Design your own critter on Spore

Reed Cartwright (and others) point out that you can design our own creature

imaginary critter

imaginary critter

See sporevote.

Improving the signage

Museums, science centers, and the like need better signs. Maybe they could have descending print sizes, so only those interested need read? Or large print so you could get the details from three or four metres away.

My local science centre once showed nylon being made “from a mixture of two liquids” – without telling what those liquids were!

Colin Purrington has some good advice on how to improve the information, especially how to make sure that evolution gets into the message: “How you can get evolution back into museums.”

Hat tip to PZ Myers at Pharyngula.

Come to the dark side…

This is one step up from “We have cookies.”

more cat pictures

Concordat Watch: The Church’s handshake with Hitler

Concordat Watch points out that the Roman Catholic Church’s concordat with Hitler betrayed German democrats.

This is a gateway to online articles, (eleven, so far), about the the connections between Hitler, Pius XII and the concordat. “Intended as a shield for the church, the agreement lent Hitler international credibility, criminalized Catholic political activity, and demoralized bishops and priests who opposed Nazi rule.”

Pope Pius XII MedalPope Pius XII was “a Germanophile who had been schooled as a diplomat: Treaties (particularly one he’d drafted between Germany and Rome in 1933) and the Communist threat were his main priorities. Protection of Vatican City from Allied or Axis bombs was another.” (Publisher’s Weekly)

Prof. Friedlander describes the Pope’s stance as “selective appeasement” of Hitler. While Pius raised some objections to Nazi measures, his concern did not extend to their extermination of the Jews.

Piping plovers return to Wasaga Beach

For four years now, piping plovers have nested at one end of a popular beach resort in Ontario. Wasaga Beach, better known for its parties than its birds, is leaving half a kilometer ungroomed so that it reverts to its natural state and provides a home for these endangered birds. Read “Piping plovers at Wasaga Beach.”

Witness program

This is a cute take-off on some TV programs, only basement cat is the villain this time.

more cat pictures

Evolution of the immune system

Maybe Michael Behe would like to take this course and find out what science actually knows instead of trying to make up his own facts.

It includes a set of readings on the evolution of immunity.

(Hat tip to Wesley R. Elsberry at The Austringer)

Open Courseware from MIT

Wesley Elsberry points us to “Something Terrific from MIT.”

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