• Teaching

    Boys – shut up!

    Really interesting spending this time with a bunch of teachers this week. There are three from Canada and the rest are from all over the US. One thing I noticed on the first day: we did a small group activity exploring the scientific and technological basis of some cool toys…

  • Technology

    What happened to invention?

    OK, I’ve already asked about my flying car. At the Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum today, I had reason to ask again why we’ve taken our feet off the accelerator of invention and progress. Saw both of these (and lots of other amazing human feats of…

  • Science Stuff - Technology

    Robots and Hubble

    Today at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre was awesome. We didn’t see anything about the launch while we were there – it happened in Florida as we were driving out to Maryland, and was not controlled from GSFC. Apparently it was very successful, though, and it was relevant to…

  • Politics

    It’s the Occupation, Stupid

    …or “why invading Iraq was exactly the wrong response to terrorism”. This analysis1 from Robert Pape, who has studied the phenomenon of suicide bombings over the past quarter century extensively, explains very clearly the reasons for the bombings we have seen lately, and the reasons they are on the increase.…

  • Musings - Teaching

    Immigrant Song

    I went to a Job Search class Sue was teaching at Norquest College this afternoon to deliver a little guest schpiel on portfolios and their use in job interviews. After doing that I hung around for another hour or so helping the students work on their resumes. They’re all training…

  • Religion

    Pig Demons of the Bermuda Triangle

    Great title for a really bad movie, no? A guy on another forum claims, in great seriousness, that the demons Jesus cast out of a possessed man and into a herd of pigs, who subsequently lemminged off a cliff into the sea, in the Bible1 are currently imprisoned in the…

  • General

    Comment Spam Part 27

    So, just spent another half hour deleting another 271 comment spam messages for penis enlargement and online gambling. Scumsucking pigs. I noticed most of them didn’t include an e-mail address, so I’ve switched it so you have to include both a name and an e-mail address to post. It doesn’t…

  • Musings

    A Choice?

    So I saw a public service ad about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The tag line was ‘Your Choice, Baby’s Future’. Is there really even a choice there? “Hmmm, I’ll have to think about this – should I drink lots of alcohol when I’m pregnant and give my child a lifelong debilitating…

  • Musings - Teaching - Technology

    Metaphors We Live By – Moving On

    The first part of the title is, of course, stolen from George Lakoff and Mark Johnson’s excellent book ‘Metaphors We Live By‘. Well worth a read, and if you get hooked there’s also ‘The Body In The Mind‘ and the wonderfully titled ‘Women, Fire and Dangerous Things‘! What got me…

  • Politics

    Big (Pentagon) Pimpin’

    This opinion piece from the New York Times (registration required to read) hits a variety of issues. But the use of female soldiers in sexual situations in interrogation is just another part of the legal, moral and ethical mess that is Guantanamo Bay.

  • Politics

    Irrationality

    Governments have to be seen to be doing something. That’s why Tony Blair is talking about tightening borders and immigration controls in Britain after the London bombings, even though it is becoming clear that those who set the bombs were British citizens and wouldn’t have been caught by tighter borders.…

  • Musings - Philosophy

    Dumbing Down: Myth or Reality?

    So I was just watching a (hilarious and brilliant) interview by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show1 of Bernard Godlberg, the author of ‘100 People Who Are Screwing Up America‘. Apparently the great majority of such people are on the left politically, at least according to Goldberg, which makes me…

  • Personal

    Uncertainty

    OK, this one is all about me, rather than what’s going on in the world more broadly, so feel free to skip it if that’s less interesting. And if anyone from my current university is reading this, the only reason I’m contemplating leaving is that we’ve had about as many…

  • Politics

    Cracks in the Wall

    So, it’s looking more and more as though Karl Rove, Bush’s advisor, will face some consequences for apparently leaking the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame as a petty political slap for her husband Joseph Wilson’s debunking of the idea that Saddam bought uranium in Africa… (clear? ;)) Either that,…

  • Personal

    Reasons and Moral Reasoning

    At the Parenting Rocks parenting blog Suzie and I also write, we’ve decided to update regularly every Monday, unlike ‘Bravus’ which I hope to update roughly every day, although it’ll sometimes be a couple of days (or, ahem, a week) and sometimes there’ll be a couple of posts a day.…

  • Teaching - Technology

    Teacher Feature

    The conference in Oxford last week on ‘Visualization in Science & Education’ was excellent – very varied, and brought together people from a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds, as well as from 17 countries, and all stages of career from graduate students to venerable retired professors. I learned a…

  • Politics

    London Bombings

    I’m not going to say too much about this, since it’s been all over the news and all over the blogs and everything that can sensibly be said, and much that makes no sense, has already been said. I was 40 miles or so away in Oxford at the time…