Category Archives: Media

Commentary on the mass media.

“Cosmos” and the Bruno Flap

Neil deGrasse Tyson’s rebooted “Cosmos” series spent a chunk of time relating a version of the life of Giordano Bruno, including his interactions with the Inquisition of the Roman Catholic Church and subsequent burning at the stake. This has proven unpopular with the heirs of the Inquisition and other nit-pickers. From the Discovery Institute’s “Evolution […]

False Balance in Fact Check

The Chicago Tribune Fact Check on the debates goes for that false balance thing in the headline: “FACT CHECK: Romney flubs geography, Obama goofs on rival’s record, in final debate” Mitt Romney, candidate for Commander-in-Chief, who not long ago identified Iran as a tippy-top threat to the security of the USA, has no clue about […]

No One Expects the Comparative Anatomist

Upcoming television series on PBS: Inside Nature’s Giants, begins January 18th at 10 PM. Professor Joy Reidenberg is an unlikely TV star. She’s a comparative anatomist with the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. Physically, she is diminutive, dark-haired and dark-eyed, and not the sort of slender sylph in morphotype that TV producers […]

Judge Judy Runs a Court of Equity?

There’s a “Judge Judy” video clip being circulated where Judge Judy is deciding a case over unpaid rent. A young woman is the plaintiff, and is seeking several months of unpaid rent from a young man who shared an apartment with her. The young man is deeply confused about the concept of government aid for […]

NCIS: LA “Found”: A Demurral

I caught a repeat of the “NCIS: Los Angeles” episode, “Found”, earlier this week. There are synopses and reviews various places, like here and here. Neither of those took any notice of the issue of vigilantism in the episode. I think that it is something that should be a bit higher on the radar. In […]

Prototypes and Archetypes

I went over to Wikipedia earlier this evening, hoping to find out what major University of Florida football quarterback Tim Tebow was graduating in. I didn’t find that out, but I did run across this sentence there: One of the reasons he chose Florida was because of Meyer’s spread option offense, an offense for which […]

“The Daily Show” Chides CNN

The Huffington Post has an article up concerning fact-checking. Saturday Night Live had a sketch where someone playing the role of President Obama claimed that he couldn’t have been bad for the country as rightwingers claimed, since he had actually done nothing while in office. CNN then did a story about fact-checking the SNL skit. […]

In the Absence of Knowledge: Melanie Phillips

I just ran across a column from Melanie Phillips in the Spectator. In it, she wrongly accuses Ken Miller of having given “muddled testimony” in the 2005 Kitzmiller v. DASD trial. Further, she lays it out plainly: Whatever the ramifications of the specific school textbooks under scrutiny in the Kitzmiller/Dover case, the fact is that […]

Skewering the Clueless in the Peoria Journal Star

The Peoria Journal Star’s opinion page has a couple of recent entries. Here’s a disappointing rant from someone who claims to be a middle school science teacher: The Texas Board of Education allowing evolutionary theory to be questioned is long overdue. All science theories should be scrutinized. Otherwise, Einstein would not have proven that time […]

Acoustics Blooper in NCIS

I saw the NCIS episode “One Shot, One Kill” and noticed a blooper in the show. Maybe that’s not that cool, but this particular blooper requires knowing something about acoustic localization. This is the technology that is being used to let marine mammal researchers place the position of whales who are vocalizing and also lets […]

Doctor in the House

Jill Biden earned her Ph.D. Ed.D. in 2007 in education. Robin Abcarian, reporter for the Los Angeles Times, must be having a tough time finding material to write about, given the article attacking Biden for being identified as Dr. Jill Biden. The level of research Abcarian undertook is exemplified by this erratum in the online […]

A Commercial You Won’t Be Seeing

Verizon Wireless has acquired Alltel Wireless. Remember the perky commercials featuring Chad, the personable Alltel Wireless salesman? And the four dorks representing the competing firms of Cingular, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon? Recent corporate events should, for completeness sake, be reflected in one last commercial with the line-up of actors. In this one, though, Matthew Brent […]

Begley and the Grand Conclusion

Sharon Begley had a piece in Newsweek magazine about scientists rethinking positions. Begley is not the retiring sort, apparently: Rare, however, are changes of mind by scientists identified with either side of a contentious issue. No one who rose to fame arguing that Alzheimer’s disease is caused by sticky brain plaques and who has now […]

Bush’s Partial Protection

A news item notes that President Bush signed three new national monuments into effect and is being praised by various people for the action. Somewhat less prominent is the information that the area of these monuments, all in the Pacific Ocean, is a fraction of what marine biologists had requested receive protection. 2.2 million square […]

Medical and Journalistic Shading

Marcia Angell has an article in the New York Review of Books that considers three books touching upon modern medicine and unseemly links to corporate pharmaceutical companies. Angell takes up various problems, but I was intrigued when she got around to how companies now control research, sometimes shading a negative experimental result in a way […]

Steve Fuller’s Crusade

Sociologist and post-modernist Steve Fuller has joined the posting crew at Uncommon Descent, joining such luminaries as David Scott Springer and Denyse O’Leary. Fuller has a couple of posts up already, and is offering his analysis of what “intelligent design” argumentation ought to be. That is, a sociologist is proposing a prescriptive philosophical take on […]

Texas: “Zombie Jamboree in Texas”

Glenn Branch, Deputy Director of the National Center for Science Education, has a blog post in the Beacon Broadside, “Zombie Jamboree in Texas“. When the distinguished philosopher Philip Kitcher recently addressed the creationist movement in his Living With Darwin, he judiciously assessed creationism in its latest incarnation as historically respectable but currently bankrupt, and proposed […]