Daily Archives: September 6, 2012


It has always been difficult for people to come up with a nickname for me. One friend in high school called me Paris, short for G. Laden Paris, which I never quite understood. The Efe Pygmies called me Simon. Which I never quite understood. Lately many of us Progressive or Feminist bloggers have been routinely denigrated by worthless scum trolling drekazoids and nicknames have been involved, such as ‘Twatson’ for Rebecca Watson. My winged monkey nickname became Osama bin Laden which is totally stupid because it is just some dead guy’s name.

There are people who unilaterally decide to call me ‘Greggy’ when they want to be disrespectful, and I do find that annoying, but for reasons I never quite understood. I do know, though, that when I become ‘Greggy’ (or ‘Greggie’), the nicknamer from then on on is conversing alone.

But that was then and this is now. Those days of paucity in cleverness are gone, because one of my detractors has finally hit on a nickname I can live with. The term is, I am told, used in a hate video directed at me, that I’ve not seen (nor will I). In this production by a misogynist men’s rights advocate (most of them are former teenage molesters or rapists now busy turning guilt into blame, I suspect) I am known as …

… SkepDickPrick.

I am SkepDickPrick. Hear me roar.

We have the coolest bus

The Twin Cities Metro Transit (which we voted some time ago to call “The T” but still haven’t really started doing yet) has added a very cool bus to its fleet. It is Minnesota Made which is nice, and super efficient in part for reasons that I had not realized were important. From the T’s web site:

  • Advanced engine and hybrid technology
  • Optimized onboard systems for improved efficiency
  • Reduced emissions from less time spent idling
  • Less idling + more efficiency = buses that run cleaner and pollute less

Unlike other buses, even some hybrids, the Xcelsior uses super efficient All Electric components, many that eliminate power-sucking hydraulic systems. Instead, itt uses an all Electric HVAC system, electric power steering rather than hydraulic and an electric air compressor to power pneumatic accessories like doors and airbrakes.

On The X Blog

In case you were not noticing, a few items have come up on the X Blog for your attention. I made a few observations from Bill Clinton’s amazing speech last night and have a suggestion for my Republican friends. There’s a wonderful bit of video in which Mitt Romney sits down with a plaid flannel jacket wearing Vet to hob-nob with the masses, and accidentally ends up in a conversation about gay marriage with a guy who would really like to share is veteran’s benefits with his significant other. Be sure to watch it through to the end! And, there’s been several special editions of the Sunday Funnies. And more, you can dig around.

It's the Heat of the Night

Global Weirdness: Severe Storms, Deadly Heat Waves, Relentless Drought, Rising Seas and the Weather of the Future is a new book on global warming produced by Climate Central which contains …

…Sixty easy-to-read entries tackle such questions as: Is climate ever “normal”? Why and how do fossil-fuel burning and other human practices produce greenhouse gases? What natural forces have caused climate change in the past? What risks does climate change pose for human health? What accounts for the diminishment of mountain glaciers and small ice caps around the world since 1850? What are the economic costs and benefits of reducing carbon emissions?

Robert Krulwich at NPR pulled a nice graphic out of the book to exemplify one of the topics covered. Have a look:

The reason for the longer frost free periods is primarily increased warmth at night, when the last and first frosts tend to happen. This, in turn, is the result of an atmosphere that holds more of the heat that would normally radiate out into space. This was predicted, it happened, and there you go.

Warning: This graph should not be used for developing your own local gardening plans. The lengthening of the frost free season is highly dependent on geography. Your mileage will vary.

Hey, if you want a free chapter from the book, click here to download a PDF courtesy of the National Center for Science Education.

Minda Berbeco Joins NCSE

Minda Berbeco
Minda Berbeco is a biologist who is an expert on the carbon cycle, climate change, and science education. She’ll be joining the NCSE staff’s new initiative on climate change related education.

“I have long respected NCSE’s defense of evolution education and I am thrilled that the organization has taken up climate change” says Berbeco. “I’m even more thrilled to be part of NCSE’s new climate change team.”

From droughts to rising sea levels, climate change will have global effects. “Ignoring the science won’t change the realities of climate change”, says Berbeco. “We need a fully informed public—especially students, teachers, journalists, politicians—who have a solid grounding in climate science basics”.

More details here.

Genie Scott Wins Dawkins Award

NCSE’s executive director Eugenie C. Scott received the Atheist Alliance of America’s Richard Dawkins Award at the group’s annual meeting in Denver, Colorado, on September 1, 2012. Unable to attend the ceremony in person, the namesake of the award began his video introduction by saying, “Eugenie Scott is one of my very favorite people, although we have our civilized disagreements, as I shall tell,” and adding, “it’s impossible to meet Genie without loving her, whether you agree with her or not.” Scott began her acceptance speech by joking, “I now possess awards in the names of both Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Dawkins. This demonstrates that I can get along with everyone. Regardless of my historic amiability, however, I do not anticipate ever being presented with the Ken Ham award, if such exists.”

Details here.