Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Palin imposes new condition on financial bailout plan

Sources close to vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin have suggested that she will agree to support the $700 billion dollar emergency financial rescue plan, drawn up by treasury officials in the wake of the Lehman Brothers, AIG and Fannie May, Freddie Mac collapses, but only on one condition.

“Sarah wants the slippers” said our source.
“The money isn’t important, they can write whatever figure they want, just hand over the shoes”.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ooops, he did it again

Who should decide the appropriate curriculum to teach in US classrooms?

Panels of educational experts for each subject in question?

School Boards?


The DI has, perhaps, another suggestion.

Casey Luskin, the brains behind ‘ID The Future’, the hilarious comedy podcast from the Dishonesty Institute, revealed the answer as he yet again strayed from their official public line of not at all being creationists.

On this occasion, during the 12th of September episode, he was interviewing Rodney Levake, a teacher from Minnesota who was transferred away from teaching biology because he had doubts about Darwinism “inside of his head” - according to Casey (although technically speaking this is probably the ideal place to have doubts, they’re really not much use inside your pancreas).

Mr Levake sued his school district for "breach of due process, freedom of speech, academic freedom issues."

The school district filing for a summary judgment, resulting in the judge dismissing the case, although not without almost sending poor Casey into an apoplectic fit by including one particular sentence in his written explanation.

Plaintive in the instant case has no constitutional right to teach his proposed criticisms of evolutionary theory though they may be scientifically meritorious.”

Casey: “Oh my goodness!  So in other words the school district is God.

They determine what will and will not be taught in the classroom as far as your school district was concerned.” 

Quite right Casey.

Educational curriculum decisions must always be taken by the appropriate authority, namely, God.

Any suggestion of the textbook God would prefer? (King James version perchance?)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sarah Palin Sex Tape Released.

You suck at Photoshop

Yes, I know I do, but I just stumbled on this brilliant youtube series with the same title that I have to share.
Its like a mix of how-to lessons with an Alan Partridge/The Office sensibility from a really talented guy called Danny Hoyle (if that is his real name).
Laugh and learn at the same time.

Friday, September 19, 2008

White House Press Secretary "eaten by wolves"

The White House has just confirmed that partially eaten human remains discovered this morning on the floor of the Oval office are those of missing White House press secretary, Helen Rodkins.
Security chief Dan Shilhoff told gathered reporters "the preliminary autopsy found signs of animal activity, most likely wolves, although these injuries were probably inflicted after death." Shilhoff explained the wolves were scavenge feeding on the body but were frightened away by the arrival of Vice President Cheney.

Asked to speculate about the actual cause of Rodkins death Shilhoff said "we can't be sure, but from the hoofmarks its looking like Helen was just unfortunate and disturbed a female moose guarding her calf".

Shilhoff was, however, able to explain the pellet marks on the face of the unfortunate victim - "That was Cheney. We think he was aiming for the wolves".

President Bush at work yesterday

The news of the incident, already dubbed 'wolfygate', is sure to raise further questions about the recent decision to stock the White House with North American forest wildlife.

While the buildup, over the past two weeks, has gone almost unremarked in press or TV coverage, rumors have been spreading of discontent amongst political staff unused to working alongside the herds of moose and caribou. The arrival of the carnivores, flown to the nations capital on the recently modified Air Force One has, however, precipitated the greatest compaints.

One source, speaking off the record told us "Look, don't get me wrong, I like animals as much as the next man, the trouble is the guy across the hall just had his leg torn off by a grizzly."

Republican party officials have meanwhile released a statement denouncing the letter of condolence to Ms Rodkins family sent by Senator Obama.

"The American public has been shown yet again there is no depth to which Senator Obama will not sink in his doomed attempt to claw his way to the White House.

Where was Senator Obama when Ms Rodkins was cornered in the Oval office by an angry female moose?

Was he there? Or was he addressing a highschool assembly in Cleveland?

And where was Senator Obama when Ms Rodkins lifeless corpse was being torn apart in front of the Presidents desk by a pack of ravenous wolves?

Was he there? Or was he visiting a cancer hospice in Indianapolis?

Senator Obama, by cynically playing politics on this sad occasion, demonstrates to the American public just how unsuitable he is for the current White House.

While the democrats try to distract the public with side issues like the imminent collapse of the economy, the crisis in social security, healthcare and energy and the thousands of needless deaths in Iraq and likelihood of thousands more with the impending plans for an invasion of Iran, we have continually taken the higher ground by raising the tone of the debate and concentrating on the really important questions such as 'Did Obama call Govenor Palin a pig?'

