Saturday, October 25, 2014

Does the theory of Evolution really matter?

This animated video explains 3 examples very clearly.

http://statedclearly.com/videos/does-the-theory-of-evolution-really-matter/

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the ring of power
is under the dragon
something tickles

Friday, October 24, 2014

I Had Never Heard of OCD

Walking half a mile to the bus stop, Perhaps I was in junior high school. I had a quarter in my pocket. Or did I? I put my hand in. Yup, still there. But what if there was a hole in my pocket? I reached in again. No hole; good. But what if somehow I had missed a hole? I ran my thumb over my jeans outside my pocket. It seems like the quarter was still in there, but what if, somehow, it wasn't? I put my hand in again. Yes, the quarter was there. And there was still no hole in the pocket.*relief* But what if, somehow, now it wasn't there? Repeat 10 or 15 times. Each time, thinking that there was really no need to check, because it was impossible that the quarter was gone, but I checked anyway, just so I would feel better about the possibility. Only, I didn't feel better for more than two or three seconds.

I wrestled with this for years until I had more substantive things to worry about. Also, I got used to having the feeling that I needed to check something when I really didn't need to, and schooled myself into not checking. At least not more than a few times. Gradually, the feeling went away, and when, years later, I first heard the term OCD, I did not immediately remember those old feelings.

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In Case Of Nova: A To-Do List


1. Foom!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fossil workshop yesterday

We had a great time collecting Cretaceous fossils in West central Alabama yesterday. About 20 of us went to a site on private land where the University of West Alabama is excavating vertebrate skeletons and other interesting fossils. Participants saw a sea turtle and two different kinds of large fish that were being protected and carefully removed from the matrix. They also got to pick through some fine gravel that contained fossil sharks teeth. This had been scooped up from a stream and brought to the workshop as lagniappe. All kinds of things were found in the Cretaceous chalk yesterday, but the pièce de résistance was an ophiuroid (a brittle star). This is an extremely rare find and will go into the Black Belt Museum.

We will do this again next fall. We are aiming to educate K-12 teachers, but if the workshop doesn't fill up we are open to anyone else. Most years, people who are not formal full-time teachers are able to go along and that was the case this year.

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protips for time travelers


carry spare parts
a forge and generator
first aid kit, cook pot
world history in 1 volume
2 pairs of shades