Archive for ‘culture’

December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays to All!!

I wanted to take a moment and wish everyone out there a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, a Joyous Kwanzaa, a wonderous Winter Solstice and a Happy Festivas!!

Best wishes to all of you for a great New Year!!

And for the kids, or those who are still a kid at heart, follow Santa’s trip around the globe on NORAD’s Santa Tracker.

Here’s a few Santa sightings so far….

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June 6, 2012

MP Bulletin Extra: In Remembrance of Ray Bradbury

As many of you may already know, Ray Bradbury passed away today at the age of 91. His works have stimulated our minds, inspired us to look into the future and allowed us to lose ourselves in the depth of his storytelling. Unlike many other wonderful writers who often leave us wanting more only to find we have devoured all they had created, Mr. Bradbury prolific career left hundreds of stories in which we can continue to enjoy and delve into his boundless imagination for many years to come.

What are your favorites?  What do you remember of the man and his writings?

Below are 3 articles I have collected today from the expanse of pieces remembering the man. I think they provide some memorable insights into the person he was, his writings and his ability to envision the not too distant future.   

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April 28, 2012

MP Bulletin Extra: “Daily Show” guide to my enemies

As a producer, I met people whose political views I detested. The hardest part was admitting they weren’t so bad

By

For two years I was a field producer for “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.” The field producer is the person who guides the creation of the pre-taped segments, the ones where the correspondent travels somewhere to interview and heartily agree with some person who holds, uh, fascinating ideas about the world. This meant I spent a lot of time with people whose causes or philosophies I found blecchy — the sort of folks who would fit nicely in the overlap of a Venn diagram whose circles included Bachmann supporters, fans of Rush Limbaugh, and people who wear tricorn hats and exercise their Second Amendment rights at Tea Party rallies.  You know – assholes.

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April 21, 2012

Do We Still Need Earth Day?

This is the first Earth Day I have made an effort to take part in its celebration. My regular readers may find this a bit odd given the topics about which I opine. As an educated environmental scientist not taking part in the annual April 22ndobservance in some capacity may well be seen as dipping a toe into the pool of heresy. Perhaps it is. But then again I tend to be Earth Day-ish everyday.

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April 18, 2012

The Daily Scoop: Science, religion and policy – Part 2 [Video]

Continuing with today’s theme Part 2 is the 2007 award winning, NOVA documentary about the landmark court case challenging the Dover, Pennsylvania school district’s policy advocating intelligent design. The documentary includes numerous interviews with the small town’s citizens from both sides of the issue delving into their deeply held beliefs and feelings. It also tells the story of the court case and the breadth of evidence from both sides. While long, it is truly worth watching.

If there are problems viewing the video or if it is slow try watching it HERE.

April 18, 2012

The Daily Scoop: Science, religion and policy – Part 1

The Daily Scoop will delve into a controversial area today. Spurred by the direction a recent discussion took and coupled with the discovery of the article here examining some intersections of religion, policy and science, the debate between Theory of Evolution and creationism will be the theme today. The article here gives some insight into the recent Tennessee bill that was seen by many as an open door to bring intelligent design (or creationism) into the classroom, to be taught along side scientific theory. The author provides some good insight into the minds of the legislators who presented the bill and their astonishment over the controversy it created. It’s well worth reading along with the linked companion article it refers to at the beginning. The second part of today’s Daily Scoop is a video about a landmark court case in Dover, Pennsylvania involving the teaching of intelligent design in the high school there. 

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April 11, 2012

MP Bulletin Extra: Street corners from around the world [Photo Essay]

Discovered on Slate this morning, this is a series of photographs of street corners from around the world. From Chicago to Morocco, from 1963 to 2009, they are everyday snapshots of life illustrating, in the simplest terms, how very alike we all actually are.  

See the full series HERE

 

February 21, 2012

The Daily Scoop: Birth control as election issue? Why?

“The way the American democratic system works is very peculiar,” says [D.G.] Hart, who teaches history at Hillsdale College in Michigan.

“But I don’t know that this [election cycle] is any worse than any other period when religious and racial preferences were expressed as cultural preference,” when a presidential election becomes an even more pointed referendum on what kind of society we want to construct.

He notes a disconnect among Republican voters between what the law currently requires and permits and “what people think Obama is requiring, and their perceptions go a long way to motivating them. You might think we would be better, and it is surprising that these cultural matters keep coming up this way.
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February 13, 2012

The Daily Scoop: Religion vs. Vaccinations

The Superiority Complex of Vaccination Foes

Another fight is erupting over public education and vaccination requirments, this time in Queens. Unlike with most anti-vaccination situations, the objections aren’t coming from people whose faith in organic foods purchased at yuppie-tested enviroments are better disease prevention than vaccines, but from people returning to Old Faithful, the God card. The schools tolerate religous nuts who deprive their children of basic disease prevention most of the time, but if there are communicable diseases going around, unvaccinated kids have to go to keep the situation from getting worse. Now the parents are pitching a fit, unwilling to actually take responsibility for the faith they claim to hold so dear.
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January 24, 2012

Graphic Content: Correlation Or Coincidence?

Brucetheeconomist's Blog

 

A number of people have sent me this, so in case you haven’t seen the latest in the treasure trove of funny correlation does not imply causation graphs, here it is. From Businessweek:

(Click to see the full-size graphic on the original site, of course.) Most of these examples are absurd enough that people wouldn’t be likely to wrongly infer causality from them, but this might not be the case if the comparisons were more reasonable…or if people, as I do, believe that both Facebook and mountains are causing the downfall of Western civilization.

I was originally going to make a point about spurious correlation, but I am told that spurious correlation, rather than being random, occurs when events appear to be linked because they share a common cause. Raging narcissism of bankers aside, I can’t imagine that, for example, the rise of Facebook and the Greek…

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