At the age of 11, Malala Yousafzai took on the Taliban by giving voice to her dreams. As turbaned fighters swept through her town in northwestern Pakistan in 2009, the tiny schoolgirl spoke out about her passion for education — she wanted to become a doctor, she said — and became a symbol of defiance against Taliban subjugation.
On Tuesday, masked Taliban gunmen answered Ms. Yousafzai’s courage with bullets, singling out the 14-year-old on a bus filled with terrified schoolchildren, then shooting her in the head and neck. Two other girls were also wounded in the attack. All three survived, but late on Tuesday doctors said that Ms. Yousafzai was in critical condition at a hospital in Peshawar, with a bullet possibly lodged close to her brain.
Carl Sagan: The Frailty of Knowledge [Carl Sagan Tribute Series, Part 13] (by callumCGLP)
Click through to read the second page and the accompanying article. So adorable!
With the passing of the Bush administration, and its frequent willingness to distort science to suit political needs, Washington has a renewed interest in evidence-based everything. Our policies on sex education need to be evidence based — let’s do what works to avoid teen pregnancy and sexually-transmitted disease, instead of what makes us feel righteous. We need an evidence-based response to climate change instead of wishful thinking sponsored by ExxonMobil and the National Association of Manufacturers. This shouldn’t really be a controversial idea — do what is effective, instead of what is merely politically safe. With subjects as radioactive as how to treat former prisoners, evidence-based policies are toughest to implement and most needed. But first, you’ve got to have evidence.
My sister sent me this great quote!
It’s funny that creationists want to “teach the controversy” in science classes, but not sex education classes…
From the documentary “Dispatches - In God’s Name” about the growing fundamentalist Christian lobby in the United Kingdom. Some highlights:
To children on disobeying God: “Thank God for Jesus, because we can actually say, ‘Jesus, I’m sorry. I did something wrong then.’ And we don’t have to fear turning into a pillar of salt, which really, really, really happened in the Old Testament.”
On the school’s justification for using the Bible in every aspect of education: “We’re using the Bible, even in science, to explain things. And history shows that using the Bible to explain things has gotten scientists quite far in life.”
On the age of the earth: “I’m not a science specialist is my big excuse. If you have that argument or you look at the way they look at the information they’re given for that, the context, and then contrast that or also show how people teach that it’s millions of years old or billions of years old, I wonder which one stands up or has the most credibility.”
No wonder Richard Dawkins calls this child abuse.
Those poor children!
Richard Dawkins’s new documentary, Faith School Menace?, is brilliant and very, very moving.
Wow… I never knew that Britain’s taxpayers fund religious schools. And, furthermore, that the government allows them to teach unregulated religious curriculum and to discriminate in their admission policies. Thank goodness for the first amendment! How horrible to have state-funded discrimination and religious endorsement. I know in practice we’re sometimes not perfect but I’m so thankful it’s in our constitution. I’m with Richard; at the very least, let the religious schools stay but take away the government funding.
Last week I challenged myself to improve my geography skills. I noticed that since high school my ability to identify or visualize the location of a vast majority of countries (besides my own continent and western Europe) had greatly declined. This was very bad.
So after about a week, I am rocking these quizzes (green=correct on the first guess). BTW, the high scores say that there are people that can complete one of these in 35 seconds. How is that possible?! The next question is, do I take on all those tiny islands in the Pacific?