Monthly Archives: February 2007

Science for Journalists

Piggy-backing on a previous post of mine, about an increase in scientific literacy in America (an increase, that still leaves an underwhelming total). From a piece at ABC News:

“One take-away is that news organizations — including this one — need to sharpen their efforts to report scientific studies accurately.” Last week’s stories on naps, adoption and spouseless women get re-examined

Perhaps it should be a requirement for all journalists to take a basic statistics course? Or even a basic experimental/laboratory science? Though this may be part of an overall Liberal Arts education. (Different discussion for another time)

Edwards’ foot in mouth

Sadly this will score him some points within the fringes of the party and/or some members of the academia crowd.

Edwards: “Perhaps the Greatest Short-Term Threat to World Peace Is the Possibility That Israel Would Bomb Iran’s Nuclear Facilities” (NRO citing Variety

On the other hand, this obviously won’t play well with the Jewish demographic–a significant one in the Democratic Party.

Scientific Literacy

Approximately 28 percent of American adults currently qualify as scientifically literate, an increase from around 10 percent in the late 1980s and early 1990s, according to Miller’s research.–Science Daily

This is naturally a positive development, though as the referenced article points out, this is below where we should be.

However, what percentage of writers for the major papers and/or wire services are adequately “scientifically literate”? [One would assume most are, but one never knows]

As such how prone are Americans to fall for pseudoscience? Or is it a better question to ask how many journalists fall prey to pseudoscience and (inadvertently) relay it to the masses in their publications as “science”

Reinstalling Windows

Spent the evening reinstalling Windows
Even worse, was the fact that my OEM disks were only from SP1

(Meaning I’ve had to download over 80+ service packs and counting) . The joys.

Next up will be reinstalling all my applications and the like. Even more fun (can you detect the sarcasm?). At least I’ve gotten Firefox up and running

Y2DST?

The whole Y2K “bug” scare was quite amusing from an outsiders perspective. [Ironically, at the office we had an old application which wasn’t Y2K compliant, so it’s totally confused to this day–it’s not really in use anymore].

The next big software bug looks to be the new DST time change date adjustment.

Why Congress even had to monkey around with the clock is another question.

It’ll be interesting to see how this problem is patched up.

Prediction: Most of the private sector will have things covered; whereas Government computers will likely go whacky.

Late call

Back home, The Brother called all excited this morning that his school was closed because of the (real) snowstorm in the Cleveland area.

Thing is–the Brother, as with all the other students, parents, teachers and staff in the district, didn’t know that they were going to have a snow day until 7AM!

Here’s the thing–some students and staff had already left home for the day, only to arrive at buildings to find locked doors. Not to mention parents who had to make last minute arrangements because of their children.

True, the superintendent did post a letter of apology , but still, this decision came too late.

The Shaker Heights school district is known for being very, very, very reluctant to close for snow days, but this was not acceptable at all.

Coverage:
Fox 8 Cleveland–video clip