Advice to Teachers of Science

5 06 2009

From the New South Wales Government.


In developing the NSW Science curriculum, the Board of Studies undertook extensive consultation with experts in the field to ensure that content, including that relating to evolution, would be consistent with accepted scientific knowledge and understanding.

The Board wishes to remind teachers that Creationism and Intelligent Design are not part of the Board’s Science syllabuses. If taught as part of any school-based program, it must be clear to students that Creationism and Intelligent Design:

  1. are not scientific, nor evidence-based
  2. will not be included in any task that forms part of the assessment of student achievement for the award of the School Certificate or Higher School Certificate
  3. will not be tested in any School Certificate or Higher School Certificate examination and will not be relevant to any response to School Certificate or Higher School Certificate questions.

Effective: Immediately

[Colouring added]

Note: Intelligent Design has not been banned from schools. But teachers must make it clear that they are not scientific or evidence based – and that will be irrelevant to any assessment or examination.

Given the ID crowd’s penchant for mandatory disclaimers, maybe they won’t be upset about this (and then I wake up).

Any comments on this mandate?


The future is dumb

6 11 2008

I live in the future now (Something my parents need to recognise when they call me).

You would think other people native to futureland would be a little smarter. Perhaps not.

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

The sad thing is this is not the first time I have seen the global warming – daylight savings link put up before. It is rather more depressing when its in a news publication, if only in the letters segment.

Ethics of pet trade

7 10 2008

Story on audio at HACK.

Animal activists are concerned that too many pets are bought from pet shops on impulse. They’re also allege many of the pets are supplied to the stores from illegal puppy breeding farms.

Hence the bill in New South Wales parliament which if passed will ban the sale of cats and dogs in pet stores. Pet store owners are up in arms saying they have animal welfare as a primary concern. They believe they are the victims of cheap political point scoring.

The original bill was to apply to all pet sales from pet stores. That bill was scrapped, and at the time of this radio story it was being redrafted just to apply to cats and dogs. Abandoned hamsters and other furries (and non-furries, like fish) are obviously not an issue…

The argument for this law does make some sense. Puppy mills are an issue, and so are abandoned animals. It’s easy to see how making everyone get new pets from a shelter could make the world a better place.

However, in reply the pet industry also makes a good point – many sales are not made through pet stores, and that is the source of puppy mill trading. Banning sales through regulated pet stores might exacerbate the problem by creating further demand for privately (and unregulatedly) bred puppies and kittens.

More sensible approaches might be further regulation of private sales, and subsidies for pet desexing and registration.

Pilgrims responsible for plague spread

21 09 2008

World Youth Day pilgrims have been blamed for an atypical spike in exotic influenza cases in NSW. CathNews.

Not quite the disease spike I was expecting. Perhaps raging hormones were kept in check .

According the Sydney Telegraph: “Nurses report seeing high rates of of virulent infections among New South Wales hospital patients with ‘new and unusual strains of flu from exotic places’.”

Flu outbreaks amongst the pilgrims occurred more than once (old ABCVideo).

But NSW Health spokespeople note it is impossible to lay the blame firmly on pilgrim carriers or whether its part of normal flu cycles.

Goanna Sumo

14 09 2008

Not everything on Flickr is creative commons…

But still check out this great photo essay of two goannas wrestling by the roadside in rural NSW. Photographer uses the handle “heritagefutures” and has a lot of good stuff up online.

Some of the photos look like they are just hugging. Awww… innit cute?

Direct link to slideshow.

Labor “Party” Taken Too Literally

13 09 2008

C’mon Labor, you should be promoting Matt Brown for his stellar performance combining lewd drunkeness and chauvinism in the one go. Isn’t that what the unions and working class blokes all over Australia stand for.

The entire drive down to Sydney I was greeted with this lovely gem in my Triple J news bulletin every hour on the hour.

NSW Police Minister Matt Brown resigned (read: was made to resign) for drunken disorderly behaviour unbefitting a minister (read: stripped down to his underwear and allegedly simulating sex act on female colleague*). Read all about it at the Sydney Morning Herald.

Mr Brown was sacked for lying to [NSW Premier] Mr Rees about dancing in his underpants in his office, where he was alleged to have straddled Ms Hay’s chest and called out to her adult daughter: “Look at this, I’m tittie-f*ing your mother!”. – Daily Telegraph is a little more juicy

My, my, what an impression the city is making on a small little country boy like me.

Noreen Hay, the alleged victim – both her, Matt and the daughter deny any chest straddling occured – has also been fired as detailed by the Telegraph. With little explanation as to the reason. Is this blaming the victim? Just trying to sweep it all away?

I hardly think this is likely to be forgotten in a hurry.

Possibly this can be a good reminder that at any work function, clothing is always mandatory.

*read: alleged to have mounted a 46 year old MP’s chest area, gyrated a lot and then yelled at said minister’s daughter “Wooo, I’m titty-fucking your mother”… but who really wants to spread these silly rumours any further.