I love Wiki

Looked up the entry for Dinosour on Wikipedia This is what I saw last night (click on image to enlarge):



Something got lost in the translation of these irritationg banners...


Yet again

I'll have to nip out today. Mouser's got a case of the worms. Again. Not sure if I'll manage driving the car. But I'm willing to take a chance. I prefer a parasite free kitty.



Given the all clear today. Although it took me 10 minutes to walk from Radiology to the pneumologist's waiting room. So it's bye bye hospitals for a while until further notice.


Me oh My

Ireland is going to send a hand puppet as it's entry for the Eurovision Songcontest 2008. Wow. I feel sorry for all my friends back there. They will be the laughing stock (-geddit?!-) of Europe.

On a different note. As the contest is being held in Serbia, Does Kosovo get to send in an extra contestant? They should. Just to ease tensions back there. Look at it this way: Serbs get two stabs at winning, Kosovo gets a voice/vote in Europe.



A program that detects cat like typing?
So I gather there must be some kind of market?
I like the "You can also exit this window by typing the word "human"




Saw sod all thanks to a generous cloud cover.
So I'll just post two pictures of the Moon visible around 23 CET before clouds came drifting in. We'll just have to wait a little under three years for the next one.
Hey, can't complain, had a beautiful one last year in March. I'll put up a collage I made of that one later.


Room 101

I haven't been posting these last couple of days because I've been trapped in hospital since Monday. I've got a collapsed lung. Don't ask me how. Just like my character it was spontaneous. (Yes, I do still have a lame sense of humour left, after over a week here). My stay in this facility is driving me round the bend (and yes I know they have wards for those kind of people here too). Luckily I am on the good drugs to drain out reality now and then.
So here's a few thoughts on my week so far:
Most things are just so surreal. I am on planet Nurse. It is not part of our neck of the universe. Rules of normalcy have not settled in just yet.

1) So they jammed this thorax drain between my ribs in the emergency room, put me on a bed an wheeled me to my new digs. I just managed to sneak a peak at the room number before I was sentenced to bed. I could not believe my eyes. It said on the door: Room 101. Yes, it is the torture chamber in the Ministry of Love in George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. I was being kept in the room were people are subjected to their worst nightmare or the place where you put stuff when you want to forget all about it. Great. That was an extra motivation to getting well a.s.a.p.

2) After being quizzed about allergies, special dietary needs or previous hospitalizations they asked me: 'Is there anything else we need to know?'
So I obligingly went: 'Why yes. Before you go, could you take that crucified Christ off the wall please?' I pointed to the obligatory cross between the two windows.
Nurse: 'You're not, eh, into that kind of thing?' (I gathered she meant 'catholicism' by 'that'.)
Mrs B: 'No, I'm not. Besides I already have one of the stigmata on the side of my ribs. It wasn't induced by a Roman soldier but by one of the doctors in Emergency, so I don't need the Lord to remind me of his suffering, I can feel it right now.'
She didn't get that one. But she did get up and removed the cross without any further ado.

Nurse: "I'll put it in the cupboard". And without looking she just opened the door and put it on a random ledger. What she didn't know was that a colleague of hers had (ten minutes or so earlier) unpacked my things and arranged them in there. I couldn't see it from where I was lying in the bed, but I'm pretty sure the Lord is lying between my knickers right now
-Insert cheesy joke about Christ going to heaven after all-

3) There are 5 wireless networks here, all of them secure. I asked the head nurse if they could contact someone over on IT so I could log in. The network is up and running already, I just need a password. She did and came back with some weird cock and bull story. I wasn't able to laugh because it hurt too much.
First off, she said the wireless would only be accessed within a month or two. I told her I hoped to be long home by then.
Then she said they probably couldn't give access because of the patient record system I could probably access.
Then: 'It doesn't work because we haven't gotten our computers" (which crowded the room even more with roosters and uncastrated male bovine animals). And to finish it off she then told me: "Besides they've only laid down the cables for the wireless just last week, so it probably doesn't work anyhow". I had to stop myself from having a fit. That thorax drain really hurts if you move just a little bit. I was too short 'o breath to explain to her how this kind of old fashioned technology actually works.
Nice lady, but just stick to nursing us medical lay people back to health. My curiosity is aroused why they would need a computer now. Let's hope they know how to work it before they mess up somebody's medication scheme.

