more candidates need to support open source voting systems

It’s still a long way away from me picking a candidate for the 2008 presidential election, even though i won’t vote for Clinton unless it’s her versus a Republican. I find her repugnant otherwise.

I’m trying to keep track on each Democractic candidates platform.

Edwards is for open source voting systems. This is a far more important than anyone realizes. When history shows how not just the 2000 election was stolen, but 2004 as well, the privatization of our voting systems will be recognized as one of the major stumblings in the fall of our democracy.

squashing Clovis First

It’s well and good to read that squash was being cultivated 10,000 years ago in the Americas, in Peru, no less, but if this is solid research, doesn’t this completely destroy Clovis first once and for all?

Hunter-gatherers race across the Bering Strait, pour down through North America and Central America, and then decide to start farming?


The first wave of people to arrive in the New World came before 11,500 years ago. Thank you, squash, for another nail in the coffin of that theory.

more on Norwegian "Incan" skeleton

Aardvarchaeology weighed in on that “Incan” skeleton in Norway, and he seems to completely dismiss it.

I think he’s right, but I’d still enjoy seeing someone check for genetic material or test the enamel of the teeth to see where the person grew up. If i had to wager a bet, i would have put money on him being a homegrown mutant of that particular trait, but since the bones are available, why not test them? Ruling strictly by Occam’s Razor comes off as dogmatism sometimes, even if it’s usually right.

2007 International Man Booker

It completely slipped past me that Chinua Achebe won the second International Man Booker. Good. I confess i have not read any of his work, but it’s good to see it go to an author not from Britian orAmerica, even if Achebe does write in English. Recognizing an author who writes in a language other than English would have been preferable, but check the 2005 shortlist against the 2007 shortlist, and it will make perfect sense why I groused about that 2007 shortlist

public school memories

I don’t know where this originally came from, but I went to public school in Tangipahoa Parish in Louisiana.

In 5th grade, i was sent to the office, and given detention, because i argued with the teacher that Washington state and Washington DC are two different places. She never admitted being wrong, nor would anyone support my insistence that they just happened to have the same name. When i explained what happened to the principal, he said that i must never argue with the teacher, and didn’t want to hear about geography. Children were in school to learn obedience.

In 9th grade, i was given lines to write in punishment (because of something that i might have actually done wrong, like refusing to do my homework for no good reason,) that were, “I will obey those in authority because God put there there.”

That’s just off the top of my head.

One of the weirdest things though, was in my extremely conservative school, was in 4th grade, when Reagan was shot. I didn’t like Reagan because my parents didn’t, but i was upset when he was shot. My classmates cheered. The whole school was overjoyed. I’m still baffled and a little scared by that. Of course, the Ku Klux Klan was big in the area at the time.