Why do UNC students put rulers on their foreheads? They want to measure their intelligence.
*The author Edgar Rice Burroughs used to own a ranch near Hollywood in southern California, where he wrote his famous stories about Tarzan of the Apes. In 1928, the town surrounding his ranch was officially incorporated and chose for itself the name Burroughs had given his ranch: Tarzana.
Burroughs was a prolific author with a profoundly creative imagination. His first published story, originally titled "Dejah Thoris, Princess of Mars," was published as "Under The Moons of Mars" in 1912. His first Tarzan story appeared in October the same year.
In addition to 26 books about Tarzan and numerous science fiction stories set on Mars or Venus, Burroughs also wrote caveman stories, westerns, horror stories, and others that are harder to classify. The town of Tarzana is a fitting memorial to this man who so enriched American popular literature.
Tarzan's official web site: http://www.tarzan.org/
The Remarkable Story of Roger DeHart: A New Documentary about the "Icons of Evolution"
In the early twentieth century -- during the Scopes Trial, for instance -- evolution was the new theory challenging settled opinions about divine creation. Now, however, said Bill Rice on National Public Radio, it's evolution that "is being questioned." Darwinian evolution has become the established view -- and those who want to consider alternatives to Darwinism have become the innovative thinkers challenging the status quo.
Nowhere is this stunning role reversal better portrayed than in the new documentary, "Icons of Evolution." "Icons" tells the story of Roger DeHart, a high school biology teacher in Washington state who wanted to tell his students about evidence that casts doubt on aspects of Darwinian evolution. The evidence that DeHart hoped to discuss wasn't fringe stuff. It was the material already published in scientific literature. For example, biology textbooks have long featured drawings of animal embryos, purporting to show similarity. This was widely taken as proof that the species in question shared a common evolutionary ancestor.
But the drawings are seriously inaccurate, omitting many details and falsely suggesting similarities among embryos. Stephen Gould, the noted Harvard paleontologist, called the drawings "scientific fraud," and he said that we should "be ashamed and astonished by the century of [their] mindless recycling" in textbooks.
It sounds like something students ought to know about, yet, when DeHart wanted to bring Gould's article about the fraudulent drawings into his classroom, the school administration forbade him from doing so. He wasn't even allowed to discuss Gould's article or say anything questioning the drawings in the school district's officially mandated textbook.
But the censorship didn't stop there. DeHart wanted to tell his students about the "Cambrian Explosion," the sudden appearance of the major groups of animals about 550 million years ago. The Cambrian Explosion has long been a puzzle for Darwinian evolution. Again DeHart was forbidden to bring in any supplementary materials offering an alternative explanation. It didn't matter that the issue is part of ongoing scientific debate. DeHart's students weren't allowed to see or hear anything challenging textbook orthodoxy.
All this, and more, is retold by the participants themselves in the documentary "Icons of Evolution." You'll hear from Chinese paleontologists who worked with the Cambrian Explosion fossils and believe that Darwinian evolution fails to explain the data. You'll hear from Roger DeHart himself about his experiences and also from his school's administrators, telling why they wouldn't let him depart from the established curriculum.
It's an amazing, even shocking, story -- shocking, that is, because most people assume that science ought to be a search for the truth about the natural world. While we may be cynical about advertising, or politics, or the media, science is still supposed to be above it all, pursuing what is really true.
The "Icons" documentary will shake you up. Science teaching today has become indoctrination, but the good news is we can still do something about it. Call BreakPoint (1-800-995-8777) and order your copy of "Icons of Evolution." You'll learn how and why to make the case.
DALLAS — 7-Eleven Inc. dropped Venezuela-owned Citgo as its gasoline supplier after more than 20 years as part of a previously announced plan by the convenience store operator to launch its own brand of fuel.
7-Eleven officials said Wednesday that the decision was partly motivated by politics.
(enlarge photo) A 7 Eleven-Citgo gas sign is shown in Dallas, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2006. Convenience store operator 7-Eleven Inc. is dropping Venezuela-backed Citgo as its gasoline supplier at more than 2,100 locations and switching to its own brand of fuel. (AP Photo/LM Otero) Citgo Petroleum Corp. is a Houston-based subsidiary of Venezuela's state-run oil company and 7-Eleven is worried that anti-American comments made by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez might prompt motorists to fill-up elsewhere.
Chavez has called President George W. Bush the devil and an alcoholic. The U.S. government has warned that Chavez is a destabilizing force in Latin America.
"Regardless of politics, we sympathize with many Americans' concern over derogatory comments about our country and its leadership recently made by Venezuela's president," said 7-Eleven spokeswoman Margaret Chabris.
"Certainly Chavez's position and statements over the past year or so didn't tempt us to stay with Citgo," she added.
Instead, 7-Eleven, which sells gasoline at 2,100 of its 5,300 U.S. stores, will now purchase fuel from several distributors, including Tower Energy Group of Torrance, Calif., Sinclair Oil of Salt Lake City, and Houston-based Frontier Oil Corp.
Chabris said 7-Eleven's decision to sell its own brand was based on many factors, including Citgo's decision this summer to stop supplying stations in parts of Texas and other states to focus on retailers closer to its refineries in Corpus Christi, Lake Charles, La., and Lemont, Ill.
But 7-Eleven had been considering creating its own brand of fuel since at least early last year, and some analysts suggested 7-Eleven may now be hyping the political angle as a way to curry favor with U.S. consumers.
"This has nothing to do with Chavez," said Oil Price Information Service director Tom Kloza. "They (7-Eleven) just didn't want to be tied to one supplier."
Kloza said all 7-Eleven did was seek out suppliers who could sell it the cheapest fuel and "that was not Citgo."
Citgo spokesman Fernando Garay declined to comment on whether Chavez's comments had a bearing on 7-Eleven's change in suppliers. He said the break was "a mutual agreement of the two companies."
Garay said 7-Eleven was a "significant" part of Citgo's retail presence in Texas and Florida. "It was a valued relationship," he said.
In July, Citgo decided to stop distributing gasoline to 1,800 independently owned U.S. stations because it was a lackluster segment of its business.
In order to meet service contracts at 13,100 Citgo-branded stations across the U.S., Citgo had to purchase 130,000 barrels a day from third parties — a less profitable business model than selling gasoline directly from its refineries.
Citgo was founded in 1910 as the Cities Service Co., according to the company Web site, and 7-Eleven's predecessor, The Southland Corp., bought Citgo from Occidental Petroleum in 1983.
7-Eleven sold half its interest in Citgo in 1986 and the remaining stake in 1990 to Petroleos de Venezuela SA.
Looks like ole Hugo got "Bush-whacked" ....... part one.
AP Business Writer Brad Foss in Washington contributed to this report.