4)Rule for all nursing staff: DON'T touch my computer without asking. And DON'T lift it up by holding the screen when it is open. I've got some fat fingerprints in the middle of the screen now and I haven't got a bottle of iWash with me. I mean, that's like squeezing someone's testicles when all you had to do was shake the man's hand.

5) Apparently you're only a nurse when you have Crocks on yer feet. I think I've seen all possible (and most implausible) colours worn by both sexes of medical staff. Wonder what the orthopedic surgeons think of this. The individual expression wave has set in. But, I don't care how comfortable those crocks may be, you still all look like dorks! I bet there is a facebook group for this already. -Update: Yes, there is-

6) My sight is failing me because of the drugs. If I look outside here is what I see: Some other rooms, mostly filled with other sick people, across a courtyard with some lavender, nicely trimmed bushes, a small road with cerb stones, some leafless trees. Now; in front of one of these trees there is a kind of grey cylinder shaped form with some yellow stuff near the end of the appearance. I'm not sure if it's a gas cylinder (the yellow part is where the valves are supposed to be) or a pole with some illumination for the road. Must ask Dr Livingstone when he comes to visit.
Oh crap. He can't of course, he's in Kuwait.

6) I couldn't take my exam on literary history on Tuesday. Had word from another student. Only six of our group took the exam and it was impressively difficult. (So he says) I wish I could have taken it, just to spite them and tell them it was really easy and make them feel really obtuse.
So I have been wasting my time the week before this useless week too. Doing all of that memorising and student stuff.

7) There's a kid on my floor somewhere screaming its lungs out as if it is being butchered. Drug him for gawds sake!

8) The remote for the bell (press if you want the nurse) looks like an energy saving bulb upside down.

9) Out of bed is out of humour.

10) Lion feeding times 0800, 1200, 1700 hours.

11)Dope times: 0800 & 2000 (5mgs of happy-go-lucky drug). Further dope times: 0400, 1000, 1600, 2200 (little bottle with fluid pain killers that makes my hand and arm go numb), 1400 (1 litre 5% glucose with some pain killer in it to last me 24 hours.)

12) Mind-numbingly lame movies on telly so far: Tango&Cash, Under Siege, Scream, Armageddon, Speed, Mona Lisa Smile, The Relic

13)This man in a trench coat came into my room on Friday.
Man: "Hi, are you Mrs B?"
Mrs B: "Who wants to know?"
Man: "I'm a priest"
Mrs B: " Why are you here, you're not going to win any souls in here"
Priest: "Oh no, I just visit all people who live in my parish when I'm in the hospital"
Mrs B: "Well, that's very kind of you, have a seat"
As the priest sat down, he looked up at where the Lord had been hanging and then fixed his gaze upon me.
Priest: "Well, why did you look so worried there when I said I was a priest"
Mrs B: "That wasn't worry, it was amazement. I couldn't figure out what a priest was doing in an atheist's room"
Priest: "Most people look rather worried because when they see a priest they usually think of the last rights"
(I had to bite my tongue and not say if people usually think of priests they think of child molestation).
Mrs B: "And you're not wearing your dog collar, you look just like normal people."
So we were of to a good start by any standards. The knives had been sharpened by opening remarks. Sarcasm was on my side today.
Priest: "You are very categorical in stating you're an atheist. Why?"
(So I thought: Good. I could use a bit of a debate. But then I thought: Aaaargh! I'm in Room 101!)
Mrs B: "I'm proud of being one. My family have been intelligent critical thinkers for generations. But don't get me wrong, I am a humanist, I respect people from all walks of life. In fact I am very interested in our catholic cultural heritage. I think a deeper understanding and study is crucial to understand our society today and put historical facts and decisions into a broader context."
(Ha, that got him. I could tell from the look in his eyes he was getting a bit worried. He gazed up again to the empty spot between the windows.)
Priest: "Ah, that's good. So what part particularly are you into?"
Mrs B: "Early Church history"
Priest: "Ah, the Middle Ages!"
Mrs B: "Oh, no, earlier. Bede, Boethius, Augustine, that kind of thing"
Priest: "Wow, the churchfathers. That is a rich profusion"
(Then he changed the subject, I think this was getting a bit out of his league and he wanted to avoid losing face on his own terrain.)
Priest: "So no one turned to the faith in your family. That is quite abnormal"
(So I was not going to get a high standard of conversation out of this man. Anyway, I wanted to know why people claiming to be catholics these days in our parts are a bit sloppy in being committed to their faith, all having a different, individual understanding of what God is. I asked him how come his religion had evolved into this religious laziness. I was a bit gobsmacked by the answer he gave me, I can't transcribe the exact wording but it was along the lines of: "We can't mobilize the kind of masses like the islam can. Alas we are not in the Middle Ages anymore."
So luckily no throng of people outside my door with pitchforks and the like to tie me to the stake and set fire to the heathen I am.
He didn't stay long after that. I think I scared him away. Shame. I guess the only intelligent conversation I'll have all week will be talking to myself again.

