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Sarah Palin: “The Flintstones was a Great Documentary!”

Flintstones: Fact ot Fiction

The Flintstones: Fact or Fiction?

Does Sarah Palin believe that human beings and dinosaurs lived side-by-side a few thousand years ago? Palin is not answering that question now; of course, right now she’s not really answering any questions without John McCain by her side to moderate. However, she is on record as wanting Creationism to be taught in American science classes. Creationism puts forward a “theory” that the universe is much younger than the figure of 12-14 billion years widely accepted by scientists and then has to do a lot of fancy foot-work to make the physical evidence fit their theory.

However, if Palin is being tight lipped on the issue, where can we go to find out about what she believes about Creationism? The Creation “Museum” was set up as an alternative to the secular museums to give fundamentalists a place to go and learn the truth about the history of the Universe. Through its exhibits, this museum puts forth the pretense that it uses the same data as secular scientists, but comes to a different conclusion:

Everyone has the same facts, but we don’t all have the same starting points. Using the Bible as your starting point, prepare to travel back 6,000 years to the dawn of creation as you enjoy the Six Days Theater. Witness the true time line of the universe unfold through the 7 C’s of History [Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, Confusion, Christ, Cross, Consummation].
Creation Museum Web Site, Plan Your Visit

If the Republicans had put forward a candidate that did not accept that the Sun revolves around the Earth we would assume that she was a quack. Yet the same science that tells us that the Sun is only one star amongst  70 sextillion stars in the Universe also tells us that the Universe must be billions–not thousands–of years old to explain how we can see stars that are billions of light-years away.

Why do Christian Fundamentalists have to believe in a 6,000 year old Universe? They believe that their Bible is the literal truth (and I will not point out here all the inherent problems with that line of thought), therefore everything that has happened since the beginning of the Universe is in that Bible. The Young Earth Creationists (as they are known) take this one step further, claiming they can compute the age of the Universe by using that Bible as a time-line.

So, why does our best (secular) science tell us that the Universe is billions of years old? According to the Young Earth Creationists, God just made it look that way. Think about it: they are saying that the God they believe in is intentionally trying to trick us by creating a Universe that looks much older than it actually is simply to test our faith.

This is what Sarah Palin believes too, whether she will now publicly admit it or not. If she believes in the literal truth of her Bible, then she believes in a 6,000 year old Universe, she believes that dinosaurs and humans lived side-by-side, and she believes in a Universe run by a God who would deceive its creation just to prove a point.

And John McCain believes in Sarah Palin.

First Commercial Spaceship Launched – Commercial Media Ignores

A milestone in human achievement took place yesterday at 4:15 PM (PDT), but the popular press seems to have all but ignored it. Oh, I know that we are facing the greatest financial crisis this country has seen since the 1929, but surely the launch of the first privately owned space ship into Earth orbit (something that will make money in the future) is at least as worthy for reporting as Scarlett Johanson’s Canadian wedding nuptials.

With the Launch of Falcon 1 into orbit, SpaceX has fundamentally changed the playing field of space exploration. But the popular media (CNN, Fox News, Networks etc..) seem to be giving a collective yawn. This might be because the mass media outlets were caught off-guard by the success because, as Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides pointed out in her Wired Science blog, of the previous failures to launch.

However, I can’t begin to fathom this oversight running into today. Even CNN’s tech page doesn’t mention it anywhere, instead focusing on the failure of NASA to launch the shuttle and where to get free ringtones.

CORRECTION TO THE CORRECTION! Fun Film Friday: Sarah Palin and the Witchsmeller

Third times the charm! I think I’ve got the right video of Sarah Palin and the Witchsmeller this time.

Question: Can you tell the only difference between this video and the previous videos?

Answer: This one isn’t funny.

CORRECTION! Fun Film Friday: Sarah Palin and the Witchsmeller

SORRY! I copied the wrong video tag. I, of course, meant to show this clip of Sarah Palin and a Witchsmeller:

Fun Film Friday: Sarah Palin and the Witchsmeller

I found this great video of Sarah Palin meeting with a Witchsmeller!

End the War (on Science)!

Who will end the war on science?

Who will end the war on science?

ScienceDebate2008 is committed to discussing today’s most important scientific issues and the candidate’s stand on each. To go even further and allow for public feedback, ScienceDebate2008 will allow you to read each position statement and then rate McCain’s and Obama’s responses with a letter grade from A to F. There are 14 topics and a 15th open discussion topic where you can post your own question for the candidates.

