Much In The Same Way That Bricks Don't

Feb 16
sagansense:

1 in 4 Americans Don’t Know Earth Orbits The Sun. Yes, Really.by Ian O’Neill

Dear Science Communication Professionals: We have a problem.

Earlier this month, the Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham creationism “debate” received a disproportionate amount of press coverage. Considering that there really is no debate to be had when it comes to the science of evolution, for bad or for worse, Nye faced a hostile audience at the Creationist Museum in Kentucky. He hoped to score some scientific points against Ham’s literal translation of the Bible and his absurd assertion that the world was created in 6 days and that the universe is 6,000 years old.

In my opinion, (an opinion shared by other science communicators), the Nye vs. Ham debate did little for science outreach. It was all about who sounded more convincing and only gave creationists some free advertising.



And then, today, the National Science Foundation (NSF) delivered news of a pretty shocking poll result: around one in four Americans (yes, that’s 25 percent) are unaware that the Earth orbits the sun. Let’s repeat that: One in four Americans — that represents one quarter of the population — when asked probably the most basic question in science (except, perhaps, “Is the Earth flat?” Hint: No.), got the answer incorrect. Suddenly I realized why the Nye vs. Ham debate was so popular.

But wait! I hear you cry, perhaps the NSF poll was flawed? Perhaps the poll sample was too small? Sadly not. The NSF poll, which is used to gauge U.S. scientific literacy every year, surveyed 2,200 people who were asked 10 questions about physical and biological sciences. On average, the score was 6.5 out of 10 — barely a passing grade. But for me personally, the fact that 26 percent of the respondents were unaware the Earth revolves around the sun shocked me to the core.



Perhaps I’m expecting too much of the U.S. education system? Perhaps this is just an anomaly; a statistical blip? But then, like the endless deluge of snow that is currently choking the East Coast, another outcome of the same poll appeared on the foggy horizon of scientific illiteracy: The majority of young Americans think astrology is a science.

What the what? Have I been transported back to the Dark Ages? Astrology, of course, is not a science; it is a spiritual belief system at best and at worst a pseudoscience driven by charlatans and the tabloid press. The positions of the stars and planets in the sky do not affect my mood and my horoscope has little bearing on the kind of person I am. Even in China, one of the birthplaces of astrology, 92 percent of the people know that astrology is bunk. Really America, get your act together.



Unfortunately, if we are to use the “Is astrology a science?” as a litmus test for scientific literacy, things are looking grim. In 2004, 66 percent of the American public said astrology was bunk. Every year since then, that majority has slipped. By 2012, only 55 percent of Americans considered astrology “not at all scientific.” Probably of most concern is the fact that only 42 percent of young respondents aged between 18-24 said astrology is “not at all scientific.”

But there is a small glimmer of hope. According to the same NSF poll, the vast majority of Americans seem to love science. Although they returned woeful test results, it seems America is hungry to learn about science and think that science funding is essential for the well-being of the nation. But I’m now concerned about what America thinks science really is, especially in light of that astrology result. Also, just because the U.S. public wants to learn, can they find the institutions that will actually teach real science?

Schools across the nation are currently facing the unthinkable notion of teaching creationism alongside evolution in science classrooms. The fact that religion is given the same standing as science is not only absurd, it’s a fundamental institutional failing where children (who may be excited to learn about science) will grow up with a second-rate education, neglecting decades of scientific knowledge in favor of pseudo-scientific religious agendas.

For a nation that prides itself on science and discovery, it will be a tragedy on a national scale if fundamental science is undercut by superstition and the bad policies it inspires.

You can read detailed results of the NSF poll here (PDF).

Source: DNews
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
…….so. There’s this. However, we do have much working in our (humanity’s) favor: the very technology we depend on for information and communication is being used by humanity to evaluate, compare, and verify through a self-correcting process called science. 

I know this report is extremely grim, but my fellow curious human family…this is precisely why we delight in sharing information, educating others, communicating across these artificial boundaries set up before us, and encouraging alternative means to pay it forward for the next generation. We’re in the midst of a grand transition regarding how we inspire, create, and contribute to the world.

