Monday, March 30, 2009

Busy Monday

Looks like a busy day.

Work is getting crazy, projects piling up, and so many things are happening in the blogosphere.

First, I'm happy to report that an e-mail I had sent to St. Petersburg Times got published both on line and in print (in the Sat, 03/28/2009 edition). I write the letter to the editor because I got mildly annoyed by an article published in the LivingTimes add-on the the paper on Wednesday, March 25th. Its topic was acupuncture, and it was very uncritical and, in my opinion, should be labeled as "Advertisement". To make the story short, the original article is here:

Some folks find pain relief with acupuncture

and my letter:

Higher standards needed

On to the other topics...

Everyone was a bit too optimistic about Texas last week, however, at least my home state of Florida seems to be safe when it comes to education standards: A bit of confusion, but all is good

Let's hope it stays that way, at least in the Sunshine State.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Ouch Florida... Do we have to do it every year?

Just like I mentioned yesterday, some of our "enlightened" leaders in the State of Florida, came up with another brilliant idea:

State Sen Steve Wise, R-Jacksonville has quietly filed legislation that would
change the way Florida schools teach Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.

Evolution Bill Quietly Filed In State Senate

This nonsense is coming back every year (or even more often). Yet another proof that you don't have to be smart to be a politician...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Science Wins!!!

Good news from Texas:

Incredible news out of Texas: creationists have lost a big battle to destroy
science education in the Lone Star State!

Breaking news: SCIENCE WINS IN TEXAS!! Barely.

Let's hope this will not come back in the future in Texas, but it is brewing in Florida for sure, as you can see below:

Florida Citizens for Science

Monday, March 23, 2009

More Humor...

Huffington Post is not my favorite source for news (various reasons), however, when I see something good, I can't pass it by:

Well, it's official: Oklahoma's state legislature is investigating the
University of Oklahoma for hosting a speech by evolutionary biologist Richard

The whole thing is here.

An Interview With Jerry Coyne

I have been eyeing Jerry Coyne's book "Why Evolution Is True" for some time now, but for a severe lack of free time in my schedule it has not ended up on my reading list.
In the meantime American Scientist is running a nice interview with him, and it is worth reading to see what prompted Jerry to write his book in the first place.

First of all, I only teach evolution. I've been teaching it for my whole career, which I guess is coming on 25 years now, and I realized when I started
teaching that nobody ever taught the evidence for evolution, which is
wide-ranging and cool. And I looked in the textbooks, and they didn't have it
either. And yet when you read Darwin, the thing that's most fascinating is the
evidence he musters in support of it. In talking with professional biologists
and evolutionists, they didn't ever learn why people thought evolution was true,
because you're not taught that in class. But I thought that that should be
passed on to the students because of the second reason I wrote the book, which
is the pervasiveness of creationism in this country. I wanted to educate the
students so they know that evolution really happened, so they don't really doubt
that, but also to arm them against the forces of irrationality that were going
to be impinging on them and society.

Read the entire inteview here.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Top 10 Family Camping In Florida

I love getting out in the wild, but it's not an easy task with kids. Florida presents a whole bunch of new challenges: snakes, alligators, wetlands and bugs.
I always welcome a good list of suggestions for a family outing, and St. Petersburg Times' Web Site, has just such a list:

Top 10 family camping spots in Florida

Very useful, since some of the places are not well known outside of the Sunshine State.

Icons! Icons!!! for all...

I can't pass by a resource like that without making a note. This is lifted out of the post and points to a list of some great and beautiful icon sets:

50 Most Beautiful Icon Sets Created in 2008

These come handy often, just for your own enjoyment, some desktop personalization, or to spice up a Web project.

The Volcano Goes... Kaboom!!!

This one is all over the blogosphere, and rightly so, since it is too cool too miss.

The volcano, erupting under the sea in the South Pacific gave the scientist an incredible show. Check out the pictures on the Boston Glob web site: Undersea eruptions near Tonga


Monday, March 9, 2009

Want same laughs... read on...

... just make sure you are not easily offended in your beliefs. The "50 Reasons I Reject Evolution" is a hilarious take on the debate between evolutionary biologists and creationists/ID-ers. I have to say, I could not agree more.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Another Reason Why Healthcare Is (Sooo) Expensive In the U.S.

I have been following the Science-Based Medicine Blog for some time now, since the quality of the articles is outstanding, the topics are well researched, and the contributors are all on top of their fields of expertise.
Today, there is an interesting entry (Wyeth vs. Levine: Should Drug Label Standards Be Determined By Juries?) about a recent case heard by the US Supreme Court, and its outcome. In today's economic climate, while the new Washington Administration is paving the way to universal health care, are we still wondering why health care in this country is SOOO expensive? Call me crazy, but, as the author of the blog entry says, why are the lay people making medical decisions? Do I see "lawyers" and "$$$" all over???