Aphorisms of public school

Aphorisms of public school

I just finished having a quite interesting conversation with a group of science teachers. It was a marvelous example of what I find to be so very wrong with science education in this country.

It began with one of the teachers saying that they were annoyed with kids who ask questions and having to ‘dignify reactionary challenges to their science’ with an answer. He went on to say that if the evidence is good, which ‘it must be in order to be science,’ then answering student questions on these topics is a ‘waste of time better spent teaching’ science.

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Why the Aliens don’t write back

Why the Aliens don’t write back

For what seems to be ages we’ve been pinging the universe with our proverbial text message to any aliens listening. “Come to dinner! Get to know us! We want to be your friend!”

I remember years and years ago participating in the SETI project, turning my home computer into part of a network of people who were sharing computing power to transmit these messages into the wild unknown.

To be completely honest, I think at that point I must have been convinced that all aliens would inherently be nice. If you think about the idea of reaching out to contact aliens who are inherently murderous of your kind… well it sounds like less of a great idea. So apparently I was sure then that they were going to be nice guys and gals.

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Strange extrovert questions

Strange extrovert questions

I was browsing through the first chapter of a new book this morning and I came upon another one of those grand examples of extroverts who don’t understand introverts. In the short span of one page it asks three impossible questions:

1. What is your fondest memory of yourself before the age of 12?

2. Who do you know whose personality you would like to steal and why?

3. Who do you admire?

Now for an extrovert perhaps these questions actually can have answers, but for me they are dead ends. The thing that extroverts never seem to understand about introverts is that we don’t look at the world through other people or compare our experience in it to what other people experience in a direct way.

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Huc accedit Santus Nicholas

Huc accedit Santus Nicholas

It’s almost time for that wonderful morning when the children leap out of beds around the world and tear open bits of paper in search of some special treasure. For me it is the time of year when I get to break out with the one real great excuse I have to speak in Latin to myself.

It’s not as if there are a great many people around who share that particular interest.

My all-time favorite Latin Christmas carol is Silent Night, possibly because I remember all the worlds without fail each year, and quite possibly because I can actually singĀ  the song decently.

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On the theory of one race

On the theory of one race

There I found myself, in the unfortunate position of stumbling into a conversation with a Scientian (my word).

You know who I mean.

Stereotypically, they are the atheist type who claims they have no religion, are completely anti-establishment as relates to any formalized religion, are prone to outright mock the ‘fantasy’ of religion, and maybe they say they believe in ‘spirituality alone’ or other such similar things.

But then they start talking, and they eventually bring the subject around to science, and then you see what their real religion is.

The scientists they love are as Gods to them, their words heard as ‘facts’ so golden and untouchable as to be gospel.

Above all, they tolerate no other Gods before their true Gods.

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Obamacare questions that never get answered

Obamacare questions that never get answered

I was recently reminded of how people are always claiming they don’t know something, never knew it, and still don’t understand it.

Even if you’ve told them a million times.

I’m certainly not innocent of doing this. My memory lapses are notorious in my family.

For most people we can assume that sometimes it’s forgetfulness, other times… well… let me give you an example.

This was a somewhat hilarious and simultaneously frustrating exchange on Facebook recently:

Jane: I guess I’m still somewhat confused about Obamacare.

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Obama off prompter becomes anti-union

Obama off prompter becomes anti-union

Comedy capers strike again. The non-Obama worshiping crowd is howling with laughter at the latest statement by Obama that to shut down the plant and stop working to get ‘something’ is wrong.

His off-prompter statement:

“If you’re working here, and in the middle of the day you just stopped and said ‘I’m just going to shut down the whole plant until I get something’ you’re getting fired.”

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