Archives for December, 2008

In the Wichita Eagle, we get Santa Claus and the Establishment Clause: This time of year, every public school administrator has to know a simple fragment of Constitutional law. It has many implications in the school setting during the holiday season. “Jingle Bells” is OK. Christmas hymns with denominational themes are not. “Congress shall make…

Deep thought

The UAW should buy GM and turn it into a worker-owned cooperative.

On Tolerating Rick Warren

Debra Saunders, in today’s Chronicle, decries Intolerance 2009. She is trying to claim that it is hypocritical for groups seeking gay equality to oppose Rick Warren while supporting Obama. Both oppose gay marriage, you see. That Obama opposed Prop. 8 and has repeatedly stated his desire to see equality for his gay brothers and sisters,…

Mike the Mad Biologist is, well, mad. In writing about Obama’s science team, I commented that: scientists often distinguish [technical challenges] from the challenges in testing our broad conceptual understanding of the laws of nature. While “test tube jockeys” often produce important results, there tends to be a certain skepticism of their work. Similarly, medical…

Mark your calendar

2009 is going to be a big year for science. It’s the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth, and the 150th of the publication of his opus, On the Origin of Species. It’s the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s first telescope-assisted astronomical observations, the 400th anniversary of Kepler’s laws of planetary motion, the 100th anniversary of…

What Ails the Mercurial Jeremy Piven?

The Center For American Progress’s Wonk Room wonders Is Coal-Poisoned Sushi Killing Jeremy Piven? Piven left a Broadway play because of a doctor’s finding that he has elevated mercury levels. “Piven?s doctor, Carlon Colker,” the Wonk Room relays, “explained that his mercury poisoning was caused by a high-sushi diet“: Dr. Colker said that an initial…

Climate Progress’s Joe Romm is upset with John Tierney. John Tierney pans Obama Science Advisor John Holdren for being on the opposite side from a range of high-profile climate change deniers, delayers, and equivalents. Romm responds (in part): Tierney is easily the worst science writer at any major media outlet in the country. Pretty much…

Obama announces his science team

In his weekly address, President-elect Obama says: the truth is that promoting science isn’t just about providing resources ? it’s about protecting free and open inquiry. It’s about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology. It’s about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it’s…

BYOSquid!

ZOMFG! The Museum of New Zealand has a website where you can build your own squid! I present you with my invention, Joshteuthis. Go forth!

Rick Warren sets his standards

In an interview defending himself against justified charges of homophobia, Rick Warren insisted: For 5,000 years, every single culture and every single religion has defined marriage as a man and a woman. Not quite. As the polygamous founder of the polygamy-espousing Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints noted, “ancient patriarchs and prophets like Abraham,…