June 19th, 2010

notpraying mantis

This (bi)month's Skeptical Inquirer

has a hilarious humor piece by Benjamin Radford to close it out. I lolled.

"Science Channel Refuses To Dumb Down Science Any Further"

"Look, we've tried, we really have, but it's simply not possible to set the bar any lower," said a visibly exhausted [channel CEO] Bunting, adding that he "could not in good conscience" make science any more mindless or insultingly juvenile. "We already have a show called Really Big Things..."

A survey of the network's current schedule confirmed Monday that on-air demonstrations of such basic scientific principles as "inertia" and "momentum" are mostly relegated to pushing a blindfolded participant strapped to an office chair down a steep hill, while other concepts, such as "sublimation," are regularly demonstrated by strapping dynamite to a large fiberglass Big Boy statue...

"I don't like it when the science people talk about things no one can even understand," said [a viewer]. "It's like, just quit your yapping and dip the chainsaw into the liquid nitrogen already."

life long learning through wikipedia

Evidently the COO of US Environmental Services, a subcontractor helping on the cleanup of the BP spill, is a former Klansman. Not only that, but he was convicted in 1981 for involvement in a bizarre and ill-considered plot to overthrow the Prime Minister of Dominica. What's that? The Dominican Republic, you say? No, Dominica, an island nation in the Caribbean, whose very existence escaped my fat self-absorbed American attention for 40 years. Well, not 40 years exactly, since Dominica qua nation has only existed since 1978.
As for Operation Red Dog (or, heh, Bayou of Pigs) -- "The entire plan failed and the ship hired to transport the men of Operation Red Dog never even made it off the dock as the FBI was tipped off. The self-titled mercenaries lacked any formal military experience and/or training..." But again, there are interesting links to David Duke, and one of the other convicted conspirators went on to found Stormfront.