Month: September 2006

Another just-so story bites the dust

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… Read More ›

Damn straight

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.

Rounding up good stuff

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… Read More ›

This bumper sticker I like

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… Read More ›

Grogblogging about town

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… Read More ›

Oh, c’mon.

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…. Read More ›

Eek! the geek meme

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

Public schools not challenging enough?

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?

How to squander goodwill amongst the liberated

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