Daily Archives: February 18, 2008

What are the Warm People Up To?

While we sit frozen and buried, I thought it might be nice to check in on what’s happening with folks living where it’s warm.

According to the Miami Herald, where the expected high is 85 today, toasty Floridians are trying to decide whether evolution is the kind of thing that school kids ought to hear about:

“TALLAHASSEE — Nearly 150 years after Charles Darwin revolutionized biology, evolution will become required study in Florida classrooms if the state Board of Education approves new science standards Tuesday that explicitly names the ”E” word for the first time.”

Later in the story:

“The fact that evolution is absent from the current standards attests to the perceived weakness of science education as well as to the power of the religious right and other evolution opponents who have launched a full-scale assault on the proposed standards by tapping rank-and-file churchgoers, intelligent-design activists and a high-powered lawyer involved in the nationally watched Terri Schiavo euthanasia case.”

Too bad H.L. Mencken, Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan aren’t around for this one. Nowadays the great debate would be fought by Alan Dershowitz vs. Mike Huckabee on Larry King Live.

I’d rather shovel snow.

It’s hard to believe this war is still being fought vigorously in the America of DNA and stem cell research.

But as Stateline notes, the evolution struggle is still being waged in several states:

“Creationism v. evolution in schools has been for many years a battle in the nation’s culture war, and these days it’s no different.

“Texas had an evolution casualty in the recent resignation of a state education official over the divide, Florida next week will consider acknowledging evolution by name for the first time in its proposed new curriculum and South Carolina in December approved a textbook teaching evolution after a skirmish over its content.
Yeah, they also don’t believe all those egghead books that say they lost the Civil War. Too many Moon Pies, maybe.

Meanwhile, the Star-Bulletin in Honolulu, with a current temp of 72 degrees,  reports that Hawaiian Democratic primary voters were treated to a rare political treat:

“WAILUKU » Chelsea Clinton told an enthusiastic crowd on Maui that she was grateful for the strong showing of support for her mother, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and urged Democrats to vote for her in tomorrow’s caucuses.

“I believe in my mom because she is … the best mother a daughter could imagine,” she said. “It’s so encouraging to see so many of you, because Hawaii is so important on Tuesday.”

As first lady in the early 1990s, Hillary Clinton supported improvements in rural health care and visited rural Hawaii areas, including Hana in East Maui.

Chelsea Clinton arrived on Maui at about 11:15 a.m. yesterday and visited the Maui Mall, where she had a cup of coffee and Tasaka’s Guri Guri ice cream.

She later attended a political rally at the David Trask Jr. Building in Wailuku in front of a crowd of about 200 people.

During the rally, Clinton and other Democratic officials were called up on stage to dance with a hula group.”

I think I can safely say we’re all thankful it’s too cold here for politicians, or their family members, to hula in public. I mean, can you imagine the big lug…OK, never mind.

The lack of an official dance is one reason Iowa should stay first.

And finally, The Virgin Islands Daily News reminds us of one more advantage to living in Iowa — no killer whales.

“Sportfishing boat captain Carl Holley had spotted humpback, pilot and sperm whales in Virgin Islands waters before, but never something with “killer” in its name – and a single foot from his boat.

But Holley, his father and their six charter guests got the thrill of their lives Sunday when, chasing a school of mahi mahi about 8 miles north of St. Croix, they found themselves in the middle of a pod of orcas, or killer whales. “

Actually, it’s a cool story. The captain called the rare encounter “awe inspiring.” Evidently he’s never found himself in the middle of an I-80 whiteout. There’s a lot of awe flying around.

If you want to feel really lousy, here’s the St. Croix Web cam.

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