Still another transitional form
Despite the endlessly repeated contention of Creationists that there are no transitional forms in the fossil record, one more transitional form joins the many others that scientists have already described.
G.O. Poinar, Jr., and B.N. Danforth report (subscription required) a fossil bee preserved in amber of Early Cretaceous age found in Myanmar. The fossil bears some traits common to modern bees, indicating they had evolved fairly early. However, before someone from the Discovery Institute claims this merely shows bees have been around since Creation, er, since they were designed, the authors point out that these bees are extinct. More importantly, following the detailed anatomical description, they say
This mosaic of wasp and bee traits is to be expected from an early transitional form that bridges the gap between extant bees and crabronid wasps.
Source: Science, 314(5799):614, 27 October 2006.
A Creationist science discovery
Tim Kreider has been keeping an eye on scientific progress (click on the picture for the complete cartoon):
Let's drink to slots
According to an AP item in the York Dispatch:
The state's slot-machine parlors could serve unlimited free alcoholic drinks to gamblers under a bill approved by the Legislature that would carve a loophole through Pennsylvania's limit of one free drink per person.The State doesn't want you to gamble (unless it's State games) and doesn't want you to buy liquor (unless sold by State stores). If signed, I'm sure this bill will thrill the anti-gambling folks who have opposed bringing slots to Pennsylvania.
Ed Brayton has put together a video clip spoofing that credit card commercial, including shots from the Kitzmiller v. Dover Intelligent Design trial. It has nothing to do with Creationism? William "Deer-in-the-Headlights" Buckingham is priceless.
A difference in sensitivity between cultures
This roll of peppermints was one of several complementary snacks distributed on an airplane flight a few years ago. No, it wasn't Mississippi, it was China. I thought the people of the people's party claimed to support the downtrodden, oppressed people of the world; I wonder how the responsible parties might feel if , on a visit to America, they were offered "Chink Chewies" lemon drops in a package illustrated in a similar style?
Hypocrisy not a winning strategy, Rick
Here's a shot of soon-to-be-ex Senator Rick Santorum presenting a $12M check to the Pennsylvania Department of Education at a charter school in Philadelphia. The school is the Math, Science and Technology Community Charter School. While doing the photo-op, Senator, did you explain your opposition to science in school? Did you discuss the amendment that you proposed (but was not successful) for the No Child Left Behind bill? You know, the one that would have subverted science by singling out evolution, the basic unifying theory of biology, for special consideration as being "controversial." An amendment which was formulated by anti-evolutionist Phillip Johnson of the Intelligent Design rats' nest, the Discovery Institute.
The men in the white coats have regained control
The lunatics have been running the asylum for a while, but they are being rounded up and returned to their cells. Looks like the doctors have regained control of the Senate, meaning both wings of the hospital will no longer be run by the feeble-minded. There are a few other loose nuts being taken care of now...(Damn! I forget where I saw this picture.)
Update 9 November: I think I borrowed it from a 6 May 2006 post at The Whiskey Bar (Billmon)--the photo was up there again yesterday.
Another rat on the sinking ship
It's been a pretty good news day, today. Having given some thought to the election results (that must have been a strain!), the Bush Administration is waving bye-bye to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. I think there must be a glimmer of intelligence in the Administration mind, appearing rather late and slow, and not yet comprehending the entirety of the consequences of its policies.
I recognize that many Americans voted last night to register their displeasure with the lack of progress being made" in Iraq, Bush said.Yeah, George...they also registered their displeasure with the lying and misleading characterizations of progress in the yet-unaccomplished mission, not to mention the warping of facts that led to the invasion.
I just saw Rick Santorum on tv, announcing that he had called Bob Casey Jr. to congratulate the new senator from Pennsylvania. What a relief. Santorum isn't the nuttiest member of the Senate, but he is definitely a wingnut and has been an utter embarrassment to us Pennsylvanians, and has been dangerous for the nation.
This was the first time I used a touch-screen voting machine, and it seemed to go smoothly. Somehow, though, the old booths with the curtains and the levers and the entire ballot on the wall seemed to have more of an air of reliability. I didn't try a write-in vote this time, so I can't compare the effort of entering a name on the electronic machine versus writing the name on the paper strip of the old booth. The local paper did report one instance of a person selecting the Democrat party line but having Santorum's name show up before she registered the vote.
I also noticed, flipping from channel to channel, one station had Cardin over Steele in Maryland, another had the reverse, and yet another had declared Cardin the winner, all within minutes of each other. Remarkable.