Lessons in Sumerian Math on Display

Pretty cool! (H/T to ISAW on Facebook! cf. http://www.nyu.edu/isaw/exhibitions/before-pythagoras/)

Thirteen of the tablets are on display until Dec. 17 at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, part of New York University. Many are the exercises of students learning to be scribes. Their plight was not to be envied. They were mastering mathematics based on texts in Sumerian, a language that even at the time was long since dead. The students spoke Akkadian, a Semitic language unrelated to Sumerian. But both languages were written in cuneiform, meaning wedge-shaped, after the shape of the marks made by punching a reed into clay.

via Lessons in Sumerian Math on Display – NYTimes.com.

Global Warming: The [Overwhelming] Evidence

Recently I was in a conversation with a new friend concerning Global Warming; he doesn’t believe it is occurring.  I’m not sure where he is drawing his information from, but when I want to look up something like Global Warming, I tend to check my sources first.  That means going to the authorities—not a handful of politicians at the UN or within our government, but the actual scientists on the ground, taking data samples, exploring the glaciers, analyzing the trends in current and the balance of life that depends upon the ecosystem as it is; so when there are changes they can be tracked, as well as the change in the ecosystem which occurs with global warming.  So below I have put together a compilation of data and evidence, from credible sources (Not Faux News).  Educate yourselves, for goodness sake!

I was surprised, actually, because just hours after our conversation, this newsfeed popped up in my search, from today no less:

Since 1998, the ice lost from just one of the five ice shelves in the study totals more than 1,500 square miles, an area larger than the state of Rhode Island.

That is pretty tremendous.  This is not randomly accumulated data but, rather, is data collected by the USGS, a legitimate and official scientific organization with top-notch geologists who base their findings on research and field study; not on government agenda.  You can see the official report (not a media spin of it) here on the USGS website: http://pubs.usgs.gov/imap/i-2600-c/

Additional resources on Global Warming from credible sources (because I believe the first step to understanding the difference between the myth and the reality of Global Warming might involve actually knowing what it is, instead of just assuming you know what it is):

http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/

http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/global_warming_101/

http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/gw-overview.html (This one has pictures, so you can see, with your own eyes, the melting of the glaciers—because apparently, scientific investigation isn’t good enough)

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/globalwarming.html

http://solar-center.stanford.edu/sun-on-earth/glob-warm.html (Stanford’s Solar Center has a lot to say about the Global Warming) From the website:

Global warming — a gradual increase in planet-wide temperatures — is now well documented and accepted by scientists as fact.

The site also has a lot of great data which you can evaluate yourself, including graphs and information you’d require to make an informed decision.  Included on the page are links to actual scientific studies on the subject (cf. Trends & Effects; Scientific Studies)

The National Academy of Sciences has put forth this quite useful (and idiot-friendly) website: http://www.koshland-science-museum.org/exhibitgcc/ (Many will find the interface easy to use)  One of the greatest features are, once again, the images which lend credence to Global Warming, like these shots of the South Cascade Glacier in Washington from 1928-2008.

What makes matters worse, lately, has been the growing population of lay-politicians who know squat about Global Warming parroting others in ignorance about the recent snow storms.  What they don’t understand is that Global Warming affects the climate in extreme ways.  That means it can actually make snowstorms much more severe than ever!  Look at the data, people.  Stop buying into Bill O’Reilly and Glen Beck; trust me, they aren’t scientists, their just talking heads.  Leave the difficult math stuff to the guys who get paid to do the research.

More images of the affects of Global Warming.

A Hyperlinked Online “Book” put out by Dr. Spencer Weart, the author of The Discovery of Global Warming, published through Harvard University Press (a legitimate academic publisher)

Another great link for skeptics of Global Warming: http://www.skepticalscience.com/

Calvin and Hobbes on the Reason for the Season

JFK on the Separation of Church and State

In memory of the man who was taken from us on this day in 1963….. (h/t to Rich Rodriguez)

YouTube – JFK on the Separation of Church and State.

Matthew Chapman on Religion, Government, and Social Involvement

I had the privilege of watching Matt give this lecture live.  It is by far the most interesting lecture on the subject of government and its involvement and the implications of that level of involvement I have heard.   Overall, even if you don’t agree with his politics, it is still an engaging lecture.

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