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Member since: Thu Sep 25, 2008, 03:38 PM
Number of posts: 2,482

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Faith versus Science: Ben Carson’s Scientific Ignorance

September 28, 2015
Ben Carson’s Scientific Ignorance
By Lawrence M. Krauss

For a man with an impressive educational C.V., Ben Carson makes a lot of intellectual missteps. In his September 16th debate performance, he displayed a profound lack of foreign-policy knowledge; last Sunday, when he said, on “Meet the Press,” that he “would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation,” he may have seriously crippled his campaign. Still, there’s one area in which Carson’s credentials have seemed unimpeachable. Many people assume that, as a successful surgeon, he has a solid knowledge of technical, medical, and scientific issues.

With the wide release of video from a speech that Carson made to his fellow Seventh-Day Adventists in 2012, however, it’s becoming clear that there are significant gaps. In the speech, he made statements on subjects ranging from evolution to the Big Bang that suggest he never learned or chooses to ignore basic, well-tested scientific concepts. In attempting to refute the Big Bang, for example—which he characterized as a “ridiculous” idea—Carson said:

You have all these highfalutin scientists, and they’re saying that there was this gigantic explosion and everything came into perfect order. Now, these are the same scientists who go around touting the second law of thermodynamics, which is entropy, which says that things move toward a state of disorganization. So, now you’re going to have this big explosion, and everything becomes perfectly organized. When you ask them about it, they say, “Well we can explain this based on probability theory, because if there’s enough big explosions, over a long enough period of time, billions and billions of years, one of them will be the perfect explosion”…. What you’re telling me is, if I blow a hurricane through a junkyard enough times, over billions and billions of years, eventually, after one of those hurricanes, there will be a 747 fully loaded and ready to fly.

He continued, “It’s even more ridiculous than that, because our solar system, not to mention the universe outside of that, is extraordinarily well organized, to the point where we can predict seventy years away when a comet is coming. Now, that type of organization to just come out of an explosion? I mean, you want to talk about fairy tales, that is amazing.” Finally, he argued that the observed motion of the planets in our solar system would be impossible if there had been a Big Bang.



College kid who put noose on Ole Miss civil rights statue gets prison for sick stunt

College kid who put noose on Ole Miss civil rights statue gets prison for sick stunt
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS / Thursday, September 17, 2015, 3:12 PM

JACKSON, Miss. — A former University of Mississippi student who admitted helping place a noose on a statue of a civil rights activist is going to prison.

A federal judge sentenced Graeme Phillip Harris on Thursday to six months in prison beginning Jan. 4, and 12 months’ supervised release. Harris’ lawyer argued he didn’t deserve jail time.

Harris pleaded guilty in June to a misdemeanor charge of using a threat of force to intimidate African-American students and employees. Prosecutors say he and two other former students placed a noose on the statue of James Meredith, a black man who integrated Ole Miss amid rioting in 1962.



GOP committee chair opens hearing by suggesting Planned Parenthood funding helped kill his parents

GOP committee chair opens hearing by suggesting Planned Parenthood funding helped kill his parents
David Edwards | 29 Sep 2015 at 11:33 ET

House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) suggested on Monday that both of his parents might be alive if the government had used Planned Parenthood funding for cancer research.

At a hearing inspired by anti-Planned Parenthood videos, Chaffetz opened by choking up as he explained that both of his parents had died from cancer.

“Cancer in this country kills about 1,500 people a day — a day,” the chairman noted. “And yet, our federal government only spends $5 billion to fight it. If they were shooting 1,500 people a day, if there were rockets coming in, we would be fighting this with everything we’ve got.”

“We don’t spend enough on cancer,” he continued. “And the reason I’m passionate about the hearing today is we’ve got a lot of health care providers who in their hearts know they are trying to provide good.”



Several times, it has been pointed out in the hearing that the federal monies that Planned Parenthood receives is in reimbursement for health care services that have been provided and that abortion is not paid for by federal monies except in the cases that are allowed by federal law.

However, there is some evidence that "y'all" is also used a singular....

