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highlighted links:

Twitter Blocking explained

Social Marketing... at last!

The Psychology of Collective Action, Social Media,...

Fwd: [#MRO-489-36585]: com-give.com scam site

Today's "what's this company?" mystery: Safer Alco...

Losing classroom content

Cross pollinating outreach ideas

Equity versus equality

Tempered glass whiteboard ideas

Top tier front line




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10.28.2004

I think this relates to some kind of "sporting event" that's been going on, but that's about all I know. It's fascinating, nonetheless. Boston.com / Sports / Baseball / Red Sox / Curt clears the air: "I never asked the Lord for a win, or a strikeout, or to be better than anyone on the other team. I simply asked him to provide with the strength to get to the mound and compete, and to give me the strength to glorify Him when I was done. I have had the opportunity to do this in my career, and until this year I had basically passed. No more. Like every other time in my life when I looked to him for help, for answers, He answered. But this time He answered in a way I felt. I always thought that when I asked, he was supposed to answer in a way I could easily see and understand, but I know now that a lot of times I am asking for one thing when I really mean something else, or asking for something I don't need. So now I stop asking the old way, and start letting Him decide what I need and how I need it."

10.26.2004

The Evolution of Senator Kerry on Abortion: 1972-2004 Okay, I try not to antagonize people with my politics, but reviewing John Kerry's position on abortion has me really terrified.

My position is that we really don't know the status of the fetus -- whether it's an individual human life, has a soul, etc. Therefore, we ought to err on the side of caution and not kill it.

That's in no way a religious position; it's thoroughly scientific, and many atheists share that view. As far as we know, from a medical standpoint, a fetus is as much of a "person" as you can get. From a secular, scientific standpoint, there isn't some spooky "soul" that flies into the kid on some special day. So, at conception, you're as human as you get, with all the rights that come with "humanity."

The most coherent pro-choice position, which very few pro-choice advocates actually use, is that we don’t know whether the fetus is a human being so we should err on the side of protecting the rights of known rights-holders (i.e. the mother). Scientifically, this works immediately after conception (before the sperm and egg have completely fused). Beyond that, you need to return to some sort of religious-based “soul” concept that says, “Even though it has human DNA, it’s not really a human until it gets its personhood at some later time” or such. If you want, you can take it on faith that such a scenario is true.

With me so far?

If you read John Kerry’s statements, he declares that “life begins at conception”. And yet… well, I can’t even describe it. Read the quotes I linked to above for more context. It makes things worse, not better. Read just this one for starters:

“My personal belief about what happens in the fertilization process is a human being is first formed and created, and that's when life begins. Something begins to happen. There's a transformation. There's an evolution. Within weeks, you look and see the development of it, but that's not a person yet.”

Okay. Let me get this straight. We evolve into personhood. You can be a human being, no doubt about it, but you’re not a “person” and, therefore, don’t have any rights.

So, rights are attached to “personhood” and not to “humanity”.

I suspect that most of my pro-life friends will read this and say, “Yeah! Right on! That’s huge!” And most of my pro-choice friends will say, “Huh? So what? What’s the point?”

And I honestly don’t know how to bridge that gap. A degree in philosophy might help well-intentioned pro-choice proponents understand the horrendous philosophical problems that their leaders are creating. But, even then, that knowledge won’t help without a change of heart about what we’re truly talking about.

If you’re hell-bent on supporting the wholesale slaughter of innocent human life (“innocent” by definition and you’ve granted that it’s human life!) my words probably won’t affect your conscience. But I hope they do, not for my sake or John Kerry’s or even the for sake of millions of dead humans, but for yours.


10.22.2004

How Much is Inside a Sharpie? - part 1 Wow, this is dumb. Interesting, but really dumb.

10.21.2004

Suspicious Circumstances Given what appears to be a fairly low standard of evidence for conviction in civil suits (compared to criminal prosecution), I wonder why we haven't seen someone file one on behalf of Terri Schiavo?

St. Paul Pioneer Press | 10/21/2004 | '205 Tilley' downplays speed to other bikers I'm still waiting for someone to step up and use this as an example of how unreliable speed measurement by law enforcement officers can be.

10.20.2004

The Cold Equations, by Tom Godwin An interesting ethical issue... though, really, no different than the old "lifeboat" excercises in philosophy class...

Yahoo! News - U.S. to Poison Prairie Dogs in South Dakota What a shame that we have to kill off creatures that are so cute. Man, are they cute! Trust me. They're cute.

