It is a lost cause. I say this as one of the prime movers at my university of developing and measuring scientific literacy. Through serendipity, I ended up drafting the initial rubric for scientific literacy at my institution, and SL is something I am very passionate about, as most people I meet have little… » 9/20/14 8:21am Today 8:21am

I'm just going to vent for a minute, so feel free to ignore this mini-rant. In my decades of role-playing, I have amassed some $10,000-odd (face value) worth of various Dungeons and Dragons stuff. None of it is 4e (maybe a pdf from when my group gave it a try but mercifully ditched it a few sessions later). Most of… » 9/11/14 10:56pm 9/11/14 10:56pm

Killing Rage - Fraudulent "Scientist"

A colleague of mine recently shared this surprisingly detailed story of academic fraud wherein the perpetrator has breached so many ethical standards that I think he should be stood against a wall and shot. On the surface, it seems to be a run-of-the-mill falsification of credentials scheme, but it gets much worse. » 9/11/14 9:24am 9/11/14 9:24am

I once made a very good friend in a very unlikely way. I was at a party and I joined a small group of people discussing art or something, and it was quickly devolving into a massive ball of pretentious twaddle. So I turned and walked away to find a better conversation. A few weeks later, I met one of the guys from… » 9/08/14 8:59am 9/08/14 8:59am

There is quite a lot written about privacy often with an emphasis on preventing violations of privacy. The most often comments I have heard about the photos was that taking them was wrong because of rights to privacy being violated. I'm going to go a completely different tack - please bear with me and read it all… » 9/02/14 11:08pm 9/02/14 11:08pm

It's not much fun being called a moron and a troll by a mod after having posted a disagreement on a topic either (not mean-spiritedly, either). Especially when shortly thereafter the same mod posts a call for posing privileges (not gonna happen for me, I guess). I understand everyone has bad days and sometimes posts… » 8/26/14 10:25am 8/26/14 10:25am

I like analogies. I tell my non-science college majors that the octet rule is kind of like a waiter/waitress carrying a big tray of drinks. If there are eight drinks, they all just fit and they balance well so that the waiter can carry it through a crowd. If there are fewer drinks, the tray doesn't balance as well,… » 8/26/14 9:49am 8/26/14 9:49am

Please realize that you do indeed have some very unlikely allies. I maintain friendships all over the political spectrum, and some of my "crackpot conservative" friends have been railing against the militarization of police forces for the better part of a decade. I can only imagine how a combined protest by… » 8/19/14 10:23pm 8/19/14 10:23pm

Please allow me to play devil's advocate for a moment. While this case (and most, probably) seem rather innocuous and very little harm done, there is the matter of intellectual property. IP is not something I learned about at all in grad school (my project was extremely esoteric), but now that I am in the field of… » 8/13/14 8:02pm 8/13/14 8:02pm

DIY Homeopathic "Cure" for Ebola - stupid, or criminally stupid?

While reading the recent post here about homeopathic treatments for arthritis and the excellent summations of the Ebola outbreak by Faz.Alam, I happened to come across the following abomination. I would have linked to the original story on NaturalNews, but amazingly enough, it appeared too extreme even for them. I… » 8/11/14 8:18pm 8/11/14 8:18pm

Ha! This reminds me of my first-year biochemistry course in grad school. We used two textbooks. One (Zubay) was chock full of equations and derivations and was clearly targeted toward those coming from a chemistry background. The other (Alberts) was great at explaining cell biology and mechanisms, but one day when… » 8/08/14 11:28pm 8/08/14 11:28pm

A statement like that suggests you are as intolerant as you presume the restaurant personnel to be. Perhaps you might enjoy a trip through "the South" to see things you wouldn't expect; I certainly didn't figure to attend an Eid festival with a large cross-section of people at a huge restaurant (with absolutely no… » 8/03/14 7:49pm 8/03/14 7:49pm