I was not going to tell you about this but, alas, my true identity has been exposed by a shrewdly managed web site run by Nationalist Orthodox Antisemitic Christians in Greece. The site is written in Greek, but my friend Google was able to translate it. Sort of. And, I’ve gone over the gist of the site with my man in Greece. Sort of. And I can give you the lowdown, in pictures and words: Continue reading I am the Masonic Harvard Antichrist→
A while back, the National Geographic Society entered into an agreement with Seed Media Group, the latter being the owner and operator of Scienceblogs.com. This agreement had to do with advertising (simple version: NGS will broker the ad space on Scienceblogs) and branding (simple version: Scienceblogs.com will look all golden-yellowy and otherwise be updated to have National Geographic stuff on it). There really aren’t any major interactions to speak of other than this, yet, though you may have noticed if you read NGS’s blog that Scienceblog posts are often linked to over there.
But there will be other arrangements made with respect to developing content and stuff. That will happen when it happens and I’m sure it will all be very good. We will also see the actual implementation of our Code of Conduct, which will change very little on this blog as I’ve been implementing that for months now, without anyone (who matters) really noticing.
Anyway, at about 7:00 PM May 21, 2012, Monday, which is in a few hours from now as I write this, the process will start. You won’t see anything happening until late in the day on Tuesday, or perhaps Wednesday (things always take longer than expected). At that time, we will be branded. You’ll see.
Here’s the important thing to know: From 7:00 PM Eastern Time Monday night until the branding is completed, anything I post or anything you say in comments will not survive. Posts and comments made prior to that will be transferred during this period of time.
I am very excited about using the WordPress platform for blogging here. It will be like having a hot poker removed from my left eye. Not that I’ve ever had a hot poker removed from my left eye, but you get the point.
Meanwhile, in New Jersey, Evolution is Real! The Asbury Park (as in The Boss) carried out a poll along with Monmouth University which asked if citizens “believe in” evolution. 51% said yes, 42% said no, and 7% said they didn’t know. I would apply a 1% correction to that to account for Snarky Skeptics who would say “Believe in? Belief? What’s that? I accept evolution. I don’t believe in anything” and could therefore not be counted as a “yes” even though that is clearly what was meant.
The poll showed that Democrats and independents, males, college grads, and folk between 35 and 54 were more likely to say yes. Those with a high school education or less and people over 55 were more likely to say no. This was reported here by the NCSE.
Alabama had a bill that would have created a “credit for creationism” course as part of a release time for religions instructions scheme. That is an interesting idea, and I suspect we will see more plans like this one. According to the NCSE,
While released time programs are generally constitutionally permissible, a controversial feature of HB 133 was its allowing local boards of education to award course credit for participating in religious education. A case currently before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, Robert Moss et al. v. Spartanburg County School District No. 7, concerns a local school district’s implementation of the South Carolina Released Time Credit Act, enacted in 2006, which similarly awards course credit for participating in released time religious education. Besides the question of the bill’s constitutionality, the state board of education opposed the bill when it was introduced as HB 568 in 2011, according to WAFF.
The bill died when the Alabama legislature ended its regular session. RIP bad bill.
Tourists visiting Bemidji this summer may pick up a few words of a “foreign” language.
That’s because the first city on the Mississippi River way north in Minnesota may be the only town off a reservation trying to incorporate the area’s indigenous Ojibwe language into daily life.
All over town Ojibwe language signs are posted right alongside English language labels, and for a just cause. The signage is part of a broader effort to preserve the language spoken by an estimated 60,000 persons across areas of the northern United States and into Canada as well as to bridge cultural divides between whites and American Indians.
Words such as “boozhoo,’’ an Ojibwe word for “welcome” and many other Native American terms crop up around town, in an appliance store, the local hospital, the convention center, a local coffee shop, and this spring in the public schools. …
Science Magazine is running a “Science Voices” series of short essays by members of the science community on the topic of Human Conflict. So far there are four or five, and they cover conflict from a wide range of perspectives. You can see them all here.
The topics I touched on in my short essay are very familiar to you as readers of this and other blogs, and they mostly have to do with social and to a lesser extent political problem in “meatspace” and how those conflicts play out in the blogosphere. A few days back I wrote two “hub” posts intended to tie together some of these discussion. One addressed gun control and homeschooling as topics we’ve dealt with here (and on The X Blog). That post has engendered quite a bit of discussion about both topics, though mostly in the area of Homeschooling which, in my opinion, is a topic where we have NOT made much progress.
Someone is always wrong on the Internet. The idea that the most free-wheeling part of the Internet–blogs–would be a place where conflict is resolved seems laughable. The detachment of argument from social cues normally used to moderate our conversations combined with the intentional sloughing off of civil norms means that the only resolution that happens here might be the screen resolution of your computer. It would be easy to say that the Internet is where conflict is born, not resolved.
Peter Gleick has been cleared of faking a key memo. Who is Peter Gleick, and what is this memo of which we speak? Here is a refresher of events over the last 3 1/2 months:
You will recall that last February 14th, we were all given an interesting Valentine’s Day present: A cache of documents had been acquired from the Heartland Institute, and these documents revealed important details about Heartland’s effort to interfere with science education and otherwise agitate and lobby to promote climate science denialism. The documents were released to the public by an as then unknown activist, and then redistributed by numerous bloggers including this one.
Heartland is the organization that made itself famous by working for the tobacco lobby in their effort to prove that smoking cigarettes was not really harmful. Over recent years, Heartland has received funds from a wide range of organizations and individuals to support climate denialism. Most recently, Heartland gained considerable notoriety (the bad kind) with their noxious and ill-conceived billboard campaign that equated “believing in global warming” with being a deranged serial killer (Tool Time: Heartland, Ted Kaczynski, and Education).
Today is Minnesota Senator Al Franken’s Birthday. In honor of that, I’m reposting this historically accurate and important essay, which first appeared on this blog on April 23, 2009 at 3:56PM:
I personally put Al Franken in the Senate
Al Franken is about to be seated as the Junior Senator from Minnesota after a long and costly battle between loser Norm Coleman and Senator Franken. Al won the election by just a few hundred votes, and three of those votes are mine.