Singular y'all: a "devious Yankee rumor"?
December 31, 2009 @ 12:10 am

From reader EG:

I am writing you because I encountered the perplexing singular y'all while watching trailers for Disney's newest film, The Princess and the Frog. Now, not being a Southerner I can't attest to my own usage of "y'all," but my linguistic intuition is in accord with your Language Log posting "Out of the y'all zone" (9/18/2005), namely that y'all is generally not used to address singular individuals, but plural and occasionally implied plurals. In the cited trailer, Tiana uses singular y'all three times. Addressing the frog with evident dismay, she says "So what now? I reckon y'all want a kiss." at 0:32. And then again, at 2:14, when the frog is dismayed that she will not kiss him after her apparent offer, she retorts "I didn't expect y'all to answer!" In the intervening time, she does refer to him (using apparently less careless or emotionally influenced wording) as standard second person singular "you." Finally, "Y'all don't look that much different… but how'd you get way up there?" 3:13. This last example is perhaps the most perplexing of all, as it contains both forms.

Both the Wikipedia article for the movie and the IMDb page give screenwriting credit to Ron Clements (born in Sioux City, Iowa), John Musker (from Chicago, Illinois), and Rob Edwards (origins unclear). The character of Tiana is acted by Anika Noni Rose, who "was born in Bloomfield, Connecticut to Claudia and John Rose, Jr., a corporate counsel for the city of Hartford". Thus it's not clear whether anyone associated with writing or acting that scene has native intuitions about the likely distribution of y'all in the speech of a young African-American woman from New Orleans.

So it's a reasonable guess that the sprinkling of y'alls in Tiana's speech is a bit of southern spice added by northern chefs. However, it's worth quoting Jan Tillery and Guy Bailey, "Yall in Oklahoma", American Speech 73(3) 1998;

In spite of the large body of writing on yall, we know very little about the form. For example, we know almost nothing about its social and spatial distribution (i.e., about precisely who uses the form and exactly where it is used) and very little about its origins or even its precise meaning. This paradox is largely a consequence of the peculiar research strategy that underlies a great deal of the literature on yall. Rather than basing their conclusions on surveys of usage or ethnographic studies or even attestations in literary dialect, most of those who have written on yall rely on what is best termed the personal testimony of true believers. Especially in response to skeptics who cite apparent singular uses of you-all or yall that they may have overheard by chance, true believers simply give their personal testimony that these forms never occur as singulars in the South. They often do so with zeal, as in Axley's assertion that, in a lifetime of observation, he had "never heard any person of any degree of education or station in life use the expression you all as a singular" (1927, 343). Even Atwood (1962), in an otherwise excellent dialect survey, relies on the strategy of personal testimony. Although he surveyed the use of yall as a plural in Texas and Oklahoma, Atwood did not investigate its possible occurrence as a singular; he merely asserted that the form could not be used as a singular, adding that "if anything is likely to lead to another Civil War, it is the Northerner's accusation that Southerners use you all to refer to only one person" (1962, 69). In fact, only one study (Richardson 1984) provides anything like systematic evidence on the possible use of yall as a singular (she argues that the form is used only as a plural and that apparent singular occurrences usually reflect Southerners' exaggeration of their dialect for social effect); few studies provide any data at all on the social and spatial distribution of the form, either singular or plural. A century of fervent scholarship on you-all and yall, then, has produced mostly fervor.



Only available through registration etc.:

American Speech Fall 2001 76(3): 335-336; doi:10.1215/00031283-76-3-335


Y'all is an interesting construction. I also like it, but mainly because of its symmetric extension all y'all which could then be used as a plural form if y'all were taken principally to be singular.

What do you think of all y'all as a plural form of y'all?

Ironically, The Tow Truck Driver Towing Sandra Bland's Car Away Seems Not To Signal...

From the Texas Driver's Handbook, it seems that he should have signaled:

What could have prevented the officer from pulling over the tow truck driver?

Time travel is clearly possible if the video is an accurate portrayal of the event, and one may...

revisit the same instant many times. Apparently, a small purple/green distortion accompanies this shifting:

These similar frames are @32:43, @33:10, @33:29, @33:55, @34:03 and @34:10 in the original TDoPS video upload.