With all of the events of the past few weeks in the U.S. economic markets, many vital issues  are being overlooked by the majority of voters thinking about who they want for President. Although the collapse of huge multi-national investment firms may seem important now, where the candidates stand on scientific and technology issues will have a greater impact on on your daily life in the long run.After all, Wall Street might collect wealth, but it’s science and technology that makes it.

There is little debate amongst scientists that the Bush administration has waged a war on science. This Republican administration is infamous for ignoring or undermining scientific consensus and cherry picking scientific results that support their ideology. The next administration will have to correct this trend for the US to remain a leader in the 21st century.

We need to know what the candidates say now on these issues so that we can hold them accountable later for their actions. ScienceDebate2008 places both McCain’s and Obama’s position statements side-by-side for easy comparison.

Go, vote now, and let me know what you think, and if you posted a 15th question (mine is the third in the list) tell us about it here.

The 14 topics covered are:

  1. Innovation
  2. Climate Change
  3. Energy
  4. Education
  5. National Security
  6. Pandemics/Biosecurity
  7. Genetics Research
  8. Stem Cells
  9. Ocean Health
  10. Water
  11. Space
  12. Scientific Integrity
  13. Research
  14. Health

Yuri’s Night 2009: Be a part of the Future

Yuri's Night 2009: New Site Coming Soon!

Yuri's Night 2009: New Site Coming Soon!

2009 is going to be a great year for Yuri’s Night. This will be my 4th year as the “Internet Strategist” for The World Space Party, and every year the group I work with keeps getting better. I’ve just put up the “Coming Soon” page -previewing the 2009 site design- and we will be launching with a new Web strategy in the coming months. But, we need your help!

Yuri’s Night is a volunteer and grass roots organization committed to evangelizing the importance of manned space exploration by throwing parties every April 12th to celebrate two of the pioneering events in our history: the first manned space flight of Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin in 1961 and the first Space Shuttle launch in 1981.

In 2008, we had almost 200 parties world wide, ranging in size from very small to very large. Check out the Photos from Yuri’s Night 2008 to see what I mean.

If you want to work with this great organization, check out the open positions for the Global Executive Team to see what we need. For the Web support team, I especially need help this year:

  • News Editor: Someone to write and edit the news stories posted to the main site.
  • Web Developer: Someone with MySQL and PHP experience who can take on the creating a better online experience for setting up and finding parties.
  • Web Cast Manager: Someone who can find and manage the best solution so that parties around the world can broadcast their video feed.

You can apply on the Yuri’s Night Site, or email me (jason at yurisnight • net) wih any questions.

Fun Film Friday: Synthesizer

This is, without doubt, the best 80’s Techno Video ever made in the 21st century.

Should McCain be Able to Use a Computer?

Factcheck.org has answered the question “Is McCain unable to use a computer because of war injuries?” with a NO. McCain can use computers, although, because of his injuries, it is uncomfortable. As someone who works with computers and the problems of accessibility, I know that a lot of disabled persons find ways around their discomfort with using computers (using speech synthesizers, voice recognition and other non-keyboard devices) so that they can interact with the world around them. The computer is a fundamental communication medium in America today, and anyone not participating is showing a deaf ear to that fact.

Is this a compelling political issue? Probably not.

Whether McCain chooses to use a computer or not will not change how you view his stand on major issues. But it does speak to the candidate’s day-to-day life experience, further showing his distance from most Americans. It also tells us a lot about how he views innovation and technology. As Marshall McLuhan said,  “The medium is the message.” How we communicate directly affects how we think about problems and how we express our ideas. Can John McCain really understand the problems and promises of a future he seems to stubbornly refuse to participate in?

Is Chrome a Web Browser?

Google Chrome: Browser or Stealth App?

Google Chrome: Browser or Stealth App?

I’ve had a little over a week now to play with the new Web enabled application from Google, known as Chrome. Some, including Google, call it a Web browser. I respectfully disagree.

As a browser, Chrome leaves a lot to be desired.  Despite promised improvements (like the basic ability to organize your bookmarks), this stripped down interface would have a long way to go to compete with the feature sets of Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer. But, then, it may not be Google’s goal to create an application for browsing the Web.

