed a template for you to use as an email or letter to send to your child or ward’s life science teacher:
Continue reading Your letter to your child’s biology teacher