I’ve gotten to the point where I hate reading the sports news. No, not because “my team” isn’t doing well, but rather, what’s been happening in college sports. Over the past couple of years, it seems like there’s been an unending series of stories about conference “realignment.” Yes, it’s happening again, as Maryland, Rutgers, and Louisville all are getting ready to jump from their respective current conferences to new ones. The reason? Money.
It’s rather hypocritical for various university administrations to, on one hand, piously proclaim their commitment to education, while on the other leaping towards whichever conference may make them more money. Some coaches aren’t happy, and neither are the fans. Long-standing rivalries are being dropped by the wayside. It’s sad, and I don’t know if “the benefits” are worth the cost. I have a feeling some of these colleges will come to regret it, but for now, all I can do is be sad.
I know “voter tests” have a bad connotation, but, I am definitely in favor of tests for officials and pundits. I think it should be mandatory for them to take a course on the Constitution and government, with a tough exam whose score is public. I’m getting tired of seeing elected officials or media figures making statements about something, trying to couch it as “what the Constitution says” when the Constitution doesn’t say that at all. That way, when they make an idiot statement, everyone can look at their test score and go “Oh… right. Failed the class.” and ignore them.
There’s been a lot of speculation about what the Mars Curiosity Rover found, that has the scientists at JPL excited. Well, according to a tweet today, it wasn’t organics, so a whole load of media speculation went out the window. I’m sure it’ll be interesting, when they tell us on Monday, but it won’t live up to the media hype. That’s the problem sometimes with scientists. What they find exciting and “cool!” is not necessarily what the general public does. I know that from experience, having gotten my share of strange looks and being told “You’re weird! You know that, right?”
Apparently, someone down in Texas is announcing that they’ve sequenced the genome of a Sasquatch. This is being taken with a large, enormous, Empire State Building size amount of salt by scientists and journalists.
There are several significant issues with this. First is this line from the news release, “Full details of the study will be presented in the near future when the study manuscript publishes.”
That is a massive red flag. Real research scientists almost never pre-announce their research findings. That is, they don’t go public with big news until it has been vetted by peer reviewers and, at the very least, been accepted for publication. In this case Ketchum is stating a discovery as scientific fact before other scientists have studied her evidence. In effect she is using the mantle of science to confer credibility on her discovery, without actually deserving the credibility.
Or has John Hawks puts it:
One benefit of the world of genetics as opposed to traditional anthropology: The original sequence data must be made available to the public. No data, no discovery.
Mind you, lots of us would be thrilled to death if it turned out that Bigfoot, Yeti, or whatever it is actually exists. The problem? No real, stand up to hard scrutiny evidence. It’d be nice if this were real, but the betting odds are … another hoax.