There have been an awful lot of just-so stories postulated by EvPsych (evolutionary psychology) aficionados which mostly purport to show that there’s a strong evolutionary reason for [insert challenged norm here] and thus oh dear how sad we can’t change the way we are hard-wired, sorry. Most of them are bunkum on any reflection beyond the superficial, but they tend… Read more →
There Is No Fucking Face On Mars. Link (and wording for link) both lifted shamelessly from the 44th Skeptic’s Circle at Salto sobrius, which as usual for the SC, had lots of good stuff to check out. Related posts: SIWOTI: Sagan’s ECREE maxim is NOT nonsense Duncan Fine talks sense on BMI What was that? Yes and No
Jill at Feministe has a couple of strong articles on the religious exceptionalists in the US and their increased co-opting of a “warriors for Christ” message for evangelical youth: Where Can I Find Me A Warrior Poet? and her review of the documentary Jesus Camp. Zuzu, also at Feministe, offers up Fact-Checking Lazy Sexist Assumptions, which serendipitously preemptively debunks this… Read more →
I find a lot of bumper stickers and badges promoting partisan politics or ideological positions way too shrill for my taste. But I might actually buy this one: Found at Carry A Big Sticker. Might be nice if they also did a matching Tolerance sticker using the same symbols to counteract the inevitable complaints about which symbols come first and… Read more →
Last night we had a Sydney grogblogmeet at The Clock in Crown Street, with a Larvatus Prodeobloggers’ meetup for dinner beforehand. The excuse for both was Mark Bahnisch‘s venturing south from Brisvegas. I finally got to meet Mark, Shaun, Liam and a belated Georg from LP in an unfortunately noisy bouncy-box restaurant which had terrific Thai food and diabolical service…. Read more →
Just listening on the wireless to a promo for a Literary Lunch with the best-named spy ever, Stella Rimington. The announcer described how she had been the first ever female head of MI5, and her prestigious career in counterterrorism intelligence. And then he informed us that she was “a mother of two”, and how she had had to juggle “the… Read more →
This one’s really got legs – all my US e-mates who don’t even usually do memes are doing this one. Behold, I am a Modern, Cool Nerd 82% Nerd, 65% Geek, 26% Dork Related posts: Weekly Whimsy Thursday Cheezburger: Sleepy Kittehs, and Delurking Day Thursday Cheezburger, and Delurking Day Otterday, and the Last Open Thread of the Year
In all the angst about education, the Literature Wars and the History Wars and is public education running down beyond hope, I find this excerpt from my son’s state high school newsletter encouraging.
These are the research projects chosen by the 6 students doing Extension History for their HSC this year:
- Does the evidence from the ancient town of Pompeii support that it was built for the wealthy?
- Explain the philosophies of Michel Foucault and their impact on the development of Post-Modernism
- Assess the effects of Gorbachev’s reforms on the collapse of the USSR
- Evaluate the differing interpretations of the causes of Alexander the Great’s death.
- Does History end with Liberal Democracy?
- What are the differing interpretations of the 1951 seventeen point agreement?
- What are the objectives of historians who have written about the Holocaust?
Ties to GOP Trumped Know-How Among Staff Sent to Rebuild Iraq: Rajiv Chandrasekaran, summarising part of his book Imperial Life in the Emerald City, argues that one large contributor to the current distrust and militancy amongst Iraqis is the way that the Bush Administration chose people to oversee the transition from dictatorship to democracy under the aegis of the Coalition Provisional Authority. Jim O’Beirne of the Pentagon vetted who went, and the people he passed as suitable were mostly not qualified experts in the Middle-East or post-conflict reconstruction, but they were known Bush loyalists:
A 24-year-old who had never worked in finance — but had applied for a White House job — was sent to reopen Baghdad’s stock exchange. The daughter of a prominent neoconservative commentator and a recent graduate from an evangelical university for home-schooled children were tapped to manage Iraq’s $13 billion budget, even though they didn’t have a background in accounting.
The decision to send the loyal and the willing instead of the best and the brightest
In the first two instances, people look and say “starving” and “cruelty” and “neglect” and someone gets prosecuted.
The whole article speaks to me about my experiences raising my autistic son, but this section especially:
AUTISTIC TACTILE PROBLEMS
I pulled away when people tried to hug me, because being touched sent an overwhelming tidal wave of stimulation through my body. I wanted to feel the comforting feeling of being held, but then when somebody held me, the effect on my nervous system was overwhelming.
Small itches and scratches that most people ignored were torture. A scratchy petticoat was like sandpaper rubbing my skin raw.
White Heather blended Scotch is better balanced than the Black Douglas for a similiar price.
Glenfarclas 15yo single malt is a superior mid-palate and lingering mouthfeel to the Macallan’s 18yo for 2/3 the price.
That is all
Last week Desmond Tutu wrote a piece for the The Sunday Times to mark the International Day of Action for Darfur on the 17th September. I didn’t know about that Day of Action, despite our fundraising for MSF in Darfur on Larvatus Prodeo not long ago: how many of us did?
Tutu’s article, A blind eye to genocide, makes for uncomfortable reading:
In Darfur 2m people have been ethnically cleansed since 2003, women and girls are systematically raped and tortured daily, there is cholera in the refugee camps and the violence is spilling into next door Chad, and all without the attention, or response, it deserves.
I’m finding the various drive-by parenting “concerns” about Bindi Irwin interesting following her speech at her father’s memorial service. Oh, the pressure’s too much, she’s too poised (must be in denial, how sad), blah blah blah.
None of us know her, or the family, just because they’re on TV. Her upbringing has been entirely different from the way any of us are bringing up our kids because of the wildlife warrior