If there were any time in our society where a massive transition from long-held beliefs, superstitions, and traditions was needed, now is that time. Let’s keep doing what we’re doing with as much patience as possible. We have resources and access to information on a scale never before witnessed or applied to any society throughout history. Not even the Library of Alexandria could compete with the amount of knowledge we have and the means by which we can communicate it to others. 

Let’s get to work.

This doesn’t make it any better, but ~30% of Europeans didn’t know, and if you look at the published numbers, while we are behind in some areas, we are always at least pretty close to the top ranked regions. You can frame this issue in national terms, but it will remain a problem globally, and as sad as it sounds, we aren’t doing that bad comparatively.

sagansense:

1 in 4 Americans Don’t Know Earth Orbits The Sun. Yes, Really.
by Ian O’Neill

Dear Science Communication Professionals: We have a problem.

Earlier this month, the Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham creationism “debate” received a disproportionate amount of press coverage. Considering that there really is no debate to be had when it comes to the science of evolution, for bad or for worse, Nye faced a hostile audience at the Creationist Museum in Kentucky. He hoped to score some scientific points against Ham’s literal translation of the Bible and his absurd assertion that the world was created in 6 days and that the universe is 6,000 years old.

In my opinion, (an opinion shared by other science communicators), the Nye vs. Ham debate did little for science outreach. It was all about who sounded more convincing and only gave creationists some free advertising.

image

And then, today, the National Science Foundation (NSF) delivered news of a pretty shocking poll result: around one in four Americans (yes, that’s 25 percent) are unaware that the Earth orbits the sun. Let’s repeat that: One in four Americans — that represents one quarter of the population — when asked probably the most basic question in science (except, perhaps, “Is the Earth flat?” Hint: No.), got the answer incorrect. Suddenly I realized why the Nye vs. Ham debate was so popular.

But wait! I hear you cry, perhaps the NSF poll was flawed? Perhaps the poll sample was too small? Sadly not. The NSF poll, which is used to gauge U.S. scientific literacy every year, surveyed 2,200 people who were asked 10 questions about physical and biological sciences. On average, the score was 6.5 out of 10 — barely a passing grade. But for me personally, the fact that 26 percent of the respondents were unaware the Earth revolves around the sun shocked me to the core.

image

Perhaps I’m expecting too much of the U.S. education system? Perhaps this is just an anomaly; a statistical blip? But then, like the endless deluge of snow that is currently choking the East Coast, another outcome of the same poll appeared on the foggy horizon of scientific illiteracy: The majority of young Americans think astrology is a science.

What the what? Have I been transported back to the Dark Ages? Astrology, of course, is not a science; it is a spiritual belief system at best and at worst a pseudoscience driven by charlatans and the tabloid press. The positions of the stars and planets in the sky do not affect my mood and my horoscope has little bearing on the kind of person I am. Even in China, one of the birthplaces of astrology, 92 percent of the people know that astrology is bunk. Really America, get your act together.

image

Unfortunately, if we are to use the “Is astrology a science?” as a litmus test for scientific literacy, things are looking grim. In 2004, 66 percent of the American public said astrology was bunk. Every year since then, that majority has slipped. By 2012, only 55 percent of Americans considered astrology “not at all scientific.” Probably of most concern is the fact that only 42 percent of young respondents aged between 18-24 said astrology is “not at all scientific.”

But there is a small glimmer of hope. According to the same NSF poll, the vast majority of Americans seem to love science. Although they returned woeful test results, it seems America is hungry to learn about science and think that science funding is essential for the well-being of the nation. But I’m now concerned about what America thinks science really is, especially in light of that astrology result. Also, just because the U.S. public wants to learn, can they find the institutions that will actually teach real science?

imageSchools across the nation are currently facing the unthinkable notion of teaching creationism alongside evolution in science classrooms. The fact that religion is given the same standing as science is not only absurd, it’s a fundamental institutional failing where children (who may be excited to learn about science) will grow up with a second-rate education, neglecting decades of scientific knowledge in favor of pseudo-scientific religious agendas.