The American electorate deserve a team of ability, experience and integrity. But more than that they need a presidential team that can handle the very real dangers of todays White House, - dangers clearly shown by Ms Rodkins brave sacrifice in the line of duty.

They deserve a team that knows how to deal with an angry grizzly at full charge.

A team that can hold off a pack of wolves until helicopters arrive with backup.

And most importantly a team that can field dress a moose on the White House lawn when the Queen of England attends a Presidential garden party.

The American public will realize that when their phone goes off at 3.00AM telling them that a pack of rabid wolves, in league with a bear and a moose, have broken into their house and are about to feast on their children, there's really only one presidential team, armed with just a semi-automatic hunting rifle, a snowmobile and a fighter plane of napalm, that can save them.
And they will vote accordingly

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The solution to Creationism

OK, a relatively serious post for once.

I frequently hear sob stories of creationist students refusing to accept evolution and disrupting the flow of biology lessons with the usual copy and paste lists of inanity that substitutes for evidence in the creationist mindset.

I'm not impressed.
This doesn't seem to be an insurmountable problem.
Any decent science teacher should be able to use these challenges to his or her advantage to explain the value of the scientific method and all without getting into the specifics of any particular religion.
Even if that seems a little close to the legal edge for some teachers they have a simple solution - biology lessons in high school essentially consist of the consensus knowledge in that particular field. Controversy is a topic for higher levels of learning AFTER the basics of the subject have been taught (in the same way that its silly to teach high school students string theory before they have even grasped Newtonian physics).

No, my point here is that the major danger comes not from creationist students, creationist parents or even creationist school board members.
Even a worst case scenario whereby you, as a biology teacher, are compelled to include creationism (protestant King James version creationism, naturally) in your biology lesson plan it should be little problem to a competent biologist so long as you stick to the truth. All you are going to do is point out how inane and unscientific this belief is compared to actual biology.
In fact the very last thing a creationist parent should want is a competent biologist discussing creationism with their children ("OK class, attention please. We have a Professor Dawkins here today to teach you about Creationism").

The real danger is creationist teachers.

In a recent New Scientist article covering this topic the reporter Bob Holmes discussed the figures from a paper by Michael Berkman of Pennsylvania State University:

"The researchers polled a random sample of nearly 2000 high-school science teachers across the US in 2007. Of the 939 who responded, 2% said they did not cover evolution at all, with the majority spending between 3 and 10 classroom hours on the subject.

However, a quarter of the teachers also reported spending at least some time teaching about creationism or intelligent design. Of these, 48% – about 12.5% of the total survey – said they taught it as a "valid, scientific alternative to Darwinian explanations for the origin of species".

As for the religious convictions of the teachers themselves,

"When Berkman's team asked about the teachers' personal beliefs, about the same number, 16% of the total, said they believed human beings had been created by God within the last 10,000 years."

Is it possible to believe the Earth is 10,000 years old and still teach biology correctly?

Possible? Yes. Probable? Certainly not.

Which brings us back to the tape recorder.

I happen to be a person of faith.
I have faith that there are indeed students who actually want to learn scientific knowledge.
Students who are fascinated by the natural world, the way the cosmos developed and the possibilities for our and its future.
I know they exist because I used to be one!
Maybe you did too or perhaps you are even one now.

And its these pro-science students that we should use.
We are not afraid of creationism.
We are not afraid of intelligent design.
We are simply against bad science teaching which is the actual consequence of the sort of teaching advocated by the creationism/ID movement.
There is only one commandment for Scientists:
Don't lie.

If a student finds their teacher telling lies in class about biology they should expose it.
Record the lies and expose it to the world
Creationist teachers should be made to understand that telling lies will have consequences.
We cannot do this by ourselves as educators, we need the active cooperation of pro-science students but I think its a tactic that should be tried.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Obama scandal - "a new low"

News just in,

A spokesman for the McCain camp described today’s breaking reports about Barack Obama as “a new low in the history of presidential campaigns”.

 Tucker Tompkins, communications officer for the McCain team read from a prepared statement to the gathered news media. “Quite frankly it brings us no pleasure to do this but we are obliged to release the information revealed to us today by an anonymous source - Senator Barack Obama may have fathered two black children”.

“It’s unfortunate that the electorate have to find out about Senator Obama’s ‘secret’ life in this way but, sadly, it reveals so much about the sort of man he is.”

Obama hides his shame

According to sources at Fox News, Obama has yet to deny the charge but he and his wife Michelle, mother of the two girls, are expected to shortly release a joint statement.

