Thursday, November 10, 2005

Trains, Firefox, Psychopaths and Dave Littlefield

Andrea Yates gets another trial after having the first decision overturned based on false testimony by an expert witness of the prosecution; he claimed she patterned her crime, which if you'll remember was drowning her children in a bathtub, on an episode of Law and Order. No such episode exists. The defense is going to try for the "innocent by reason of insanity" again, the same defense that was rejected the last time through. It seems likely that she'll end up in a mental institution, which seems fine by me. She'd still be out of the public, she'd actually probably be getting help and considering her mental state and the fact that she's already tried to off herself in prison... an institution seems like the more appropriate place.

Every so often I remember how much I love the Greasemonkey extension. I've posted about this already, somewhere back there, but I wanted to point out once again that it's just really freaking useful.

And sometimes I think "Wow, I really am not a big fan of the L", mostly when it's running a few minutes late and I've convinced myself that I urgently need to be somewhere like Borders. Evidently, I have no idea. Often it's happened that I hear the piercing *ding* and the louder-than-Krakatoa announcement that my train is being delayed due to signals ahead/workers on the tracks/spite, but it's never occurred to me that a response (not appropriate, but just possible) might be to just get off and burn the sucker. Evidently, the thought sprang to the minds of some commuters in Johannesburg. I just... wow.

Incidentally, it seems that the Metra got $30,000 for their assistance in making the soon-to-be-released Derailed. The Metra, you may remember, actually did have a fatal derailment two months ago.

And, on a related note, the CTA has voted to screw people that pay with cash and disabled riders increasing the former's fare by $0.25 to $2.00 and doubling the disabled rider fare (I believe restricted to busses, but I could be wrong) to $3.50 one way. The CTA does, actually, need more money, but doubling the disabled fare? Seriously? This doesn't affect me, as I buy the 30-day unlimited rides pass (and am keeping track this month of how much I can save like this, though it seems I'll be foiled by that whole "Thanksgiving" thing).
The Pirates seem to be trying to calm fans by noting, emphatically, that this offseason will be different. Hopefully, they're right here and Littlefield will be able to do something positive.

Oh, also, evidently, Dover PA voted to oust the board members that voted for including the inclusion of intelligent design in biology classes. I'm down with that, if only because, as I've argued before on this blog, Intelligent Design doesn't fit the necessary parameters for being a science. So it shouldn't be taught as a science. That doesn't mean it's not true, and I lack enough information to say whether or not it is, but it doesn't follow scientific requirements. I have no problem with directing kids toward Of Pandas and People and I would encourage parents to discuss the origins of life with their kids in the interest of getting as much information about the various theories as possible, but I just can't see how you can present it in a science class without turning it into a theological argument, which isn't the place of a public school science class.

That, and I don't like it when ID-ers (as opposed to simply "D-ers", I guess) try to portray the fact that Darwin's theory of evolution is a theory as something negative. It ignores the actual meaning of the word theory, and that just irks me.

1 comment:

Jenna said...

From the Publisher of "On Pandas and People":
Biological origins can be one of the most captivating subjects in the curriculum. As a biology teacher, you have probably already seen how the topic excites your students. The allure of dinosaurs, trilobites, fossilized plants, and ancient human remains is virtually irresistible to many students. Indeed, many prominent scientists owe their interest in science to an early exposure to this topic.

If only I had been exposed to trilobites at an earlier age!

Teachers should just do what my Dad does: ignore the question of evolution, and just teach about weather all year.