Phase of the Moon
Angels from Another Pin

Yes, I suppose it could be used as a weapon, if the enemy lived on other planets, and if more than anything they hated having fresh fruit delivered through space to their door. I find your obsession with militarizing each of my inventions disturbing, to be honest. First it was my "fun bomb", which you thought could be modified to deploy munitions other than fun.

--Leonard Richardson

22 February 2006

"An Elvis taxon (plural taxa) is a term used in taxonomy. It is similar to a Lazarus taxon and often confused with it. Where Lazaraus taxa are those that have seemingly returned from the dead after a mass extinction, Elvis taxa are the decendants of different groups that are known to have survived the extinction and have evolved to closely resemble the extinct group through convergent evolution. The term Elvis taxon is used because although Elvis is truly dead, he has many imitators." permanent link


Popular Science has compiled a list of the worst jobs in science:

3. Kansas Biology Teacher
On the front lines of science's devolution

"The evolution debate is consuming almost everything we do," says Brad Williamson, a 30-year science veteran at suburban Olathe East High School and a past president of the National Association of Biology Teachers. "It's politicized the classroom. Parents will say their child can't be in class during any discussion of evolution, and students will say things like 'My grandfather wasn't a monkey!'"

First, a history lesson. In 1999 a group of religious fundamentalists won election to the Kansas State Board of Education and tried to introduce creationism into the state's classrooms. They wanted to delete references to radiocarbon dating, continental drift and the fossil record from the education standards. In 2001 more-temperate forces prevailed in elections, but the anti-evolutionists garnered a 6-4 majority again last November. This year Intelligent Design (ID) theory is their anti-evolution tool of choice...

The problem for teachers is that ID can't be tested using the scientific method, the system of making, testing and retesting hypotheses that is the bedrock of science. That's because underpinning ID is religious belief. In science class, Williamson says, "students have to trust that I'm just dealing with science."

Alas, for Kansas's educational reputation, the damage may be done. "We've heard anecdotally that our students are getting much more scrutiny at places like medical schools. I get calls from teachers in other states who say things like 'You rubes!'" Williamson says. "But this is happening across the country. It's not just Kansas anymore."

Link courtesy of Sue Monroe. permanent link

This could be the greatest thing ever painted, ever. And I've seen Bea Arthur wrestling a velociraptor.

--August J. Pollak

17 February 2006

The area where I live has been a town for a very long time. Over the last hundred years, however, it's been updated and changed. Among the things lost are the old coverered bridges, including one over the Schuylkill River at what appears to be the location of the Dekalb Street bridge. permanent link


Heavy Metal is a free program that allows you to connect a Teletype machine to your computer's serial port in general, and the internet in particular. Although some later teletype machines understood ASCII, the real target of this program are the wonderfully noisy, mechanical devices based on 5-level (Baudot) codes.

No technology is truly dead as long as someone still loves it. permanent link


This Month
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001

© 2001 - 2006 Jon Kilgannon