For a nation that prides itself on science and discovery, it will be a tragedy on a national scale if fundamental science is undercut by superstition and the bad policies it inspires.

You can read detailed results of the NSF poll here (PDF).

Source: DNews
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
…….so. There’s this. However, we do have much working in our (humanity’s) favor: the very technology we depend on for information and communication is being used by humanity to evaluate, compare, and verify through a self-correcting process called science.

I know this report is extremely grim, but my fellow curious human family…this is precisely why we delight in sharing information, educating others, communicating across these artificial boundaries set up before us, and encouraging alternative means to pay it forward for the next generation. We’re in the midst of a grand transition regarding how we inspire, create, and contribute to the world.

If there were any time in our society where a massive transition from long-held beliefs, superstitions, and traditions was needed, now is that time. Let’s keep doing what we’re doing with as much patience as possible. We have resources and access to information on a scale never before witnessed or applied to any society throughout history. Not even the Library of Alexandria could compete with the amount of knowledge we have and the means by which we can communicate it to others.

Let’s get to work.

This doesn’t make it any better, but ~30% of Europeans didn’t know, and if you look at the published numbers, while we are behind in some areas, we are always at least pretty close to the top ranked regions. You can frame this issue in national terms, but it will remain a problem globally, and as sad as it sounds, we aren’t doing that bad comparatively.


Jul 7

Jul 3

May 3

Hands

reptiles born in the wind, brown scales in white snow

white snow in grey brick

grey brick in brown earth

.

See the mud twist into and around their torso, see them flip belly-up in the sand

the two of them, see their radial symmetry

four thick appendages and an awkwardly protruding head

they curl in now

scales slide across and split showing pink, a grapefruit in a taffy-puller

.

see them write absentmindedly, brain elsewhere

the limbs of limbs moving as an afterthought in anticipation

thin lines almost parallel, a loop almost circular

others more precise, these erratic

disciplined by the sharp winter

stowed away in denim, dark blue


Apr 26

Winterskin

My hand like a snake

fingertip tongue protruding, twisting

feel the sharp ends

.

My hand like a lotus

remove my petals one at a time, two, three, four, five

spread the growing bud

.

My insect palms,

thick chitin layer, rough and hard

see it pull and crack

.

My hand like a snake

twisting,

   like a head

turning,

   like a dog,

retreating

.

turn the coins over, tails glinting

turn them back,

and:

.

My hand like a snake, dying

            my hand like a snake, emerging

                      my hand like a snake,

returning

.

reptiles born in the wind, brown scales in white snow

white snow in grey brick

grey brick in brown earth


Jan 14

Supernova

A sun dying:

and its breath draws in

-

-collapse-

-

and its breath blows out.


Nov 14
coloringforgrownups:

Coloring for Grown-ups arrives in stores this week!And we’re doing a giveaway to celebrate. Here’s what you can win:
A limited edition pack of Crayons for Grown-Ups (pictured) - only 20 in existence(!) 
One FREE copy of Coloring for Grown-Ups SIGNED by its author/illustrators, Ryan Hunter & Taige Jensen!
Your Facebook profile picture (or a photo of your choice) drawn in coloring book form by Ryan & Taige!
And all you have to do is REBLOG THIS POST and DON’T ERASE ANY TEXT.The contest will run until December 1st, at which point we’ll randomly select 2 winners who reblogged THIS POST on Tumblr and 2 winners who shared it on Facebook. You read correctly: THAT’S FOUR CHANCES TO WIN! So click REBLOG now and begin your Coloring for Grown-Ups adventure in (maybe) winning things!***Idea for this giveaway shamelessly and unethically plagiarized from our friend, Avery Monsen

coloringforgrownups:

Coloring for Grown-ups arrives in stores this week!

And we’re doing a giveaway to celebrate. Here’s what you can win:

  1. A limited edition pack of Crayons for Grown-Ups (pictured) - only 20 in existence(!)
  2. One FREE copy of Coloring for Grown-Ups SIGNED by its author/illustrators, Ryan Hunter & Taige Jensen!
  3. Your Facebook profile picture (or a photo of your choice) drawn in coloring book form by Ryan & Taige!


