Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Teaching of Creationism Is Endorsed in New Survey - New York Times

What next -- teach that the earth is flat or that since the theory of gravity is still only a theory that it might not be true either? God help America out of their idiocy.

Teaching of Creationism Is Endorsed in New Survey - New York Times: "Teaching of Creationism Is Endorsed in New Survey

In a finding that is likely to intensify the debate over what to teach students about the origins of life, a poll released yesterday found that nearly two-thirds of Americans say that creationism should be taught alongside evolution in public schools.

The poll found that 42 percent of respondents held strict creationist views, agreeing that 'living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.'

In contrast, 48 percent said they believed that humans had evolved over time. But of those, 18 percent said that evolution was 'guided by a supreme being,' and 26 percent said that evolution occurred through natural selection. In all, 64 percent said they were open to the idea of teaching creationism in addition to evolution, while 38 percent favored replacing evolution with creationism."

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

BBC NEWS | Americas | Canada recognises 'gay adultery'

BBC NEWS | Americas | Canada recognises 'gay adultery': "A Canadian woman has won a legal battle allowing her to divorce her husband for having an affair with another man.

A court had earlier told the woman she could not file for an immediate divorce because her husband's actions did not legally constitute adultery.

She won her divorce after her lawyers argued that the definition of adultery cannot be limited to extra-marital sex between a man and a woman.

The ruling was issued on Tuesday by the British Columbia Supreme Court.

Canadian law already allows couples in homosexual relationships to marry."

Bloggers Declare War on Comment Spam, but Can They Win?


Spammers find a way to game Google search results by posting links in comments sections of popular blogs. Now the makers of Movable Type and bloggers are banding together to try to keep real-time interactivity alive in the blogosphere. Here's a look at the battle so far.

Blogger Jeremy Zawodny wrote about "Guerrilla Tactics Against Blog Comment Spammers." Blogdex honcho Cameron Marlow called it the "Comment Spam Arms Race." And blogger/consultant Adam Kalsey said with resolve, "We now intend to fight back."

Just what the heck is "comment spam" and how did it get so many prominent bloggers up in arms? Basically, spammers have been using blogs to help boost their standings in Google searches by posting massive numbers of comments that include links to their pornography sites, scams and get-rich-quick sites. If your site is linked by a top-ranked site or blog, then Google will often raise your site's ranking -- at least that's the thinking of spammers.


Relevant comments are very welcome, whether you agree or disagree with what I have to say. However, advertising of goods or services is not permitted on this forum without payment of a fee. The fee per advertisement is 500$US, which is payable immediately by bank draft. Email the owner of this site for details.

If you post an ad but do not pay the charge immediately you have corrupted data on this Web site without my permission. As such, you are guilty of criminal damage under the Criminal Damage Act, 1991 and subject to a prison sentence of up to 10 years and a fine of up to 15,000$US.

Thanks to Antoin O Lachtnain.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Protests announced in Honduras at Cuban doctors’ departure

Protests announced in Honduras at Cuban doctors’ departure: "Protests announced in Honduras at Cuban doctors’ departure / 29-08-2005

Workers, students, mayors and professionals announced that they would hold a series of mass protests because their government intends to reduce by 50% the number of Cuban doctors who arrived here after the devastation caused seven years ago by Hurricane Mitch.

'The cubans are working in remote rural communities where Honduran doctors refuse to go,' Juan Barahona, coordinator of the Popular Bloc (BP) told the Associated Press on Thursday. 'And they have won the affection, trust and respect of the poorest people in Honduras.'

'Reducing the Cuban brigade would be a crime against humanity by the government against its own poor people,' he stated."

Polls Forbidden in Honduras - Prensa Latina

Polls Forbidden in Honduras - Prensa Latina: "Polls Forbidden in Honduras

Tegucigalpa, Aug 29 (Prensa Latina) A ban on political polls has gone into force Monday in Honduras and no survey will be allowed till the elections are held on November 27th, confirmed Jacobino Hern�ndez Cruz, magistrate for the Electoral Supreme Court.

Hernandez asked the media, survey agencies and political parties for help in the fulfillment of this measure, which will drastically penalize those breaching the electoral law.

However, he pointed out that surveys could be made for the use of parties if they wish to do so, but in no case the results can be published."

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Marijuana Pipe Dreams - New York Times

Marijuana Pipe Dreams - New York Times: "Discovering benefits, after all, would undermine the great anti-marijuana campaign that has taken hold in Washington. Marijuana is deemed to be such a powerful 'gateway' to other drugs that it's become the top priority in the federal drug war, much to the puzzlement of many scientists, not to mention the police officers who see a lot of worse drugs on the streets.

People with glaucoma and AIDS have sworn by the efficacy of marijuana, and there have been studies by state health departments showing that smoking marijuana is especially good at controlling nausea. Scientists would like to test these effects, but they can't do good studies until they get good marijuana.

Critics of medical marijuana say that it's unnecessary because patients can obtain the benefits of its active ingredient, THC, through a drug that's already available, Marinol. But many patients say it doesn't work as well. They point to the case of the writer Peter McWilliams, who said smoking marijuana was the only way to control the nausea brought on by the mix of drugs he took for AIDS and cancer.

He was forced to switch to Marinol after a D.E.A. investigation led to his conviction for violating federal laws against marijuana. In 2000, several weeks before he was to be sentenced, he was found dead in his bathroom. He had choked on his own vomit."

