Another example of the sort of charming stories spun by our new cable news Overlords. I just watched former Arkansas Guv (and current FOX show host) Mike Huckabee tells some version of the following on his show:

In the 1880's, a renowned member of the British Parliament was in his carriage when it got stuck in the mud. A young farm boy saw his predicament, and helped get the carriage out of the mire. As a reward, the blueblood paid for the farm's boy education, and the latter grew up to be Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin. The blueblood? Sir Randolph Churchill, father of Winston Churchill, whose life was saved by Fleming's discovery when he lay dying from pneumonia during the middle of the Battle of Britain....

Wotta yarn, but here's the problem: the whole 'Fleming Saves Churchill' yarn is just another one of the charming but inaccurate myths associated with Sir Winston. Read the skinny here.

Now, I've made mistakes like this. For several years I've repeated the urban legend that Dr. Charles Drew perished due to racism at a Boston hospital. People make mistakes. But people who are public figures, who have public affairs programs seen by millions on a major cable news network, they or their staffs should 'fact-check' their content and not just recycle hoaxes, Internet legends or the talking points of the people they agree with. This is a symptom of a greater problem, which is the increasing dearth of proper 'fact-checking' in the journalistic enterprise.

By the way, this is not a partisan dig at Huckabee or FOX News. This is the wry observation that all too often these days, it is the amateurs and their blogs who are asking the tough questions and doing the research in order to hold the so-called 'mainstream media' to a certain standard of probity. What's wrong with this picture?


He's a load. And the likely first pick in the draft this year, if his arm holds up. And (I have to brag) one of the players I drafted last year in my own fantasy league.

Just thought I'd mention that my wife's nephew (Wes Dorrell) has taken both him and Brian Matusz deep, and was robbed of two round-trippers today: once by likely first-round pick Blake Smith, who went over the wall in fourth to snag a ball and once by the umpire, who ruled (incorrectly) that Smith later caught a line drive at the fence, then fumbled the exchange. Reliable sources tell me that 'Blue' owned up to his goof (which occured with two out) after the game. Typical luck for my nephew, who still finished with three hits today after homering yesterday.

Since the difference between a top pick and a mid-range draft pick is as much as $2million where the signing bonus is concerned, I figure that every game that Wes goes 3-for-5 with an extra-base hit, he raises his stock about $25-30,000. And, of course, every oh-fer costs him about the same amount.


My wife and I are accompanying Bullard High School's Academic Decathlon team's journey to the state capitol (Sacramento), where the state championships are being held. The first round of competition (testing) is underway as we speak at the Hyatt Regency where we are staying, across from Capitol Park.

Right now, my main task is to ensure that I have seating reserved on the patio area adjacent to the first floor testing area, so that Bullard's kids have a convenient place to crash for lunch right at the center of the action and not waste time looking for a bite to eat, etc. Later in the day we are going to give them a little rec time and take them to Old Town Sacramento. Should be fun!



Posted about this guy's show previously here and here. Baba explains:

And here's some of his actual performance from that Festival, a little number no doubt inspired by Daniel Dennett:

The more I think about this show, the more interested I become in incorporating some rhymes into my biology curriculum. Whatever gets the message out, helps it sink in and take, right?



Well, where is he?



Sometimes, people bag on me for hanging out with skeptics, especially the religious kind. But skepticism at its core is not so much a philosophy as it is an attitude:

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Click on the picture for a bigger image!