And all you have to do is REBLOG THIS POST and DON’T ERASE ANY TEXT.

The contest will run until December 1st, at which point we’ll randomly select 2 winners who reblogged THIS POST on Tumblr and 2 winners who shared it on Facebook. You read correctly: THAT’S FOUR CHANCES TO WIN! So click REBLOG now and begin your Coloring for Grown-Ups adventure in (maybe) winning things!

***Idea for this giveaway shamelessly and unethically plagiarized from our friend, Avery Monsen


Nov 9

Linoleum Mourning

He slopes down

and a cart of charcoal on his spine

running to the back of his neck

and his back arching keeps up the charcoal

but he bends to cough, but he bends to touch

soil and grass-leaves with his face

to rub the side of his cheek, his right nostril

on the wet roughness

.

The charcoal running now and pushing

at the base of his skull, three times now

three coughs drawn out and lingering

the brittle flesh sponge trapping some

letting some out, keeping a memento

.

It holds down his neck bent,

his cheek on linoleum and

the grass is gone

no wet rough but flat

featureless hard, bits of dirt

here and there to pinch the skin

cold but tolerable, nothing to draw into

each lump of crumbling soil a point of reference

nothing to reference to

.

The floor is hard in its own way,

unmovable hardness, not steel but stone

.

And he concludes:

grief is flat and hard

hard like the ground

.

And he infers:

the ground is unmovable.


Oct 15

Glass Ceiling

I.

They keep talking about this glass ceiling

half a lifetime under a window pressing

air trapped building and up-pressing

and red boiling into nothing in the vacuum

in the space below and no air to rush in

and our arm ballooning around and

.

slowly skin pulled tight against

and away from and away and

space between the muscle and the bone

and the white calcium, brittle and expanding

and our bones stretching and

bleached white taffy pulling through and out

through pores open tight like

eyelids pulled open in sleep, ours

and we can’t help but look

but hide our eyes in our palms

to keep them, to keep them ours

.

II.

It keeps going rising

and the sky now where the air

outside is thinner but below nothing

almost nothing but bodies drawn out

pulled long between the ground and sky

and “up” we say “up” and just a little bit farther

just a little bit farther and we’re there

and there is never here but it has to keep rising

.

III.

And we forget that to rise was never

and what is- is the act of disappearing

like magicians a deft hand to draw our eyes down

and how high over the earth now with our knees towering

and we thank the hand, thank the hand for

showing us how tall we are and

how terrible we remember that push

down when we could almost feel our noses in the dirt

the stones in our nostrils how terrible when

but always the vertigo always the painful

stretch of cartilage lonely floating and soon

too high to pull back down and soon our feet leave

.

And we forget that to rise was never the point

that two feet square on the ground and a neck extended

and the expansion of a spine so long compressed

that simple original desire for an arched back

.

IV.

And I’m shouting

and no air to carry my words

that up is not that it cannot

that it was never enough to push up

but it was our motive to remove the object

that as long as there is a push for them

a push for us

.

to the others we are one and the same,

and their fear on breath like cheap vodka and cologne

and we blind to it, palms firmly pressed

we forget the scent and push

and soon away

Just written, very rough. Unfinished. No idea where I’m going…


Oct 14

Nostalgia

Only a decade ago and my stare was water running

in fishless rivulets, in the streams barely as big as the stones between

to me life-size, to me big enough to warrant a dam

.

I remember the summer I became a civil engineer

mud up to my elbows, up to my waist

The distraught counselors, worried I might drown in a swamp

looking for frogs, or in the knee-high lakes

behind our makeshift walls of fallen branches

.

I remember being almost as tall as mom

dad’s height being unreachable

.

I remember him telling me how he would spend all his summers in the streams,

in the lake, in the mud, in the water,

words that slid around my fish-spawn mind

Telling me how he would cry when they called him away

and comprehension

.

And now, drunk on a rock

and a stream going down the driveway

my hands are clean

my hands are clean


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