10.15.2004

Yahoo! News - Andrew Kantor: CyberSpeak - Mac users froth, while Linux users befriend: This article's headline holds a lot of promise of some interesting analysis, and it's interesting writing... but the only reference to Linux in the body is "I think Macs do a lot right, and some wrong. Ditto for Windows. Ditto for Linux."

How does that actually compare Mac users to Linux users? Am I missing something?

The Power of Concentration by Theron Q. Dumont - Project Gutenberg Every once in a awhile I actually click on an advertisement, and one just brought me to "www.greatnessheldhostage.com/success.html". There you read about a wonderful "out of print" book from 1918 that changed this guy's life -- and it'll change yours too, after you send him $29.95 for his "system" and receive the book for free.

Of course, Project Gutenberg has it for free as well. Free free. Like, totally free. I think that's a better deal.

10.14.2004

Quilt Founder Falls From Grace Ten years ago (just shy by a few weeks; I think it was November) I worked with the lecture committee to bring in Cleve Jones, founder of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. Sadly, things aren't going well in what I still believe is a very, very valuable project... But I'm glad to hear Cleve is doing well (or was, a few months ago).

10.07.2004

Sacred Secrets: "This is the clue Ed Leedskalnin left for us that opens the door to the hidden magnetic phase patterns of Nature. this force he called the Cosmic Force.The ancient's called it the 'Flower of life' We call it sacred Geometry .This is the secret to understanding all of natures creations."

I've been fascinated with the "Coral Castle" in Florida ever since I saw an episode of In Search Of... that featured it years and years ago. (Think 1970s.) This guy says he found the secret. Seems clear to me. Glad we got that answered. :)

Shelter Skelter The Internet is a wonderful thing, but sometimes the information out there is frustratingly incomplete. I remember this particular episode of "The New Twilight Zone" from years ago, but I can't find anything more than this official description repeated over and over across a variety of sites.

10.06.2004

Biodiesel: Journey to Forever I'm not sure I'd want to start a biodiesel experiment by planting sunflower seeds, but if you want to go that route, here's how to do it.

The battle to preserve the house that Steve Jobs bought / Apple chief wants to tear down this 'abomination': "Peter Stent, a retired venture capitalist, is one among many residents disturbed by the implications of the debate, as well as future preservation restrictions, as a potential threat to property rights. 'The structure in question is neither virginal nor unique,' he said. 'Jackling may be well known in his day, but he's not the equivalent of Steve Jobs.'"

An interesting "property rights" debate! And, having Steve Jobs in the mix doesn't make it any less interesting.

10.04.2004

Announcements from the South Brunswick Board of Education: "I fully support the actions of the Principal and Assistant Principal. It is never acceptable for a teacher to utilize the classroom to advocate for political purposes or advance personal beliefs. The courts have always admonished teachers for proselytizing in public school classrooms. This issue is not about a picture of the President, but rather a zealous misuse of seventh and eighth grade student instructional time.

"The South Brunswick School community is enormously respectful of the Office of the President of the United States, President Bush and the democratic process for choosing our President. Anyone trying to suggest the contrary has the worst of intentions. Under other circumstances, the display of a picture of the President would have been viewed as completely appropriate and uncontroversial. It is important to note that pictures of President Bush are openly displayed in all of the South Brunswick Schools. The teacher's own actions here, however, took it out of the realm of education and made the presentation appear partisan to many of our students and parents. Under these circumstances, our actions in directing the removal of the display were singularly appropriate."

Looks like we have a difference of opinion here. I wonder who's telling the truth?

New York Post Online Edition: news: "October 2, 2004 -- A New Jersey public-school teacher claims she was bushwhacked by her principal yesterday when he ordered her to 'get out' of the building after she refused to remove a photo of President Bush and the first lady from her classroom.

"The White House-issued photo of the Bushes was pinned to a bulletin board that held portraits of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and a copy of the Constitution."

Speaking of politics... it seems fairly politically stupid of a school's administration to pick a fight like this, doesn't it?

10.01.2004

SignOnSanDiego.com > News > Science/Health -- Perish the thought If you become a scientist, be careful, okay? I'm glad Ruth is a teacher...


Satan's little helper drinks Diet Coke | Perspectives | CNET News.com The only thing that got me interested in this article was the fact that I got a "File Not Found" error when I tried to read it through AvantGo on my PocketPC, making me wonder if some hacker had snuck a weird link onto the CNET site. But, no, it's a real article -- and an interesting one about streaming/sharing video.

 


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