Before and After Pictures
A seventh grade teacher did this wonderful experiment with her class. She had all the students describe and draw pictures of what they thought scientists were like before and after a field trip to Fermilab. I love how all the â€˜afterâ€™ pictures have scientists in jeans.
The Japanese amaze me. One of their latest inventions is the Cold Fusion Shower. It is a shower light made of LEDs that are powered by the water pressure. Even better, the LEDs change color with the temperature. No longer do you have to worry about jumping into a too cold or too hot shower. You can know visually the temperature of the water.
Last Tuesday, the Ohio Board of Education voted 11-4 to remove science standards and lesson plans that encourage students to seek evidence for and against evolution. The critics of the material believed it was an open door to teach intelligent design, a fancy word for Christian creationism. Marth Wise, a critic of the material, stated â€œIt is deeply unfair to the children of this state to mislead them about science.â€
It is good to see that our school administrators are willing to see intelligent design advocatesâ€™ true motives to push faith and Christianity. This seems to be greatly due to the U.S. District Judge Jonesâ€™ ruling against intelligent design/creationism in Dover, Pennsylvania, schools. He described Doverâ€™s policy as â€œbreathtaking inanityâ€ and stated that the six-week trial illustrated that intelligent design â€œis a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory.â€
(The Dover policy) singles out the theory of evolution for special treatment, misrepresents its status in the scientific community, causes students to doubt its validity without scientific justification, presents students with a religious alternative masquerading as a scientific theory, directs them to consult a creationist text as though it were a science resource and instructs students to forgo scientific inquiry in the public school classroom and instead to seek out religious instruction elsewhere.
I am glad that our board is standing up for the educational standards of our science classes. Now, if only they would stand up to this.
Matt sent me this wonderful article from Danâ€™s Data on how to build a Sparkler Bomb. It is the perfect at home project for anyone looking to blow something up in a dangerous and awesome way.
From the site:
Here you will learn the essentials of making an improvised firework which, while spectacular, is also both as predictable and as safe as something that blasts a mighty shower of sparks 50 feet into the air can reasonably be expected to be. I have made many of these things. I have been quite close to them when they went off. I have never so much as lost any hair, which is more than I can say about the results of some of my other half-baked pyrotechnic experiments.
And here is the description of the event:
Now the standard sparkler bomb ignition sequence will occur:
1. The fuse will burn right down to the level of the sparklers.
2. Some turkey will say “Itâ€™s not going to go off!”
3. After a short delay determined by how well you packed the sparklers, it will go off, and a large number of sparklers that would each burn for a couple of minutes will be consumed by the very fires of Hell in about one and a half seconds.
4. One and a half seconds later, the crowd will emit various whoops and whistles.
This is appalling in the face of the 2007 proposed budget cuts. Small
snippet quoted below.
Bush Administration Spent $1.6B on ‘Propaganda’ Efforts
The study, requested by the House of Representatives Democratic leadership, found that from 2003 to mid-2005, the administration racked up some $1.4 billion in contracts with advertising agencies to broadcast positive messages about its policies and initiatives. Another $200 million went to public-relations companies, and $15 million were spent building connections with media outlets. Individual members of the press received a total of $100,000 in promotional contracts.
The Graffiti Research Lab came up with a wonderful little device that anyone can make: LED Throwies. From their website:
LED Throwies are an inexpensive way to add color to any ferromagnetic surface in your neighborhood. A Throwie consists of a lithium battery, a 10mm diffused LED and a rare-earth magnet taped together. Throw it up high and in quantity to impress your friends and city officials.
Last week, I found this wonderful sight: Google Sightseeing. The premise is simple. The siteâ€™s owners and their readers find the best tourist spots in the world via satellite images from Google Maps and Google Earth. Not only does the site catalog the images they find, but they link directly to Google Maps so you browse around for yourself. Needless to say, I fell in love with them right away. Here are a few of my favorites from the last couple of weeks:
Alien Crop Circles!
GS found a whole series of crazy crop circles that aliens (or farmer kids with too much time on their hands) could have created.
Stonefridge is exactly what its names implies: a complete replica of Stonehenge made entirely of refrigerators. Apparently, the monument is now 2.5 fridges high and requires 60 more refrigerators to complete.
Winter Olympics 2006
And for you fans of the World Games, GS has cataloged many of the great sites marking this years events.
George Gongora, a photographer for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and avid quail hunter, simulated the impact of Cheneyâ€™s shotgun on his victim. You can read the article and watch the video. (via ThinkProgress)
One of the rumors flying around the Cheney shooting states that this type of accident occurs regularly in hunting. It turns out that is not really the case.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Texas only had 2.7 hunting accidents per 100,000 hunting licenses. Perhaps, Cheney does not count because he did not get the required permits and was thus hunting illegally.
More at ThinkProgress.