“That can only be an act of desperation”, explained Tompkins. “I’m not sure what they can hope to achieve with the electorate with this but its looking increasingly like damage control.  I just hope they don't stoop to using the race card”

While the shocking revelation currently dominates TV election coverage the public reaction has so far been mixed.

“I’m truly disappointed” said Billy-Joe Travers, 73, a retired Imperial Wizard from north Florida.

“He’s just lost my vote. Being black themselves was bad enough, but having black children! That just shows a serious lack of judgement."

Others were more forgiving. “He’s done what? What the #¤&# ! Do you call this news?” exclaimed Sandra Kielston, 26,  a sales assistant from Cleveland, Ohio, before swiftly kneeing our reporter in the groin.

How the latest events will play out in the general voting public remains to be seen.

“This sort of revelation can kill a presidential campaign stone dead", said Tompkins, back at McCain team headquarters- “it certainly did in South Carolina in 2000 - so we reckon it's worth another try.”

Senator McCain, currently visiting the eighth circle to finalize contractual matters, could not be reached for comment. 

New American Gothic

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The First Atheist President of the USA?

About one McCain heartbeat away.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Creation Science finally solves "Unicorn Mystery"

From the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

The bird of life is singing on the bough

His two eternal notes of "I and Thou"--

O! hearken well, for soon the song sings through,

And, would we hear it, we must hear it now.

The bird of life is singing in the sun,

Short is his song, nor only just begun,--

A call, a trill, a rapture, then--so soon!--

A silence, and the song is done--is done.

Yea! what is man that deems himself divine?

Man is a flagon, and his soul the wine;

Man is a reed, his soul the sound therein;

Man is a lantern, and his soul the shine.

Would you be happy! hearken, then, the way:

Heed not To-morrow, heed not Yesterday;

The magic words of life are Here and Now--

O fools, that after some to-morrow stray!

Were I a Sultan, say what greater bliss

Were mine to summon to my side than this,--

Dear gleaming face, far brighter than the moon!

O Love! and this immortalizing kiss.

To all of us the thought of heaven is dear--

Why not be sure of it and make it here?

No doubt there is a heaven yonder too,

But 'tis so far away--and you are near.

Men talk of heaven,--there is no heaven but here;

Men talk of hell,--there is no hell but here;

Men of hereafters talk, and future lives,--

O love, there is no other life--but here.

Gay little moon, that hath not understood!

She claps her hands, and calls the red wine good;

O careless and beloved, if she knew

This wine she fancies is my true heart's blood.

Girl, have you any thought what your eyes mean?

You must have stolen them from some dead queen.

O little empty laughing soul that sings

And dances, tell me--What do your eyes mean?

And all this body of ivory and myrrh,

O guard it with some little love and care;

Know your own wonder, worship it with me,

See how I fall before it deep in prayer.

Nor idle I who speak it, nor profane,

This playful wisdom growing out of pain;

How many midnights whitened into morn

Before the seeker knew he sought in vain.

You want to know the Secret--so did I,

Low in the dust I sought it, and on high

Sought it in awful flight from star to star,

The Sultan's watchman of the starry sky.

Up, up, where Parwin's hoofs stamp heaven's floor,

My soul went knocking at each starry door,

Till on the stilly top of heaven's stair,

Clear-eyed I looked--and laughed--and climbed no more.

Of all my seeking this is all my gain:

No agony of any mortal brain

Shall wrest the secret of the life of man;

The Search has taught me that the Search is vain.

Yet sometimes on a sudden all seems clear--

Hush! hush! my soul, the Secret draweth near;

Make silence ready for the speech divine--

If Heaven should speak, and there be none to hear!

Yea! sometimes on the instant all seems plain,

The simple sun could tell us, or the rain;

The world, caught dreaming with a look of heaven,

Seems on a sudden tip-toe to explain.

Like to a maid who exquisitely turns

A promising face to him who, waiting, burns

In hell to hear her answer--so the world

Tricks all, and hints what no man ever learns.

Look not above, there is no answer there;

Pray not, for no one listens to your prayer;

Near is as near to God as any Far,

And Here is just the same deceit as There.

But here are wine and beautiful young girls,

Be wise and hide your Sorrows in their curls,

Dive as you will in life's mysterious sea,

You shall not bring us any better pearls.

Allah, perchance, the secret word might spell;

If Allah be, He keeps His secret well;

What He hath hidden, who shall hope to find?

Shall God His secret to a maggot tell?

So since with all my passion and my skill,

The world's mysterious meaning mocks me still,

Shall I not piously believe that I

Am kept in darkness by the heavenly will?