14)So I'm hooked up to this pump that creates sub pressure which makes breathing a bit easier. This is a simple pump with valves etc. No electricity involved. It is hooked up to the air pressure valve just above the head board of the bed. Just shear mechanics. And what does my bored little eye see when I turn to examine that contraption? A Y2K OK sticker! Aaargh! Get me out of Room 101!


A burning sensation

Bollocks. Doug's pub has gone up in flames.

Pissed eye witnesses are just fantastic.

"Sitting on a bar stool in the middle of the road at the edge of the cordon in Chalk Farm Road, she said: "You could tell it was serious. The smoke was black.""

Pray of the day

Microtus arvalis.
Field mouse.
isn't a real mouse.
Still a nice feed.
Had a go at pouncing it today.
Just to stay in shape.
Didn't feel like eating it.
Maybe tomorrow.


Please, Sir! can I ...

Even Nasa technicians need to eat. On the job. While Atlantis and ISS are docking.

Tracking web gossip

Some pretty weird and wonderfull story in the news:

-Tom Jones has insured his chest hair.

It has been all the buzz on the web. But where did this story come from? The Mirror of course.
"Like a vintage wine, Tom just gets better with age," a ‘body hair mole’ told the Mirror. Even at the grand old age of 67, the ladies love his hip-thrusting moves and catching a sneaky peak of his famously rugged chest hair. A spokesperson for Jones, who is currently working on a new album in America, failed to confirm whether he had joined the list of celebrities with assets which are too costly to lose."

Some serious reporting going on there.
Reply on Sir Tom's site:
'The story published in the Daily Mirror (UK) on Feb 5 is completely fabricated. No such insurance policy exists or has ever been considered.  We assume this is just the Mirror having a bit of fun and hope no one takes this kind of 'reporting' seriously. '

What frightens me more is the fact that this piece of excellent journalism has been copied around the world within a matter of hours. Ok, it's gossip. But this happens daily with tons of news items which all go unconfirmed. Just goes to show again that it's not the quantity of news sources that confirms or denies a fact but the quality.

On Lloyds' site it only stated they had been approached by an un-named celebrity to insure his/hers chest hair. And that was way back in 2006. Insuring body parts isn't new to the market. Lloyd’s has previously insured Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards’ fingers; Marlene Dietrich’s legs.

So insuring chest hair . Against what might I ask? Fire? Theft? It turning grey? Falling out? Someone accidentally shaving it off?
This is side splittingly funny. According to Jonathan Thomas, active underwriter for Syndicate 1607 with Creechurch International Underwriters, which underwrites Lloyd's celebrity insurance policies one of the most unusual policy requests he ever received came from an agent who wanted to insure an undisclosed celebrity's chest hair. Thomas devised a policy that provides men with cover for up to a mutually agreed and justified sum insured for permanent loss of chest hair caused by an accident. According to the policy, insureds filing a claim must have lost 85% of their chest hair, and the loss must be verified by two independent experts. Loss through illness or the hair simply falling out is not covered, nor is hair loss from nuclear contamination, terrorism, mass destruction, war or revolution, snorkeling or hunting on horseback. In addition, fire-eaters are excluded.
So we're still not sure what celebrity we are talking about. First logical step would be a celeb that has made chest fur hisTM. And yes, Tom Jones does spring to mind, but other likely candidates could well be any other of the multitude of nicely dence chest hair bearers. Burt Reynolds, Harrison Ford, Pierce Brosnan, Sean Connery?

Who would want to insure chest hair for loss of income? Three words: Get over yourself!


