Archive for the ‘observations’ Category

Redoubt - the big picture

April 7, 2009 Comments off

Check out Boston Globe’s Big Picture story on Mt. Redoubt in Alaska.  Not only are the photos awesome as always, but the inclusion of amazing satellite volcano images and electron microscope pictures of volcanic ash (hint: try not to inhale) add understanding of scale.

Categories: Nature, observations

More on ‘Open Mindedness’

April 5, 2009 3 comments

I said earlier that listening to ideas previously rejected for cause is more like masochism than open-mindedness.  And as if by magic, or perhaps the intervention of fairies or sprites, comes this video about open-mindedness:

(h/t PZ Myers)

Categories: observations

Sarah Palin calls Hillary Clinton

September 24, 2008 1 comment

I’m inclined to laugh at Sarah Palin…

…except ignorance and an anti-freedom agenda are a dangerous mix. (HT Greg Laden)

But maybe she has inner positives we just have not seen yet.  How could we, since the ‘barracuda’ has been kept safe from the press ever since the McCain campaign found out that she, well, isn’t VP material?  Let her out of the cage, man.  FREE SARAH PALIN!

Categories: Humor, observations

Behold… The PENTOMINIUM!!!

September 15, 2008 5 comments

Are both obscenely rich and amazingly stupid?  Do you value pleasure above all else?  If this describes you, then you may be one of the very special marks elites to deserve living in…


The video just goes on and on, getting weirder.  I’m still trying to count the different levels on which this is both funny and sad. 

Categories: observations

Upbeat thoughts about opposition and dissent

September 3, 2008 1 comment

Dale McGowan at The Meming Of Life recounts the story of helping his kids navigate through the emotions of having their campaign sign stolen from their yard.  It’s a wonderful lesson in how to handle disappointment in one’s fellow humans, how to nip prejudice in the bud, how to form a constructive take on destructive acts.  And, an interesting example of using Google to test assumptions.

Dale is author of Raising Freethinkers and Parenting Beyond Belief.  I’ve heard him on radio and he’s a really interesting guy. (Hat tip to ***Dave)

Categories: observations

Sarah Palin’s pregnant daughter, UPDATE

September 1, 2008 14 comments

Sarah Palin’s 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, and everybody’s making a big deal about it.  Barack Obama came out and said “leave the Palin’s family alone, especially the daughter” and he’s right.  And you know what?  I have not heard anyone attacking the daughter, even before Obama’s statement,  because this kind of stuff happens and people turn out fine if they have a good support structure.

But it does form a teachable moment about ‘abstinence-only’ sex education, doesn’t it?  Palin is on record opposing comprehensive sex education; she just wants kids to hear “don’t do it”.  If that’s all she told her daughters, and if she shielded them from real information, she sent them into young adulthood unprepared.  How to reduce teen pregnancies?  With comprehensive sex education.


  • Maureen Johnson’s blog has a wonderful, very constructive take on poor Bristol’s predicament: Free Bristol Palin.  I will do a separate post on it later.

  • The Intersection has comparitive statistics on teen sex and pregnancy, but it isn’t exactly new data.
  • ABC News on the latest.
Categories: Issues, observations

Looking for the mouse: the revolution of interactivity

August 23, 2008 Comments off

If you are involved in moving ideas from one head to another head, or to several heads, watch the remarkable video; Looking for the mouse posted by Coturnix at Blog Around The Clock. 

What is a cognitive surplus?  Where does time come from?  What is the ‘architecture of participation’?  And what’s the One Big Thing that people in the media (and I would add, in education) just don’t understand, the thing that blindsides them?…

Categories: observations

No, greed is not good

August 18, 2008 5 comments
Categories: observations

Worlds within worlds

August 13, 2008 1 comment

One of the cool things about our campus is the wide variety of trees in our central quad.  Each one has a tag that gives its species so I can tell a red oak from a locust tree (truthfully I don’t bother with the Latin equivalents, which are also given).

But any one of the trees is also an ecology of its own, for lichens, molds, moss, birds, squirrels, insects, and microscopic life.  In a few moments over lunch hour I was able to spot four different species of ants making their way up and down the trunk of a maple tree today.  Two were almost impossible to see without my magnifying glass, and occasionally a gigantic carpenter ant would go stomping by. 

I don’t know enough about ants.  E.O. Wilson probably has a book I should read about them.

Categories: Nature, observations

Abortion protest ethics

August 6, 2008 5 comments

Jeffrey Shallit at Recursivity points to a video of abortion protesters struggling to answer the simple question: “If abortion is made illegal, what should the punishment be for a woman who has one?” 

Surprising that they seem never to have thought about it after years of standing on the street with Joe Scheidler holding signs and yelling at passers by that abortion is murder. 
Hat tip to Lucas, whose shared items have been a gold mine

Categories: Issues, observations