In no particular order, nor in any particular ardor, stuff of interest and consequence we should be talking about instead of soaking in Millard Fillmore’s bathtub and admiring the plumbing:
- Do they get lost in the Milky Way? Sensuous Curmudgeon dissects story on dung beetles navigating, notes without dung beetles around, we’d be up to our fannies in dung. With links, this story tells us what’s wrong with the Republican National Commitee, the GOP leadership in the House, the Texas Lege, and current Education Deform efforts — a dramatic shortage of dung beetles. Is it climate related?
- Slow e-mail: Popped up this week the links to this blog from Bug Girl’s epic post on the truth about Rachel Carson, way back in 2007. Bug Girl’s blog is dormant, but this fisking of the rabidly anti-Rachel Carson, pro-Poison Africa for profit gang and their claims, is a piece you should have bookmarked. William Souder’s book is a great step in the direction of getting the truth; but the hoaxsters, like Stephen Milloy and the pseudo-charity group Africa Fighting Malaria, are still at it.
- Serious blow to all political theory: GOP partisans get crazier about conspiracies, the more they know that should tell them differently.
- Jim Stanley keeps telling me I should read Fred Clark’s stuff at Slacktivist. I especially like these compilation, olla podrida posts of his, like this one, “Good news, for people who like good news.” Lots of good stuff to chew on.
- Friendly Atheist’s Hemant Mehta noted the introduction of a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives to declare Darwin’s birthday as “Darwin Day.“ Darwin was born on February 12, 1809, just a few hours different from Abraham Lincoln. New Jersey’s Rep. Russ Holt introduced the resolution. Regardless Congress’s action, there will be celebration.
- KTHV in Little Rock, Arkansas, reports just the facts about a bill to put Bible classes in Arkansas schools — and it makes a rational person wonder why so-called Christian fundamentalists are so tone deaf on religion in public schools, and simultaneously so out of touch and unfamiliar with scriptures they wish to make into ungodly idols.
- You could do a heckuva history class just using the episodes of James Burke’s Connections from PBS. Kids would probably love it. This sort of experimentation to improve the quality and relevance of a class is directly discouraged by almost all “education reform” efforts today. If you’re unfamiliar with the series, watch some episodes online. This could be great material for elementary and middle school science classes; an industrious teacher could make these work in high school physics, chemistry, and other science courses.
- Vicco, Kentucky’s city council lights the path for reform of the Republican Party. GOP ain’t listenin’.
- Most educators exhibit profound disappointment with the Obama administration’s action and lack of attention on education issues. Will we see changes in the second term?
- Teachers standing up against the War on Education are too rare. Tough economic times.
- Why isn’t your local paper providing more coverage of events in Davos, Switzerland, at the World Economics Conference? Worse, how do I know your local paper isn’t paying attention, without having to bother to ask you where you live or what your local paper is?
- It’s winter. Every winter storm will provide new opportunities for truly clueless or truly evil people to question whether global warming is an issue — and they will. Grist gives five quick answers to such ill-informed, ill-intended disinformation. Meanwhile, Mother Jones gives a rundown of what you need to know about climate change generally.