Evolution vs. Intelligent Design

So far, this is the smartest thing I’ve read on the whole debate

I
can’t think of a worse way to make science more attractive than by a
stepped-up attack on God, ghosts and the Loch Ness monster. People
perceive (correctly) that "skeptic" types (a group which, in my
experience, has minimal overlap with real scientists) use science as a
club to attack the sensibilities of others and aggrandize themselves. I
want people to think of science as something that makes the world
richer and fuller, not thinner and bleaker.

I would really like all the creationists and big-E evolutionists to just STFU.  Good advice for some of those wacky supersymmetry theorists, too.


Tips from the InstaPundit and the ever-surprising One Hand Clapping.

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I do not think that word means what you think it means.

Perhaps we need to reconsider our use of the words minority and majority.

TexasMinority

On the other hand, perhaps I can become a Poor Oppressed
Minority Group Member and start a movement for gringo rights. (First
campaign:  Loudly protest the institution of vegetarian chili*
as antithetical to North American–gringo and Tejano–cultural
heritage.  Get away from my supper, you po-mo multi-culti tranzi
maniacs!)

*Actually, the recipes sound pretty good, but that spicy vegetable soup ain’t chili.

Tip from the snazzy new Power Line Blog News — a great new alternative to that schlockmeister Matt Drudge!

90% of success is just showing up.

My wife and I like to stay active, so one of our hobbies is amateur
cross-country running.  We’re not very good, but we do like to run
in weekend charity races.  We decided several years ago to favor
small-town races over downtown ones, and smaller races over larger
ones.  We’ve been pleased with these rules:  folks who put on
a race with only a hundred racers really appreciate your entry, and
will introduce themselves, and thank you for coming–and they really
mean it!  The small races are often better organized, too. 
The local Lions, Kiwanis, Red Cross, or Band Boosters want everything
to be perfect, so nobody goofs off.  But best of all, sometimes
small races happen on the same day as big races.  That means all
the superfast runners are off somewhere glitzy, and we trudgers have a
chance at 15 seconds of glory in the winners circle.

Saturday was just such a race.  While about 1000 big deal runners were racing at the SBC Center with the San Antonio Silver Stars, 200 of us ran the Live Oak Lions 5K.  It was hot and hilly, and timewise, neither my wife or I covered ourselves with glory.  But as our friend  Jose Iniquez
says, "You only need to run fast enough to win" and that’s what we
did:  we both placed first in our respective age groups!

Two Firsts!

Afterwards, it occured to me that this situation was a wonderful setting for a probability puzzle:

On
weekends I like to run in amateur 5K cross-country races.  I’m not
that good, so I seldom place in any of the big races, even in my age
group.  In fact, of the 13 guys in my age group, I’m right in the
middle, usually ranked seventh.  Lately I hit upon a strategy that
lets me place–in my age group–more often. Some weekends two different
races are scheduled simultaneously, and if I enter the smaller race
(the one with few runners), I have a better chance of placing. Assume
that the guys in my age group attend either of the two races with
probabilities proportional to the number of runners in each race. 
Also assume that previous ranks determine who will win.

  1. Two
    races will be held next Saturday, one with 200 runners and one with 400
    runners, and I will attend the smaller one.  What is the
    probability that I will be one of the top 3 finishers in my age group?
  2. If
    two races are held next month, one with 250 runners and one with 750
    runners, what is the probability that I will win my age group in the
    smaller race?

Like no, dude. We’d all be in someone else’s car.

These guys really need to get a better ad agency:

IfEveryoneCarpooled

It’s OK.  The more folks think we’re uneducated doofuses, the fewer of ’em will move here and mess it up.

Update (August 9):  I haven’t seen one yet, but I’m eager to get my own "Keep San Antonio lame" t-shirt.  My wife caught the KSAL guru Aaron Forland on TexPR’s Texas Matters this past weekend; apparently it’s one of those hip-to-be-square gags.

Another Update (August 9):  Updated the KSAL link above, so you can get the t-shirt.

Yet Another Update (August
11):  My lovely wife managed to snag the last remaining KSAL
t-shirt Tuesday afternoon.  Aaron, get busy printing more!