blueollie

Science in an equal time classroom

July 10, 2011 Posted by | creationism, education, evolution, religion | Leave a comment

Why Democrats Almost Always Lose

July 10, 2011 Posted by | Democrats, political/social, politics, politics/social, Republican, republicans, republicans politics, Spineless Democrats | Leave a comment

Republicans, Weirdness and other topics

Here are a couple of interesting political cartoons

Awesome Snark…

(hat tip: Randazza)

Economy Here is a 7 minute clip of Paul Krugman speaking on the economy (2007); he notes that the middle class rose fairly quickly and start its decline under President Reagan:

He notes that there are peculiarities to the United States…

Interesting (to me) tidbits
3 of 10 Americans take the Bible literally; 17 percent see it as just a collection of old stories (on a level with, say, Homer).

This shows the harm that religion can cause: would 30 percent of Americans believe that a snake can talk? Well, if they accept the Bible literally, they believe just that!

From the article:

Unsurprisingly, Gallup reports,

Belief in a literal interpretation of a Bible declines as educational attainment increases. Forty-six percent of Americans with a high school education or less take the Bible literally, compared with no more than 22% of Americans with at least some college education. The majority of Americans with at least some college education believe the Bible to be the inspired word of God.

The number drops to 15 percent for college grads while a whopping 25 percent of postgraduates see the Bible as a book of fables/legends. This will confirm for liberals some of the reasons for fundamentalist hostility toward state-supported education (public schools) and academia. In my own community you can readily hear fundamentalists chatting in restaurants, complaining about academics “being the problem” because they “question” what should be believed. Education will do that. It’s no surprise fundamentalists prefer to plug their ears when confronted with the facts of the Bible, or worse, follow the path of David Barton in simply re-writing all that history.[...]

Also in the Department of No-Surprises, Gallup reports that “Conservatives, Republicans More Likely to Take Bible Literally”:

Given the strong link between religion and politics in the U.S., it is not surprising that views of the Bible vary by party identification and ideology. The poll finds 42% of Republicans, compared with 23% of independents and 27% of Democrats, saying the Bible is literally true.

Conservatives are much more likely than moderates and liberals to believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible. In fact, conservatives are as likely to believe the Bible is the actual word of God as to believe it is the inspired word of God.

News of the weird
A traffic court judge (female) tried to record males while they urinated in the bathroom. Really. She HAS to have some mental problems.

Political/Social
Evidently, asking the wealthy to pay more tax is off the table in Republican world.

The White House and Republican leaders had been negotiating recently over a comprehensive deal that would have produced $4 trillion in savings, hoping to avoid any possibility of defaulting on the nation’s debt ahead of an Aug. 2 deadline to raise the debt ceiling.

On Saturday night, House Speaker John Boehner abandoned the deal, saying a mid-size package of reforms that do not include any kind of increase in taxes on anyone is the only politically viable solution, The Washington Post reports.

The White House responded by releasing a statement decrying the move, saying that “congressional leaders…must reject the politics of least resistance and take on this critical challenge.”

In a statement, Boehner said: “Despite good-faith efforts to find common ground, the White House will not pursue a bigger debt reduction agreement without tax hikes. I believe the best approach may be to focus on producing a smaller measure, based on the cuts identified in the Biden-led negotiations, that still meets our call for spending reforms and cuts greater than the amount of any debt limit increase.”

In response, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said: “We cannot ask the middle-class and seniors to bear all the burden of higher costs and budget cuts. We need a balanced approach that asks the very wealthiest and special interests to pay their fair share as well. Both parties have made real progress thus far, and to back off now will not only fail to solve our fiscal challenge, it will confirm the cynicism people have about politics in Washington.”

On the other hand, we need to focus on job creation, and no, lowering taxes on the rich does not help with that.

We are in what is known as a liquidity trap.

Science

Divers have snapped photographs of fish using tools (a rock to break a clam shell); this is the first time anyone has taken a photo of this happening.

(click the thumbnail to see the photo at the site)

Here is a nice article which links brain proteins to the ability to learn languages:

A protein in the brain that has been linked to the development of human language may push developing neurons to reach out and touch someone—or, at least, other brain cells, according to a new study. Such early links could organize the cell-to-cell connections critical for learning complex tasks later in life, including reciting Dr. Seuss, researchers say.

Researchers first identified the FOXP2 gene and its protein in 2001. The study involved a family that had difficulty pronouncing and understanding words, and since then scientists have suspected that the gene may have played a role in the evolution of human language. It even appears to be important to “speech” in other animals: zebra finches with low levels of the FOXP2 protein, for example, can’t learn the songs that other birds sing.

Most studies of FOXP2 have focused on its effects post-birth, says Simon Fisher, a neurogeneticist at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, Netherlands. So scientists have been unclear about its role in very early brain building.

click the thumbnail to see the photo at RichardDawkins.net.

July 10, 2011 Posted by | biology, civil liberties, economics, economy, evolution, political humor, political/social, politics, politics/social, religion, Republican, republican party, republicans, republicans political/social, republicans politics, science, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Working my way back July 10 2011

Today’s training:

Swimming: 2650 yards via:
8 x (25 3g, 25 fist, 25 free)
12 x (25 kick, 25 free with fins) alternate front, side, side.
5 x (100 free, 100 pull) 19:08 total (easy effort)
5 x (25 back, 25 breast)
4 x 50 fly kick with fins.

Run outside: 81 F, 71 percent humidity; minimal interference from the red winged blackbirds:

I started where the parking lot meets the part of the trail going to the Gateway but turned and ran under the bridge; I ran to the gooseloop, once around and then ran to where the trail meets the driveway of the place next to the ball field. Then I doubled back; time was 44:50 (22:10 out).

I just about died out there; I estimated “about 4 miles at about 11 mpm”; it was 4.1 miles at 10:56 by google.

It is getting better but it is a struggle; I am coming back, fighting off a piriformis/gluteus medius niggle, and still recovering from the double red cell donation.

Here is a post on the matter with a ton of responses; this is NOT a scientific survey but many others report struggling after blood/double red cell donations.

July 10, 2011 Posted by | running, swimming, training | 1 Comment

   

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