Consider it’s name: Chrome. In the world of user interface design, the presentation layer (the buttons, backgrounds, and icons and other graphic bits of the interface) is called the “chrome.” And that’s exactly what Google’s Chrome is: it is the chrome ( lower case “c”) for Google’s current and future Web based applications.

And I’m not the only one who thinks so. I remember just ten years ago when Marc Andreesen had the same idea and threw down the gauntlet, stating that Netscape would replace the operating system as the vector for users interacting with applications. It didn’t quite turn out that way, but maybe Google will be able to pull it off.

Maybe.

McCain Chose the Wrong Palin!

At least with Michael Palin, We’ll know it’s a joke.

And the Winner Is…

See how each state is leaning at a glance.

See how each state is leaning at a glance at electoral-vote.com.

Tired of searching the Web or sifting through endless news articles just to find the latest presidential poll standings? Me too. That’s why I keep two links at the top of my browser to help me track who’s ahead.

My first stop every morning is electoral-vote.com to get a quick overview of where things stand. Although not the most attractive site, what it lacks in glossy graphics it makes up for in simplicity and ease of use. Quickly see- according to an averaging of state polls - where each candidate stands in the Electoral College, which, as we all know from the 2000 election, is what matters when all is said and done.

If you want more details or to play out different Electoral College scenarios, then head over to the USA Today Presidential Poll Tracker. Here you can get up to date poll data, poll histories, and use the interactive Electoral Vote Tracker map to see how your favorite candidate might win the day.

Obama On Space Exploration

This video has been floating around for a while, but if you haven’t seen it, you should. Obama is sounding positively Kennedyesque when talking about the future of space exploration. Unlike Bush, though, he’s painting a positive and peaceful picture of humanities future.

If anyone knows of a similar video of McCain talking about NASA or his vision of space exploration, I’d like to see it. McCain was a pilot. Surly he has definitive views on this topic.

Welcome to the New wE

The Intersection.

There are a lot of great blogs that deal with technology, culture, and politics, even some that deal with all three. Although webbedENVIRONMENTS (which I will often abreviate as wE) hopes to join these blogs and go bit further, not only keeping you up-to-date with what’s happening in the progressive world, but also considering where events and trends will leading.

Over the next several weeks, I’ll be bringing in new writers, new ideas, and -hopefully- new readers. I’ll be posting some long entries and a lot of shorter ones.

If you have a story in the intersection of technology, culture, and/or politics, please send it to me at Jason(a)webbedENVIRONMENTS•com.

Something’s Gotta’ Change

Bio Tech takes over by ~clownphobia on deviantART

I’ve been working on webbedENVIRONMENTS for almost 12 years now. Long before there were “Blogs” I used this site as a platform to re-publish my own articles about the Web, explore advanced design concepts, and get feedback on my books. A few years back, I decided I wanted to start blogging about technology, culture and politics. Despite a few posts about tech, space, and space-exploration, I haven’t done a great job of following my own mandate.

For the most part, I needed a place to talk about my profession and primary concern in life: Web design, specifically CSS. So, you will find plenty of articles about the W3C, typography on the Web, and why Internet Explorer sucks, but nothing about the U.S Congress, technological singularity, or why George Bush sucks.

That’s all about to change.

I now have a new Web site which will be devoted to exploring Web Design and CSS: Speaking In Styles (www.speaking-in-styles). This site will be specifically targeted at designers wanting to learn the language of Web design. Speaking In Styles will also be the title of my next book on Web design, which I am currently (feverishly) working on. While writing the book, I will be using my new site to test ideas and look for feedback from all of my friends (and a few enemies).

So where does this leave webbedENVIRONMENTS?

With the US Presidential election fast approaching, I feel compelled to express my views and invite open and honest discussion about the issues that will affect our future. To do that, I will be returning to my goal of using webbedENVIRONMENTS as a platform to talk about the intersection of technology, politics and culture. I’ll be fleshing out more details in a future post, but for now, you will begin to see more editorial posts, possibly a few other bloggers, and some tweaks to the site design and features, eventually leading to a full redesign.

If you are a Web designer who comes to webbedENVIRONMENTS to learn the latest about CSS, never fear. Just point yourself to Speaking In Styles. It will still have all of the articles about the W3C, CSS, and Web Typography.

Regardless of your political or philosophical stripes, I hope you stick around webbedENVIRONMENTS and jump into the debates.

This is going to be fun.