Chairman Miaow

Mouser has been a bit of a moonlighter so to speak.
The people who live in the farm across the road have confirmed this. The Bartman and his Chinese partner Zeng Yang were amazed when coming over to our place and seeing Mouser sitting behind one of the windows soaking up the sun.
I think the little beclawed hare-catcher feels a little taken aback and might I add 'cought in flagrante', it probably never thought we'd find out it'd been two timing us. We had suspected for a long time, but have now finally found out. Funnily enough, we heard the night following the encounter Mouser spent the night at their house.
They don't call that grimalkin Mouser obviously, just "Cat". Or the word for cat in Chinese. Dr Livingstone has been giving Zeng Yang swimming lessons and she'd told him how she called Mouser. But Dr Livingstone forgot how it sounded. Well, it looks like this: 貓
Isn't that symbol a dead ringer for a cat on its hind legs groping for something on a table? It's pronounced 'mao'. Just fancy that, a cat that can say it's own name.
So since Mouser has been fraternising with Shanghai Lily maybe we should start calling it Chairman Mao.
Atlantis will be docking with the ISS on Saturday. You can see the ISS in your own backyard. Go to ESA's "Where is the ISS now" page, enter country and location where you are and you will get a list with fly by dates, star charts & coordinates. Start practicing now and impress your Valentine.


Lift Off for Atlantis

Preflight left to right: Johnson Control, ISS control, Atlantis undocking, Main engine movement check, nose cone support removal, shuttle pre launch on pad, Flight director wishing crew well, flight control @ Cape

Smashing. Great. Very exited. Everything went pretty much ok. Had engine failure (not main engine), but still ok. On its way for rendez-vous with ISS scheduled on Saturday. Images NASA TV.

T nearly zero

From left to right above: Flight commander in seat, Rex saying hi, launch pad wide shot, rocket exhausts.
From left to right below: Assembly on launch pad, Commander Love being given the once over in the White Room, crew in cabin being strapped in, countdown.

Nailbiting. Nearly there. Dinner was lovely, Dr Livingstone really loved it. He is feeling a bit under the weather today, just like me. Loving every minute of waiting for T zero. Pictures are a collection of screenshots taken from NASA TV.

T minus two hours

I'm in my kitchen preparing dindins and am watching the astronauts board the Atlantis spacecraft. Coolness. Rex Waldheim, flight engineer waves bye to family and friends.

T minus 6 hours and counting

Yey! Just under nine hours to go! (yes, title does say T minus 6 hours. If confused or ignorant go visit NASA's Countdown 101 page).

Early this morning, the Mission Management Team met and gave the "go" for loading space shuttle Atlantis' external fuel tank with 500,000 gallons of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. The first test of repairs on the wiring for the engine cut-off sensors will come when they are expected to give a "wet" reading as the tank fills.
There are four engine cut-off, or ECO, sensors inside the liquid hydrogen section of the tank. The sensors are part of several systems that protect the shuttle's main engines by triggering them to shut down if fuel runs unexpectedly low.
Liftoff is scheduled for 2:45 p.m. EST, which is the middle of the 10-minute launch window. The timing is precise so Atlantis can catch up and dock with the International Space Station.
Forecasters expect a cold front to move over Kennedy around launch time, bringing with it clouds and storms, resulting in only a 30 percent chance of good weather for liftoff. Further, there is a possibility that the front may stall over Central Florida, lowering the chances for acceptable weather for launch attempts on Friday or Saturday.
NASA has strict flight rules for weather that include limits on cloud height, storms in the area and clouds that could produce lightning. The criteria are set in part by the conditions a shuttle would need if it has to make an emergency landing soon after liftoff.
The good news for Atlantis and crew is that no technical issues are reported.
NASA astronaut Steve Frick commands a crew of six, including Pilot Alan Poindexter and Mission Specialists Leland Melvin, Rex Walheim, Stanley Love and the European Space Agency's Hans Schlegel and Leopold Eyharts. This is the first spaceflight for Poindexter, Love and Melvin.
During the 11-day mission, the crew's prime objective is to attach the European Space Agency's Columbus Laboratory to the International Space Station, adding to the station's size and capabilities.
Expedition 16 Flight Engineer Daniel Tani, who arrived at the station aboard Discovery in October, will return to Earth with the Atlantis crew as Eyharts takes his place on the station.

Shuttle mission coverage is available online at the NASA TV page.

Image above: Space shuttle Atlantis is revealed on Launch Pad 39A after the rotating service structure, or RSS, at left of the pad was rolled back. Photo credit + text: NASA/Kim Shiflett

What nice brown hare

Mouser's body count has gone up today. Not a significant rise day by day, but an unusual catch. A juvinile Lepus europaeus today! A nice, cuddly, fluffly hare. A dead one none the less. After the surprise weasel and mole this one is new. Very cute. Job well done, nice little kitty cat. Earned your rent-a-house points for this month! Mouser rules!


