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Showing posts from 2011

Science Denial in Political Candidates;The Importance of a Simple but Telling Question

Back in 2008 Republican presidential hopefuls gathered in an on-stage “debate”.  By debate I mean they did what all politicians do regardless of political party- they used the occasion to bend questions to fit their answers and stroke the expectations of smiling partisans counting down to that primary election.
The event was typical and boring.  Stock answers to non-issues and sidestepping issues that truly matter in our country.
But one web-submitted question resonated especially well with me and it should be a mandated question in all political debates from here on out…. “This is a yes-no question… Do you believe in evolution?”
The question should have been, “Do you accept the evidence for evolution,” because we don’t have to believe something when it has been substantiated with overwhelming evidence, but these are politicians, not scientists, so we’ll let it slide.
The question was posed to Senator John McCain, who enthusiastically said, “Yes.”
When asked to the rest of the stage…

Never Cried Over Pasta

Until today.

It didn't even occur to me.  Today is Saturday and I finished work a bit early, around 4 pm, allowing me enough time to stop at the store and make dinner- not just put something together, but actually cook. Make real dinner.

I opted to make a big pot of pasta sauce with Italian sausage.

I malliardized the onions, added fresh garlic, then assembled the pasta sauce that my mom taught me how to make years ago.  Then it hit me.  She's gone.  The smell is here, the same thoughtful assembly of ingredients in the right proportions and right order was here, but she's gone.

My kitchen smelled like her kitchen and I crashed.

As a kid I learned how to cook from my mother.  She was really good, good at a gut instinct for what to add and in which proportions. I guess that is where I get it from.  When I was in Cub Scouts part of the badge requirement was to learn how to set a table and how to assist with serving a meal.  I learned that stuff from my parents. Dinner was a…

Pinball Repair Master Adrift in the Age of Modern Marketing

Florida State Highway 33 is a desolate ribbon of asphalt that connects Polk City to Groveland, two places that are little more than speed bumps and never destinations.   It is an artery we must transit when moving between Gainesville and the USDA labs in Winter Haven, FL, as they do a lot of analytical chemistry in association with our projects.  There are no gas stations, mini marts or scenic stops, just mile after mile of pine and palm, broken up only by a toothless goon here and there, occasionally one rolling a tire.

About six miles out of Polk City and 21 miles before Groveland there is a sign hammered into a naked spot on a tree.  It is about eighteen inches wide and twelve inches tall.  It is unpainted wood and features black block letters that say PINBALL REPAIR, followed by a phone number.

Now, what are the odds....   you see where I'm going.

Imagine the almost infinite alignment that needs to happen here.  First, someone has to own a pinball machine.  Next, it has to be …

The Cause of Mysterious Bird/Fish Deaths Revealed!

Over the last week there have been numerous reports of widespread avian and fish death.  Apparently large swarms of birds and huge schools of fish give up the ghost for no known reason.  Or so it is thought.

The genius think tank over at Natural News has it all figured out.  In his January 4th column Mike Adams applies his usual less-than-rigorous approach to resolve this mystery.  The column speculates based on zero evidence:

For all we know, these 100,000 dead fish are downstream from a field of GMO corn that mutated into something even more deadly than the GMOs we already know. This may not be so far-fetched, actually:Monsanto has a corporate office in Arkansas(in Stuttgart, Arkansas) that's not too many miles from the Arkansas River.

Let me get this straight.  His hypothesis is that there was a mutation in GMO corn that was specific to the transgene, not the 40,000 other genes, and then this corn was magically transported into water and killed fish, because the Monsanto office …