Saturday, September 30, 2006

I Just Noticed

I just noticed that there is still a lively discussion going on at this previous post. There are some good comments, and some not so good. Feel free to join the fun.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Weekend Humor #9

I happen to think that penguins are inherently funny animals. All they really have to do is walk and jump out of the water, and I am amused. They are also one of my favorite animals, and I sure hope that they never go extinct. So when you add the element of human beings fretting and fighting about their sex lives . . . well, have a look.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Panning Banning Pandas Book

Both Evolution News and Uncommon Descent have noted that this is Banned Book Week, and have commented that Of Pandas and People must be added to the list of banned books. Last year at this time, in my post ACLU, Kitzmiller and Banned Books Week, I noted this:
A great irony was lost on me until today. I just learned that the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial opened during Bannned Books Week, which is sponsored by the American Library Association. There is an article on Banned Books Week in yesterday's Washington Post. The ACLU is helping to represent the plaintiffs in Kitzmiller, and its Complaint asks that the judge issue an injunction banning the book Of Pandas and People from science classrooms, even though it is there as an optional reference book for students and is not to be used as part of any classroom teaching. (See p. 23) Thus the ACLU celebrated Banned Books Week this year in a very special and meaningful way.
For the full post and links, go here.

Now, yet another irony- The book Of Pandas and People has been banned (or deleted) from the banned books page on Wikipedia (for edit history go here). Some one added it, and someone else deleted it. The rationale for the deletion can be found on the discussion page at the bottom. If you have time, I encourage you to go edit the page and add it back in, and explain your action on the discussion page. If you do, I think that there is a good chance that you will have an interesting and/or frustrating experience. You may also get an education on the reliability of Wikipedia and success or lack of success of its "neutral point of view" policy. It clearly qualifies as a "challenged" book, because the mere mention of it was removed from the curriculum and access to it was restricted:
A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. The positive message of Banned Books Week: Free People Read Freely is that due to the commitment of librarians, teachers, parents, students and other concerned citizens, most challenges are unsuccessful and most materials are retained in the school curriculum or library collection.