Is saying you got kiddie porn the same as actually having it?

What a slippery slope the porn plane becomes if the Supreme Court agrees with Slate Magazine's characterization of the legal merits when the Solicitor General Paul
...Clement says that to be liable under the PROTECT Act, you need not be selling or advertising the porn. It's enough to say you have it.

A sad day indeed. Oral arguments were yesterday.


DNA Pioneer, Suspended Over Racial Comments

The Wall Street Journal's Health Blog brings us old news from the UK where the October 14, 2007 The Sunday Times Magazine displayed more than we wish to know about how Doc Watson thinks.

But, a few days later he goes on to assure us, he didn't really mean what his words said:

To all those who have drawn the inference from my words that Africa, as a continent, is somehow genetically inferior, I can only apologise unreservedly,” he said. That is not what I meant. More importantly, there is no scientific basis for such a belief.
Early onset... Or, perhaps, he needs a better keeper.


Street Mathematics vs School Mathematics

I love what I know of the mathematician Keith Devlin -- aka The Math Guy on NPR's Weekend Edition -- who is a researcher at as well as the executive director of Stanford University's Center for the Study of Language and Information. Here are two good reasons for my adoration:
  1. His October 2007 "Devlin's Angle" at MAA Online wherein he adds fuel to my qualms about school math in
    Kinds of Math
  2. Mathematics, the Science of Patterns The Search for Order in Life, Mind, and the Universe. New York: Henry Holt, 2003.

By the way, yesterday I finally saw Danica McKellar's Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle-School Math without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail which I only wish also came out with a boy-cover....maybe I'll design one to print up so I can try using it w/J. Check out a review at MAA Online.


Richard Scarry's The Best Word Book Ever: 1963 vs. 1991

Who wins? Us or our children?

Perhaps this is a good place to reference Sidney Hook's 10 rules for discourse from "Ethics of Controversy" given that #1 is Nothing and no one is immune from criticism. And, #4, reminds us that while words may be "legally permissible" does not mean they are also "morally permissible". Here, I'm reminded of my unease when J., in first grade, brought home an alphabet worksheet referencing "Eskimos".