What kind of 'technical glitch' would cause this along with the other problems?

Thanks for the link to that list. Here is the information re-organized and sorted by frequency....

John McCain (6).....“Right Now”, Van Halen; “Eye of the Tiger”, Survivor; “Our Country” & “Pink Houses”, John Mellencamp; “My Hero”, Foo Fighters; "Running On Empty*", Jackson Browne
*John McCain, the RNC and the Ohio Republican Party

Sarah Palin (3).....“Who Says You Can't Go Home”, Bon Jovi; “Barracuda”, Heart; "Independence Day", Gretchen Peters

George W. Bush (2).....“I Won’t Back Down”, Tom Petty; “Still the One”, Orleans

Newt Gingrich (2).....“Eye of the Tiger”, Survivor; “How You Like Me Now?”, The Heavy

Michele Bachmann (2).....“American Girl”, Tom Petty; “Walking on Sunshine”, Katrina & The Waves

Chuck DeVore (2).....“The Boys of Summer” & “All She Wants to Do Is Dance”, Don Henley

Ronald Reagan (1).....“Born in the U.S.A.”, Bruce Springsteen

Mitt Romney (1).....“Wavin’ Flag”, K'naan

Charlie Crist (1).....“Road to Nowhere”, David Byrne

Barack Obama (1).....“Hold On! I’m Coming”, Sam Moore

Source: http://my.xfinity.com/slideshow/entertainment-rockersvspoliticians/20/

and now one may add the following to the list:

Donald Trump (1)....."Rockin’ in the Free World", Neil Young

1 dead in Coral Ridge shooting; suspect in custody

Source: Iowa City Press-Citizen

One person is dead after a shooting Friday at Coral Ridge Mall, the Iowa Department of Public Safety said.

DPS spokesman Alex Murphy said he couldn't release details about the victim's identity, including age or gender.

One person is in custody in connection with the shooting, authorities said.

Witnesses told the Press-Citizen that several shots rang out in the food court area near the carousel entrance about 7:30 p.m. and that the victim appeared to be a teenage girl.

Read more: http://www.press-citizen.com/story/news/local/2015/06/12/coral-ridge-mall-reported-shooting/71156184/

Detectives say 3-year-old Hamilton boy shot himself with mother's gun

Detectives say 3-year-old Hamilton boy shot himself with mother's gun
Victim identified as Marques Green
By: WCPO Staff, Evan Millward
Posted: 4:20 PM, Jun 11, 2015

HAMILTON, Ohio -- A 3-year-old boy is dead after shooting himself in the chest with his mother's gun at a Hamilton home.

It's the second time this month a child has been killed by a gunshot in the Butler County community.

Thursday's shooting was reported just before 4 p.m. on the 700 block of Gordon Smith Boulevard, according to Hamilton Police Lt. Carl Sigmon.

On Friday, police said they believe the 3-year-old took the gun from his mother’s purse and shot himself while playing with it.



Wild Parsnip ('Poison' Parsnip) is also no joke - that is, phytophotodermatitis is no joke....

Information from Wisconsin:

Information from Minnesota:


Appearance: Monocarpic perennial herbaceous plant (plant spends one or more years in rosette stage, blooms under favorable conditions, and then dies), 6" high in the rosette stage and 4' high on stout, grooved stems in the flowering stage.

Leaves: Alternate, leaf is made up of 5 -15 egg shaped leaflets along both sides of a common stalk; leaflets sharply-toothed or lobed at the margins; upper leaves smaller.

Flowers: Flat-topped broad flower cluster 2 - 6" wide, numerous five-petaled yellow flowers; bloom from June to late summer.

Seeds: Small, flat, round, slightly ribbed, strawcolored, abundant take 3 weeks to ripen before they can reseed; viable in the soil for 4 years.

Roots: Long, thick, edible taproot.

Warning - Avoid skin contact with the toxic sap of the plant tissue by wearing gloves, long sleeves and long pants. The juice of wild parsnip in contact with skin in the presence of sunlight can cause a rash and blistering and discoloration of the skin (phytophotodermatitis).



Information from Vermont/ New York:

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