Tangled Bank #105 at The Beagle Project

logo for Tangled BankThe latest issue of Tangled Bank is hosted at The Beagle Project blog. See Tangled Bank 105 at The Beagle Project blog.

Welcome, readers, to this tag-teamed edition of the Tangled Bank blog carnival.

In the left-justified corner, all the way from the north Yorkshire coast, not far from where Darwin ‘took the waters’ in Ilkley, it’s Peter McGrath.

And in the right-justified corner, coming to you from London, just a few miles away from Downe Bank, Darwin’s inspiration for the tangled bank where “endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved”, it’s Karen James.

Well, you glorious swine. Speaking for myself, my blogreading life was full enough without discovering some of the new delights carnivalled here. The long evening reading all these posts has been a ‘mental riot’ (Darwin’s description of the intellectual ferment when he was incubating The Origin), for which many thanks and the RSS has a slew of new entries. A tangled bank is not a monoculture, and I think we can offer something for all here.

I would never call our dear readers much less our prolific bank-tanglers ‘swine’, however glorious, but I certainly do share Peter’s admiration for this fortnight’s entries.

Giant sinkhole opens in Russian town, March 2008

It seems that giant sinkholes are not as rare as I thought. Another sinkhole opened in the Russian town of Berezniki on March 3, 2008.

The pictures are very impressive.

The sinkhole destroyed part of a road. Luckily, no one was on the road at the time. This makes me oif it’s practical to include some kind of ground-scanning radar in, say, annual surveys of roads for needed repairs. Any thoughts?

There was also a large sinkhole in Mexico that took three lives, but I haven’t found the date for it yet.

Red Cross cleared in blood scandal

A former Canadian Red Cross offical, three doctors, and officals of a New Jersey company were cleared of wrongdoing in the tainted blood scandal that caused 3 000 deaths. Thousands of Canadians were infected with HIV or hepatitis through inadequate blood screening.

Toronto Superior Court Justice Mary Lou Benotto ruled that the defendants did not show conduct displaying wanton and reckless disregard in the use of the blood and that there was no marked departure from the standards of a reasonable person.

“The conduct examined in detail over one and a half years confirms reasonable and responsible and professional actions and responses during this difficult time,” she said. “The allegations of criminal conduct on the part of these men and this corporation were not only unsupported by the evidence, they were disproved. “The events here were tragic,” the judge said. “However, to assign blame where none exists is to compound the tragedy.”

John Plater of the Canadian Hemophilia Society expressed bewilderment at the verdict, questioning how the judge could suggest that the defendants’ actions “were somehow professional and reasonable.” “If you, on the one hand, have a study that says there’s a problem, and on the other hand have a study that says maybe there isn’t a problem, any reasonable person takes the product off the market. They didn’t. People were infected, and people died,” Plater said. “How that could be considered reasonable behavior is beyond us.”

The case involved blood products produced by New Jersey-based Armour Pharmaceutical Co. in the 1980s and early 1990s that turned out to be infected. Also charged were Dr. Roger Perrault of the Red Cross; Dr. John Furesz and Dr. Donald Wark Boucher, formerly of Canada’s Health Protection Branch, and Dr. Michael Rodell, a former vice president of Armour.

Canadian Red Cross fined
Perrault pleaded not guilty to criminal negligence causing bodily harm for allegedly giving hemophilia patients an HIV-infected blood-clotting product. The other doctors and the drug company also pleaded not guilty. Lawyers argued that prosecutors didn’t present enough evidence to prove its case.

A second trial for Perrault is set to begin later this year in Hamilton, Ontario, where he will face more criminal charges stemming from allegations that the Red Cross and its senior officials failed to take adequate measures to screen blood donors.

The Canadian Red Cross pleaded guilty in 2005 to distributing blood tainted with HIV and hepatitis C and was fined $5,000 Canadian …. The Red Cross apologized and provided $1.5 million Canadian for a scholarship fund and research project aimed at reducing medical errors.

Responsibility for Canada’s blood supply for all provinces except Quebec was later transferred from the Canadian Red Cross to another entity, Canadian Blood Services. After a five-year investigation, police filed criminal charges.

Last year, the Canadian government announced a compensation package of 1 billion Canadian dollars for all those infected with hepatitis C from the tainted blood, expanding a previous program that excluded thousands of people.

I don’t know about this. Why is ignoring warnings about life-or-death issues not negligent?

FBI arrest people for visiting their Web site

Reed A. Cartwright notes the the FBI are assuming anyone who visits their internet lure Web site is a child pornographer and arrests them. People are at risk of clicking an unknown link or being redirected there. They’ll still be arrested.

This reminds me of that teacher who was arrested because one of the computers her class was using started to spew porn and she touched it to turn it off!


Sexpelled the movieMichael Shermer reports on a new Discovery Institute film, Sexpelled! No intercourse allowed.

The new film bravely exposes the Big Sex suppression of the Stork Theory and calls for equal time for the competing theories. [Author’s note: The theory below sounds nutty to people who know anything about sex and reproduction. But keep in mind, these arguments are modelled after Intelligent design arguments against evolution. If you know anything about evolution, the arguments against it sound even sillier.]

There’s even a Facebook group in support of Sexpelled!

Proof of the Stork Theory: why Sex Theory is clearly wrong:

  • Sex Theory is just a THEORY! No one has actually observed a baby appearing during sex!
  • The stork is NOT just a theory! We know that it exists!
  • It is highly improbable that a baby can be created from the random collision between a sperm and an egg cell. In fact, Bill Dembski has proved that it’s mathematically impossible.
  • Do you really want to believe that you are the result of dumb, blind chance, rather than a loving and nurturing stork?
  • I have never observed a so-called sperm cell or egg cell. Have you?
  • It’s an insult to my value as a human being to think that I am a random accident, caused by nasty things people only do in their bedrooms.
  • Sex violates the second law of thermodynamics. There is no way a perfect baby can be made from a random, gooey mess.
  • Where are all the transitional forms? If it is true that sperm cells turn into babies, we should see stuff like sperm with arms and legs or babies with a large tail to swim around.
  • How was the first sperm created? Sex Theory proponents can’t answer this question, which is but one of many holes in their Sex Theory religion.

And if Sex Theory is wrong, clearly Stork Theory must be right!

Picture of an Intelligent Design theorist:


more funny pictures

For more information, visit Expelled!

Flori-duh! “God woke the kittens”

On the cute/fuzzy side, WMTV reports that in Jacksonville, Florida, kittens awoke householders when their house was on fire. (I guess they didn’t have fire alarm regulations there.) Six people scooped up the kittens and escaped.

God is getting the credit for waking up the kittens. Not heat, not smoke, not funny crackling sounds or something strange going on nor even hunger. God.

With apologists like that, how can He lose?

Funny Pictures

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