Archive for December 21st, 2008

Help the National Academies of Science

By Phil Plait | December 21, 2008 10:47 pm

The National Academies of Science is one of the most prestigious scientific organizations in the world. As their About the NAS page states:

The National Academies perform an unparalleled public service by bringing together committees of experts in all areas of scientific and technological endeavor. These experts serve pro bono to address critical national issues and give advice to the federal government and the public.

I was contacted by the NAS asking if I would post about a survey they are hosting about the public’s concerns over science. This survey will literally take you about one minute to take, and will help guide them in creating educational materials.

I’m a little concerned over the topics they created; many are very general and will need significant honing once they’re narrowed down by the survey. Perhaps they’ll host another when this one is completed. Anyway, please take a moment to fill it out; the deadline is January 16.


What would you do?

By Phil Plait | December 21, 2008 3:00 pm

[Update: Before I posted this, I read Laurie’s post. Twice. And yet, somehow, I missed that this preschool was at a Lutheran church. Because of this, I withdraw my comment. When you put your kid in a religious place, then you have to expect they’ll get religion during the day unless otherwise told it won’t be so.]

Laurie T. at Rational Moms has a problem: her son’s preschool teacher is injecting religion into her son’s day. Laurie obviously has a problem with this. However, it’s not a public school, so it’s not technically illegal. She’s unsure what to do, and is asking for ideas.

I posted my own idea in her comments (I was first. I’m never first. That was cool). Why not go over there and check out the details, and leave her a thoughtful reply? There are probably resolutions to this no one else has thought of yet, and a good conversation may yield some workable results.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Religion, Skepticism

Savage obsession

By Phil Plait | December 21, 2008 12:00 pm

Earlier this year, at TAM 6, my Close Personal Friend™ Adam Savage gave a really fun talk, where he rapid-fire presented his obsession with creating his own dodo skeleton model and then one of the Maltese Falcon. He gave this talk at other venues, and a video of one has surfaced at

Mind you, this is him when he hasn’t had coffee. It’s really a very engaging talk.



By Phil Plait | December 21, 2008 9:26 am

OK, now you know what to get me for Newtonmas.

Kirk action figure yelling KHHHHAAAANNNNNNN!!!!!


Tip o’ the VISOR to io9.


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