|Came across this blog post by Strange Times: The English Civil War Is A Crucial Part of Australian History via Twitter.|
As I read it I suspected that the blogger was something of a lefty, and indeed it appears he's some sort of Marxist. (Or is it she? I'm not sure.)
Does my heart good though to see an article in Crikey being described as "arrogant, dismissive and, frankly a joke" by someone of the old (older?) left that still believes in a discourse based upon rational argument, and not the modern 'pseudo-left's' (it's term, not mine) parading of assumed moral virtue as a substitute for reason.
It's this article in The Age, which reports comments on the proposed history curriculum by opposition education spokesman Christopher Pyne, that started it all.
This produced the previously mentioned response by Associate Professor Tony Taylor of Monash University in Crikey.
After criticising some aspects of Pyne's comments, Strange Times moves on to Professor Taylor:
As the blogger says, nothing could be further from the truth for Australia (or for that matter, Canada or New Zealand). Our political and constitutional systems are built on the bedrock laid down by the consequences of the English Civil War and the Glorious Revolution of 1688.
But as Strange Times notes, the worrying thing is not that Taylor can be so wrong, but that this is a person "in a position to affect the curriculum of Australian schools."
And Taylor's basic point is not that Pyne is wrong, but rather he's an outsider. He's not part of the history club and therefore has no right to criticise what the club decides we should know.
Had to chuckle at the implied description of people like Taylor and Crikey as only slightly less right-wing than Mr Pyne.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Yes Virginia, English history is a crucial part of Australian history & politics. A Marxist says so.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
About 160 million years ago a female pterosaur with an injured wing dropped from the sky into a watery grave...
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
An artist's rendering of the one-fingered, short-armed new dinosaur Linhenykus monodactylus (National Geographic)
|The Daily Mail (shoosh back there!) continues its serialisation of Peter Sissons' memoir of his four decades as a television journalist.|
‘What happened to the journalism? The BBC has completely lost it.’
It's quite astounding reading in so many ways.
But there's worse.
Or that Al Gore "entertained the BBC’s editorial elite in his suite at the Dorchester and was given a free run to make his case to an admiring internal audience at Television Centre." (Can you imagine the brouhaha that would have occurred if it had been evil oil industry executives doing the entertaining instead?)
All very funny and dispiriting at the same time.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
"But what data the bureau has." Probably worth remembering this the next time you hear someone going on about some record weather event or other. Our records don't go back very far and are often of inconsistent quality.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Published in, shock horror!, The Daily Mail.
We can pretty safely substitute ABC for BBC. But as Sissons notes about the BBC, and others about the ABC, people working in both institutions would be aghast at the suggestion that they were biased. They sincerely hold this view by and large, the problem being a pervading mind-set that overwhelmingly sees the world from a limited and partial perspective.
|Has Williamson become a conservative, or has this 'wind sniffer' par excellence just sniffed the wind again?|
The new raptor Linheraptor exquisitus runs across desert sands in an artist's renderingActually old news, but I've just caught up.
Full article here.
Friday, January 21, 2011
Some IPCC lead authors chosen not on the basis of scientific credentials, but on where they come from or their gender
IPCC insiders say many of those who shared in the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize have weak scientific credentials. They were chosen because they are of the right gender or come from the right country.
Via Greenie Watch
Full article here.
Michael Fumento - why do we continue to believe bizarre things, from airships that weren't there to Gulf War Syndrome
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
|From The Vancouver Sun:|
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Friday, January 14, 2011
|Eodromaeus, new basal theropod from the Triassic in Argentina.|
Steve Brusatte, quoted in the same story makes the important point about the tendency of even scientists to build narratives around scrappy and incomplete evidence, warning:
Chicago Tribune article here.
Mike Taylor in a post to the Dinosaur Mailing List has reaction similar to mine this morning, (though for me it was the newspaper article):
Well, I didn't want to weep, but I did roll my eyes.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
The advice at the end appears to be: buy gold.
Monday, January 10, 2011
The flightless Xenicibis bird used its wings, like two clubs hinged at the wrist joint, to swing at one another, a new study says.
Dubbed Xenicibis, the prehistoric bird wielded its unusual wings like nunchucks, or nunchakus, swinging its upper arms so that thick, curved hand bones hinged at the wrist would deliver punishing blows.
The weapon-like wings are so unique that study co-author Nicholas Longrich of Yale University at first assumed the odd limbs were evidence of a deformity.
"There are a lot of birds that do have weaponry," Longrich said. "Tthey just don't have anything like this."
The rest here
|The emergence of the beak on dinosaurs was "an evolutionary innovation," according to a new study that found this seemingly simple trait is like nature's Swiss Army knife because it functions as many tools in one.|
|Experiments by a team of researchers in New York and New Jersey have generated evidence that questions the common belief that the pterygotid eurypterids ("sea scorpions") were high-level predators in the Paleozoic oceans. This group, which ranged the seas from about 470 to 370 million years ago (long before the dinosaurs appeared), included the largest and, arguably, scariest-looking arthropods known to have evolved on planet Earth.|
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Remember that Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the pile of floating plastic and other debris “the size of Texas” or more?...What's more, the oceanography professor says the data suggest that plastic patches actually haven't increased in size in recent decades, despite greater use of plastic. There's too much plastic in the ocean, White says, but the hyperbole about the extent of the problem drives a wedge between the public and scientists.
Sunday, January 2, 2011
The King speaks to his peoples around the world (interesting in the light of the film The King's Speech)
His Majesty King George VI addresses his peoples around the world from Buckingham Palace in light of him being at war with Germany, 3 September 1939.
You can hear him wrestling with his speech impediment, the subject of the recently released film The King's Speech, in this recording.
Saturday, January 1, 2011
From Planet Gore
Via Greenie Watch
From Mr Blair