How sad to be a woman--not to know

Aught of the glory of this breast of snow,

All unconcerned to comb this mighty hair;

To be a woman and yet never know!

Were I a woman, I would all day long

Sing my own beauty in some holy song,

Bend low before it, hushed and half afraid,

And say "I am a woman" all day long.

The Koran! well, come put me to the test--

Lovely old book in hideous error drest--

Believe me, I can quote the Koran too,

The unbeliever knows his Koran best.

And do you think that unto such as you,

A maggot-minded, starved, fanatic crew,

God gave the Secret, and denied it me?--

Well, well, what matters it! believe that too.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Friday, September 5, 2008

Wait a second......

You know, I just can't put my finger on it, but I'm sure I've seen her somewhere before.........

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Obama camp in disarray as Jesus endorses McCain

McCain bags the ultimate celebrity endorsement

Democrat sources today spoke of a resounding sense of shock within the camp of Presidential hopeful Barack Obama as the shock announcement from GOP headquarters hit the national airwaves.

"Quite frankly this is the last thing we expected" a visibly shaken aide told us off the record. "We thought they'd round up the usual lot, Arnie, Chuck Norris, that racist Bounty Hunter guy and probably a few wrestlers but you have to hand it to them, they've really pulled it out of the hat with this one."

Republican sources hinted that it was the close friendship of Pat Robertson that swung it for Jesus.

"Pat speaks to Jesus nearly every day, emails him, even sends him books.
He says Jesus is a big fan of several Republican writers, he's got all Ann Coulters books".

While the involvement of a deity in a presidential campaign is unprecedented in recent years, it was a common feature in historical times and critics have already questioned whether other aspects of such involvements will feature in the current campaign.

"We're not going to get another flood are we?" asked Bernie Louman, political editor of the Boston Times, "Its just that I'm planning to book a vacation to Hawaii for December and it'll be a waste of money if he's planning on drowning everyone again."

Early polling of a key swing voting group, the 'don't-knows' is already showing a positive effect for McCains bold move.

"I was considering voting Obama as a possibility, but now I'm not so sure", says Tom Kellington, 35, an accountant from Philadelphia.
"I prefer Obama's policies but, you know, I don't really want to get smited"

"Its not going to have an effect on my decision", claimed Shankar Kapoor, 46, company director from Los Angeles. "I will judge the candidates on their stated policies and .....wait a second....Jesus?..... but I'm Hindu!"

Democrat sources say while the intervention of Jesus looks like it may give McCain an unassailable lead, Obama does have one last hope.

"Our analysists tell us that the Jesus who's endorsing McCain/Palin is more of your modern 'Republican Jesus'. You know the sort, NRA member, hates taxes and homosexuals, wants to shoot abortion clinic workers and drives around in a Hummer with an 'I don't believe in global warming' bumper sticker and a Confederate flag."

"We're hoping people won't confuse him with that other Jesus from the bible, the one who looked after his fellow man, advocated charity and forgiveness and tried to help the sick and poor".

Public warned against accidental Palin release

Native Alaskan Palins in the wild

Officials from the Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife branch, today issued a stern warning to the public over the dangers posed by accidental release of non-native species.

Free from their natural predators these creatures rapidly multiply in numbers, causing devastating consequences to their new environment through sheer weight of numbers.

“We’d like everyone to be extra vigilant in the coming months as we’ve been warned that there is a chance that a family of Alaskan Palins might somehow get loose on the east coast", explained Fred Kite, departmental pest control expert.

Due to low numbers of the Palins only known natural enemy, the polar bear, and free to avail of copious supplies of food stored in pork barrel warehouses throughout the capital, the Palin’s would be able to breed unchecked.

“Palins multiply like rabbits," explained Mr Kite, "although that’s more the fault of the Alaskan school system. They probably need better maths teachers”

“While the initial figure of , say, six or seven doesn’t sound too bad, Palins actually increase exponentially so we are looking at several hundred by next year and a couple of million Palins at the end of four.”

Previous attempts at population control involving wildlife officers throwing handfuls of condoms and birth control pills at the family were abandoned due to the danger of choking the local polar bears. Following last ditch efforts by educational authorities to teach responsible sex education being unfortunately thwarted by the Governor insisting the idea of sexual intercourse causes babies is "simply a theory, not a proven fact - were you there?" most Alaskan natives had resigned themselves to living as best they could alongside their local Palins.

“I can’t believe anyone would release Palins in their own backyard” said Tom Kenmore, the sole surviving Alaskan democrat.

“McCain did what? You are joking, right?”