Number crunching

Reducing carbon footprints is the talk of the alternative town these days. Swap those old wolfram lightbulbs for the green fluorescent types, use LED's, turn down the heating and wear an extra sweater etc. You know, doing your bit for the environment. So last year all the bigwhigs that came up with the idea of Live Earth jumped on the easy-to-cash-in-flow and wanted to raise awareness. But did they do any numbers besides counting pennies? (Read all about it in the blogosphere btw).

Let's back that up with some actual numbers shall we? What about the power consumed at your average concerts? Let's focus on some big bands. U2, Rolling Stones, Genesis. These music icons all have standard humongous lighting and sound rigs. Let's crunch some numbers for the latter band.
Power was generated by 4 synchronised gennies. 900 Amps per phase. These babies are running for seven hours each show.

So if we do the math: 4 (gennies) x 3 (phases) x 900A = 10800 Amps power consumption per hour.

So we are looking at P=U.I to know the Capacity in Watt. @ 240V this is 2592 kW per hour. For seven hours. Which is 18144 kWh a show.

Average consumption for a household varies but lets pick a round number: about 4000 kWh a year.
So a run of the mill Genesis show equals electricity for 4 households for a whole year.
Or 10,95 kWh a day a household (4000/365). This could power around 1655 families every night.

How many shows, how many bands, how many tours?
I'm no eco-warrior but I was mightily impressed when doing this quick calculation.


Abe got soul

I don't even know where to start. Tee Hee. Okay, here goes.
Today is February 5th. In 1974 Patty Hearst, heiress to the Randolf Hearst imperium, was kidnapped. Yes, she is the granddaughter of William Randolf Hearst, the figure Orson Welles based his Citizen Kane on. The kidnap was carried out by a little-known revolutionary group, the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA). Over the following weeks, they apparently brainwashed Patty Hearst into accepting their ideas, until in April 1974 she was caught on CCTV helping them to rob a bank. She did a runner, but was caught by the FBI. After a sensational trial, she was sentenced to seven years' imprisonment, but was released, in 1979, after three years. She was pardoned in January 2001 by President Clinton.

So Stockholm syndrome strikes again.
But that wasn't what I wanted to blog about today. I wanted some more background on all of this and within two clicks I found myself on this website.

A random pick of some delicious quotes:

"Soul Journey does more than provide historical proof of life after death."

"Abraham Lincoln [in a past life] had been a yogi in the Himalayas . . . . He has come back . . . as Charles Lindbergh."

"How to unleash your "Inner Lincoln" . . .plus, lots more!"

"Verifiable (you can look it all up at your public library)"

"If you tried to collect this material on your own it would cost you thousands of dollars."

Wow, more than historical proof? Verifiable historic proof of after life in the public library that would cost thousands of dollars to look up?
I'm gobsmacked.
The upcoming event descriptions are a gem too: this made me break out in spasms on the floor:

"On Feb 6th, Salva will give a talk at East West Bookstore in Mountain View, California, on the subject of "The Resurrection of Abraham Lincoln", the yoga viewpoint of what happened to Lincoln's spirit after he was assassinated".
You mean there are other viewpoints on his soul? That just blew my mind.

"On Wednesday, February 20 from 10-11am PST, Richard Salva will be interviewed on Guiding Stars, an astrological internet show hosted by evolutionary astrologer, Kristin Fontana. Kristin and Richard will discuss possible connections between Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama."
Evolutionary astrologer
? What's that?

Still not convinced this book is worth buying? What about this gobbledygook of marketing phrasing:

"Comprehensive (more than 500 hidden connections disclosed)
• many times the connections in other rein-carnation books
• many times the number of secret connections in The Da Vinci Code"

I thought this Da Vinci craze sell out tactic would have been over by now.

The Spirit of Saint Louis. Lindbergh yogic flyer. Heh, isn't half as funny as reading the book appraisals.

Film or fiction?

Still taken from 1981 movie Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark
Picture taken in Ur: US Soldiers and the Lost War

Jerome's Global Goodwill Tour

Jerome will be home after a 15 day stint on Antarctica!
Jerome Angus Graham III is the first gnome to travel on all 6 continents inhabited by man.