Friday, August 26, 2005

'Men cleverer than women' claim

BBC NEWS | UK | Education | 'Men cleverer than women' claim: "'Men cleverer than women' claim
Who will get a first?
Academics in the UK claim their research shows that men are more intelligent than women.

A study to be published later this year in the British Journal of Psychology says that men are on average five points ahead on IQ tests.

Paul Irwing and Professor Richard Lynn claim the difference grows when the highest IQ levels are considered.

Their research was based on IQ tests given to 80,000 people and a further study of 20,000 students."

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Turkmen drivers face unusual test

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Turkmen drivers face unusual test: "In most countries passing a driving test is determined - unsurprisingly - by the candidate's ability to drive.

But in Turkmenistan, knowledge of the highway code and control of the steering wheel are no longer enough.

Candidates now have to pass an exam in President Niyazov's spiritual writings, contained in a book named the Ruhnama.

'The exam in the Ruhnama is needed to educate future drivers in the high moral principles of Turkmen society,' an official told the AFP news agency.

Mr Niyazov, Turkmenistan's 'president for life' whom correspondents say is at the focus of a flourishing personality cult, wrote the Ruhnama as a moral guide to his six million people.

The semi-philosophical code is aimed at promoting a spirit of national consciousness among Turkmens.

A copy of the Ruhnama is placed in mosques alongside the Koran, so worshippers can touch it on their way inside.

Excerpts are displayed on billboards, and the book dominates state institutions, media and the arts. It is required reading in both school and university curricula.

Mr Niyazov, known generally as Turkmenbashi or Leader of the Turkmens, has grown increasingly eccentric in recent years, analysts say."

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Turkmenistan bans recorded music

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Turkmenistan bans recorded music: "Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov has banned the playing of recorded music at all public events, on television and at weddings.

In a decree, Mr Niyazov said there was a need to protect Turkmen culture from 'negative influences'.

This is the latest move by the authoritarian president to minimise foreign influence in the isolated former Soviet state, analysts say.

He has already banned opera and ballet, describing them as 'unnecessary'."

Friday, August 19, 2005

Swazi king drops sex-ban tassels

BBC NEWS | Africa | Swazi king drops sex-ban tassels: "The king fined himself a cow for breaking the ban by marrying again.

He took a 17-year-old girl as his ninth wife just two months after imposing the sex-ban in September 2001, sparking unprecedented protests by Swazi women outside the royal palace."

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Carry On Korea

Carry On Korea (tefltrade): "What the hell is going on in Korea these days? And no, I don’t mean the nutty People’s Republic of the North, but the southern bit. I’ve read several rather conflicting reports from there in this month’s EL Gazette, and all they all seem to indicate that Korea is a place the dedicated EFL professional should actively try and avoid.

Firstly, there was this odd story about genuine EFL teachers there getting hassled because of the apparent low-life media profile of some of their less desirable colleagues. The magazine states that many EFL teachers are leaving the country as they are “tired of being portrayed as academically unqualified substance abusers and sexual predators”. It transpires that some of these “blonde-haired, blue-eyed tourist-teachers” are having sexual relationships with schoolgirls and offering them something a little stronger than Lucky Strike to smoke. Surely not ?!"


Friday, August 12, 2005

Jerry Springer opera writers battle censorship - Yahoo! News

Jerry Springer opera writers battle censorship - Yahoo! News: "The musical is based on Jerry Springer's brash American talk show whose lurid topics include 'Honey I'm a Call Girl' and 'Bring on the Bisexuals.'

In the show which was garlanded with theater awards, viewers could watch a diaper fetishist confess all to his true love, catch a tap dance routine by the Ku Klux Klan and see Jesus and the Devil launch into a swearing tirade against each other.

As Christian protesters set fire to their television licenses outside the BBC, the publicly funded broadcaster defended its right to air the show on television earlier this year despite being inundated with complaints."

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Entrenched Epidemic: Wife-Beatings in Africa - New York Times

Entrenched Epidemic: Wife-Beatings in Africa - New York Times: "Women suffer from violence in every society. In few places, however, is the abuse more entrenched, and accepted, than in sub-Saharan Africa. One in three Nigerian women reported having been physically abused by a male partner, according to the latest study, conducted in 1993. The wife of the deputy governor of a northern Nigerian province told reporters last year that her husband beat her incessantly, in part because she watched television movies. One of President Olusegun Obasanjo's appointees to a national anticorruption commission was allegedly killed by her husband in 2000, two days after she asked the state police commissioner to protect her.

'It is like it is a normal thing for women to be treated by their husbands as punching bags,' Obong Rita Akpan, until last month Nigeria's minister for women's affairs, said in an interview here. 'The Nigerian man thinks that a woman is his inferior. Right from childhood, right from infancy, the boy is preferred to the girl. Even when they marry out of love, they still think the woman is below them and they do whatever they want.'"

All Cultures Are Not Equal - New York Times

All Cultures Are Not Equal - New York Times: "Not long ago, people said that globalization and the revolution in communications technology would bring us all together. But the opposite is true. People are taking advantage of freedom and technology to create new groups and cultural zones. Old national identities and behavior patterns are proving surprisingly durable. People are moving into self-segregating communities with people like themselves, and building invisible and sometimes visible barriers to keep strangers out."