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Theory Isn’t Fact

I find the ongoing debate about evolution versus creationism to be quite exhausting. Neither perspective really makes any sense, but strong philosophical and cultural biases play to favor one position or the other. The creationist’s biases are clear:

The Biblical seven-day account of the world’s creation; there are writings, supposedly inspired by God, which by their divine inspiration are indisputable. Evolutionists offer plenty evidence of dispute, such as the universe being more than 6,000 years old (I don’t doubt a much longer period of existence). 

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More Battles Than Stars

From the critics corner: “Battlestar Galactica.” To recap, the last half-season concluded with some wicked female violence and an attempted rape (all in the name of killing the evil Cylons). Two weeks ago, the show opened with more violence against women and the young male fantasy catfight, where one woman (OK, robot) shoots the other woman (and evil authority figure) in the head. Maybe the presumably young-male audience appreciates the the show’s assault on women.

This week’s episode, “Epiphanies,” took position on some of the most fiercely-debated philosophical and moral issues dividing U.S. liberals and conservatives. 

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Hey, America, You’re Your Illiterate

American Institutes for Research issued a nice, tidy little study today: “The Literacy of America’s College Students” by Justin Baer, Andrea Cook, and Stephané Baldi. Apparently many college students nearing graduation lack basic skills to properly function. Nothing more important than the ability to balance a checkbook or, uh, read.

Speaking of literacy, why is the study’s title in lower case on the cover page? Here’s a good gift book for the report’s editors. 

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The Buck Stops Sales Here

Today may be a holiday, but my daughter has her first Japanese class. We’ve opened our home to other homeschoolers and the wonderful Japanese teacher.

This morning I followed a haircut at the local barber shop with a trip to the local CVS for some last-minute munchies for the Japanese students. One of my pet peeves: People using credit cards to buy stuff at stores like CVS or Rite Aid. Oh, how I just love to stand behind three or four people, each one buying a few dollars in items using a credit card. C`mon, who doesn’t or shouldn’t have five bucks in the wallet or purse—more purse, as most of the credit card purchasers do appear to be women. Is there some cultural or gender factor at work? 

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’24’

Jack’s back, and I’m waiting for my daughter to turn over the Windows Media Center PC. I watched 17 nail-biting minutes of “24” before relinquishing the Media Center so that she could watch (again) movie “Castle in the Sky“, which I recorded the other night on Turner Movie Classics. I’ve got to say that a Xbox 360 would come in handy right about now to stream her movie to the TV in her bedroom.

Best running commentary on “24” episodes goes to Dave Barry. And his humor is sharp as tacks tonight as in real time he pokes at every nail-biting twist and turn. I highly recommend Dave’s blog. By the way, Internet Explorer 7’s security features warn that Dave Barry’s blog is a “Suspicious Website”. Ha. How true! 

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Why NOT?

My daughter is taking a Japanese class with four other kids. My wife pulled the whole thing together, finding a teacher and opening our home for the classes. Anne deserves more credit than she gives herself. Kick-off gathering took place on Monday, the meeting of teacher, students, and their parents.

For days earlier, we scrubbed and cleaned, trying to get the house in order. The getting in order involved a Sunday trip to IKEA College Park, where I found this cool but cheap floor lamp. Seven bucks. I bought four. 

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Where Kids Fly Safe Online?

I simply couldn’t find time to blog this week, on my personal site. Busy week at the office, with the Consumer Electronics Show—and I didn’t even attend! I feel for my boss, who traveled to Las Vegas and soon goes onto San Francisco for Macworld.

My first catchup post is followup to my two posts, “What Kids Reveal Online” and “Minimizing Kids’ Online Risks“. Jan. 16, 2006, Business Week has a story about new online social network, Yfly.com, which opens on February 1. Apparently, Jessica Simpson’s soon-to-be ex-spouse Nick Lachey is behind the venture, which seeks to provide teens a safe place to socialize online. 

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There’s Still Time

Tomorrow work resumes for lots of folks, following the great Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa holiday. I blew off a bunch of vacation days during the holiday so that I wouldn’t lose them. Turns out, I needed the time off, and more. No doubt, other folks could say the same.

It’s 2006, but I’m living in the past. My calendar says December 2005 because I have yet to find a replacement. New calendars will be gone soon, now typically discounted to 50 percent. For years, I bought the Hansen Planetarium “Wonders of the Universe” calendar, but it stopped publication couple years back. Before the Web really took off, I subscribed by U.S. mail to the planetarium’s “Sky Watch” newsletter. I have yet to find a good replacement for “Wonders of the Universe.” Someone gave me the 2005 calendar that’s still on my wall, of Canadian provinces, in English and French.