Bottle of Whine

Ah, la Douce France. The country where labels on bottles of wine are seen as works of art and the description of the meritorius delights of Bacchus are regarded as prose. Since a couple of months there has been a slightly noticeable addition. The icon of a woman with a bulging belly gulping down a glass, with a large diagonal line over it. The female is supporting her back with her arm and hand. This is the pose what the two fingers is to smokers: the recognisable stance for expectant mothers. Trying to counterbalance the weight of the rug rat in the womb.
Why is this on bottles of French wine? Legislation has forced wine producers to but this 'warning' label on their products because... Guess what? Drinking alcohol can cause damage to your foetus.
We have known about that for years. Foetuses can develop congenital deformity because of alcohol syndrome. In my opinion it is not the drinks industry who should inform the public about their health risks when consuming their products, but it is a national awareness campaign, gynaecologists, the like that should inform the Citoyens of the dangers of unhealthy living. There have been awareness campaigns in the past that have had their benefits. Drinking and driving, health risks involved with smoking,... It always boils down to the responsibility of the individual. A little icon like this will not stop pregnant woman from stomaching a glass of wine. If I were a manufacturer of some sorts I would not go around telling people my product is bad for them. It would defeat the purpose of being in the business in the first place: try and make a handsome/sustainable profit. I hope there will be an evaluation after a while if this has had an impact one way or the other. It will be pretty hard to determine by any standards. Before this issue caused a rhubarb back in 2004 there were stats registering births with physical abnormalities, mental impairment, and behavioural problems (all symptoms of the alcohol syndrome). How many of them were actually found to be directly linked? If public awareness has been raised by the extensive coverage (which is a good thing, don't get me wrong) and doctors will associate the symptoms with the syndrome this could mean an increase in the stats in short term. I think we will probably have to wait a decade or so to really see if this has had an impact.
But eventually it just all boils down to this: Don't drink if your preggers. Anyone with a bit of common sense betwixt their auricles knows why. It's that simple. Cheers!


The Day the Music Died

3 februari 1959 - Also known as The Day the Music Died because of the deaths of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson when their single-engined Beechcraft Bonanza crashed. Holly hired the plane after heating problems developed on his tourbus.
Well, well. So after nearly half a century nothing much has changed. Airco is still on and off the blink, ventilation and light in the bunks still brake down, cooker and AV system cease to function. Engines, handbrake and transmission don't operate as they should, windscreen wipers will snap off sooner or later. So if I was a driver on a nightliner I'd remind the whining crew about The Day the Music died. Put up or shut up.


There you go cat

Charles Darwin, emancipator of the human mind

Hundreds of groups across the globe will celebrate February 12th as "Darwin Day" in honour of the discoveries and life of the man who famously described biological evolution via natural selection.
"Darwin Day promotes understanding of evolution and the scientific method," said Matt Cherry, executive director of the Institute for Humanist Studies. "This celebration expresses gratitude for the enormous benefit that scientific knowledge has contributed to the advancement of humanity."
The Darwin Day Celebration is a project of the Albany, N.Y.-based Institute for Humanist Studies, an international educational nonprofit that promotes reason and humanity.
Next year will mark both the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of the 1859 publication of Darwin's "The Origin of Species", which presented the scientific theory that populations evolve over generations through natural selection.
The theory of evolution was controversial in Darwin's time and remains controversial in the United States today.
Recent Gallup polls show that 43 percent of Americans reject the theory of evolution and instead believe that "God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so." And at least four 2008 presidential candidates have said they do not believe the theory of evolution.
"There is a continuous threat to evolutionary biology and to science in general that has been posed by fundamentalists who reject entirely a Darwinian worldview because they feel it threatens their religious beliefs," said Massimo Pigliucci, Ph.D., a professor of evolutionary biology at the State University of New York-Stony Brook.
Pigliucci uses Darwin Day to teach the public about how science works "so people aren't just hearing about science from their local preacher." His online course "Evolution, Creationism and the Nature of Science" is available for free through the Institute for Humanist Studies.
The Darwin Day Celebration started with one event in 1995. Last year there were more than 850 Darwin Day events world-wide. Darwin Day festivities can include debates, lectures, essay contests, film festivals, museum exhibits, art shows and even an "Evolution Banquet" with "Primordial Soup" followed by a "Darwin Fish Fry."
This year, hundreds of church congregations will celebrate Darwin Day by hosting an "Evolution Weekend" to explore the compatibility of science and religion.


My first stab at messing with reality. 


Collective Memory II

A dark day for science; on this day 5 years ago: 

The Columbia space shuttle explodes during re-entry in 2003.

Interesting read and round up on The Columbia Accident Investigation Board site.
Images above taken 4 days before reentry as it flew over Maui, Hawai. The STS-107 mission orbit photo's were taken by the U.S. Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing Site (AMOS).