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Both of the following reasons were found via Ed Brayton's Dispatches from the Culture Wars, and both one of them are quite disturbing, to say the least:

A study concerning the level of knowledge among science teachers in Oklahoma on the very subjects they're supposed to be teaching proved that their supposed expertise is downright abysmal, and - unsurprisingly - the abysmal nature of that lack of knowledge extends straight down to the students they're supposed to be teaching. I could also go on about the AP/GfK poll that reveals some equally scary facts about the lack of acceptance of science in the American population at large, but enough people have already done that - but perhaps not loudly enough, though.

The most horrible thing revealed here is that Oklahoma - a state where I normally joke that "all the cool people I know from that state have escaped" (not quite true, but close enough) has had know-nothing idiots like Sally Kern and Josh Brecheen (feel free to look them up - I patently refuse to link to their own web sites for obvious reasons) trying to pass laws weakening science education in that state even further for decades. All in the name of getting the Yahoos to re-elect you over and over again, of course, and also to apparently produce a new generation of the Future Fry Chefs of America out of that vast mass of intellectually incurious high school graduates that they're effectively created.

The sad thing is that Neil deGrasse Tyson said it boldly a while ago, and not enough people listened. Not nearly enough. Which is why I'm reposting it again. For your kids' sakes, if no one else's.

Now Reading

The Book of Skulls by Robert Silverberg.

In Memoriam

The Rwanda genocide of 1994, as told by former Canadian Forces general Romeo Dallaire whose own experience running the UN's undermanned and outgunned Assistance Mission was just another reminder that even the highest-ranking soldiers can see far too much in terms of bloodbaths for their own good.  

Schadenfreude: Fred Phelps

Well, he's dead. And although he was one of the biggest assholes I have ever heard of in terms of the sheer amount of hatred and bile he spewed (selections of which are included here and here), death is not something I would even wish on him. The best punishment for him is, in a sense, far worse: a deathbed realization of how ethically empty, wrong and utterly pointless his life was in engaging in this sort of shit for decade after decade.

Now reading

The Forever War by Joe Haldeman.

 Shorter Sean P. Fodera: "you can't possibly be a feminist because you're hawt and don't dress like a Victorian schoolmarm all of the time!" Uh, yeah. Sure.                                                                                                                            

Cold outside, colder in head

And now the terminally stupid (fringe political candidate division) check in on the real reasons for the bad weather we've been having lately. It's a tender mercy that Atanus has no real chance of defeating Schakowsky even if she actually wins the primary, but if she did I'm sure such an event would be worth tons of potential future jokes for comedians across the US.

It might come as a rude shock to Weepy and his shrinking circle of acolytes at The Blaze, but Malala Yousafzai actually has accomplished at least one useful thing in her life - which is one more than he ever has.

Seasons Greetings

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and whatever other holiday wishes you can think of, peeps. Appropriate (?) musical accomplishment follows shortly, so feel free to vote for your favorite after the worst (best?) effects of the egg nog kicks in: