LOLcreashun contest

Quick! There’s still 1 hour and twenty minutes left in John Scalzi’s LOLcreashun contest. Design your own LOLcreashun posters based on his photos of a visit to the Creation Museum. Frankly, I like John’s example the best…

"Intelligent Design on Trial" comes to your computer

PBS has released the online version of its Nova show, “Intelligent Design on Trial,” which rehearses the events of the Kitzmiller vs. Dover Federal trial. Their Web site includes extra material such as recordings from Judge Jones’ reading of his conclusions, a definition of science (hint: science can not test the supernatural), and more.

Tunguska crater found? Probably not

The Bad Astronomy Blogger has some commentary on the reported finding of what might be the crater of the Tunguska meteorite. For one thing, the crater is oval, which generally indicates an old and distorted crater. For another, coincidence of “crater-like shape” is not enough.

Water Resources Development Bill in U.S.

As long as we are going to Miami to see Chinese dinosaur fossils, we might as well visit what’s left of the Everglades.

A bi-partisan bill in the U.S., intended to restore aging water control systems, was vetoed by U.S. president Bush. Congress then over-rode his veto, preserving the bill. It will provide much-needed infrastructure for the Florida Everglades, among other wetlands.

The bill carries a $23 billion price tag, a cost the president said warranted the veto. The reasoning, though, doesn’t make any sense.The water bill doesn’t guarantee immediate funding. Congress still has to appropriate the money to pay for projects listed in the bill, which gives the president ample opportunity to address cost concerns. Besides, the president only discovered his veto pen very late in the game — after Democrats gained a majority in the Congress. His five vetoes in this Congress aren’t enough to make him a budget hawk.

Bush and the Congress will spar again over spending. The override, though, should send a message that this legislation, and the projects it authorizes, is too important to cast aside.

The Everglades was unusually dry this summer and had a major fire in April, 2007, which underlines the importance of perserving this “River of Grass.”

Geologically, the Everglades is a wide, slow river overflowing from Lake Okeechobee and flowing over a limestone shelf down to the tip of Florida. It has its unique species and subspecies, such as the now almost-extirpated Florida panther.

Lawnmower dinosaur

A living lawnmower, Nigersaurus taqueti, has been reconstructed from fossil bones discovered in the Sahara desert. The dinosaur is on exhibit in Washington, D.C. so we will plan on seeing it during our winter trip to the U.S.

A CAT scan of the skull reveals that more narrow teeth are lined up behind the ones in use, ready to drop into their sockets like the leads in a mechanical pencil.

Dinosaurs of China in Miami, Florida

We’re planning our winter holiday. That’s a chance for me to see the Dinosaurs of China exhibit in Miami, before they go back to China. The exhibit is at the Miami Museum of Science and Space.

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