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Profile Information

Gender: Do not display
Hometown: WV
Member since: Thu Jan 15, 2015, 01:37 AM
Number of posts: 5,817

About Me

Ancestral WV hillbilly & old-style liberal who believes in US Constitution & detests RW revisionism of its principles (esp Establishment Clause)

Journal Archives

Gully patterns document Martian climate cycles

Gullies carved into impact craters on Mars provide a window into climate change on the Red Planet. A new analysis suggests Mars has undergone several ice ages in the last several million years. The driver of these climate swings is likely the Red Planet's wobbly axis tilt.


Long-necked 'dragon' discovered in China: Dinosaur's lightweight neck spanned half the length of its

Paleontologists have discovered a new species of a long-necked dinosaur from a skeleton found in China. The new species belongs to a group of dinosaurs called mamenchisaurids, known for their extremely long necks sometimes measuring up to half the length of their bodies. Most sauropods, or long-necked dinosaurs, have necks only about one third the length of their bodies.


Darwin Day at Duquesne 2/12 (Pittsburgh)

Dear Pittsburgh-area friends of NCSE,

I thought that you'd like to know that John Doebley of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, will be giving a Darwin Day talk on "Darwin, Wallace, and Domestication" at 7:00 p.m. on February 12, in the Power Center Ballroom on the campus of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.

Join Dr. John Doebley as he discusses the genetic basis for the change in form under domestication and whether any patterns are beginning to emerge. Dr. Doebley has spent the last 20 years examining the genetic similarities and differences between teosinte and maize, cloning the major genes that cause differences between the plants."

The talk and following reception is free and open to the public. For further information, visit:




Glenn Branch
Deputy Director
National Center for Science Education, Inc.

Myth Busting Scott Walker's Bogus "Outstanding Teacher of the Year" Got Fired Story

This past weekend in Iowa, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker rolled out one his favorite talking points:  The story of how Wisconsin's 2010 "outstanding teacher of the year" winner Megan Sampson got laid off days after receiving the award and how his "reforms" prevent that from ever happening again.

This would be a compelling true if it were true, but it’s mostly fiction.

Yes, Sampson did get an award in 2010, but it wasn't for "outstanding teacher of the year" as Walker claims.  Sampson was awarded something called the Nancy Hoefs Memorial Award, which is given by a small group called the Wisconsin Council of Teachers of English (WCTE) for "an outstanding first-year teacher of the English language arts." (snip)

Plus, as others have reported, while Sampson was indeed given a layoff notice during the summer when school wasn't in session, she was also notified a few weeks later that she had been removed from layoff status.  In other words, Megan Sampson never lost a day of work from being laid off and therefore was never really laid off.  



Atheist files suit after being fired from teaching position

Kevin Pack, a former German teacher at Northridge High School, has filed suit against the Middlebury (Indiana) School District alleging he was fired because he identifies as an atheist. Pack was hired by the district in 2013 but was fired in April 2014.  The school district maintains it fired Pack for insubordination, immorality and incompetence.

Pack filed suit alleging he was fired in retaliation for questioning the proselytizing of the school’s principal, Gerald Rasler.


Pack complained to the Human Resources department about the proselytizing, and the corporation did, in fact, find that Rasler had engaged in proselytizing conduct prohibited by law. However, after the snow email in the example above, Pack began to get negative reviews and disciplinary warnings.

More from DailyKos:


National School Choice Week: PR for Privatizers

This month, a roomful of school children were herded into a congressional meeting room and made to sit through an hour and a half of speeches by House Speaker John Boehner, Sens. Ted Cruz and Tim Scott, and other conservative members of Congress in honor of National School Choice Week. Described by its organizers as an "independent public awareness campaign," National School Choice Week is really a PR campaign that uses the moral mantle of children to distract attention from the fact that its sponsors include many anti-public education, anti-union, anti-government ideologues.

Read More>>


Unbelievable Nerve -- Republicans Finally Discover Income Inequality

Progressives have long known that America has a major problem with income inequality. But judging from the many goofy "responses" to the president's State of the Union Address this month, the GOP has just recently caught on -- and they're alleging that it's somehow all the fault of President Obama and Democrats. Republicans from Ted Cruz and Joni Ernst to Marco Rubio and Mitt Romney are all finally acknowledging the crisis-level problems America faces with income inequality and wage stagnation, but only because they think they can somehow flip the blame onto their political opponents.

Read More>>


Right Wing Watch Original Series: The Personhood Movement

This month marked the forty-second anniversary of Roe v Wade, and with
it the annual barrage of anti-choice protests. But the future of the
anti-choice movement is clouded by infighting between establishment
groups seeking mainstream political approval, and radical "personhood"
activists who are unwilling to compromise on their goal of eliminating
abortion entirely. Our new Right Wing Watch series features original
reporting on what the personhood movement means for the future of
abortion rights in America.

Read More>>


WH v 'FauxNews' & conspiracy theorists

Senate Republicans brought an interesting lineup of witnesses into today's big confirmation hearing, to talk about every right-wing grievance against outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder. But as Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) pointed out, there was one thing they weren't actually discussing: The actual new nominee for Attorney General, Loretta Lynch! Watch Whitehouse rail at the committee for getting itself sidetracked — and even offer Republicans some advice on how to really get rid of Holder — then share the video!



Astrophysicists’ update on enormous and unexpected Fermi bubbles

The vast and mysterious Fermi bubbles radiate out from our galaxy's core.  

More from EarthSky:

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