Monday, February 28, 2022

Citizens Step up to Defend their Country

Check out Huffington Post: These are the Citizens Stepping up to Defend Ukraine



Former Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko armed in the streets.*

Borys Cherkas at the school in Khotiv, Ukraine, where he teaches history. Sasha Maslov / INSTITUTE

Cherkas at a Territorial Defense Unit training outside Kyiv. Sasha Maslov / INSTITUTE




*Not claiming heel spurs.

Sunday, February 27, 2022

A March Madness Meeting!

Yes, it's finally happened!  We just might be back to something resembling normal, with a for-real, in-person meeting on March 14 at the Park Ridge Family Restaurant (the old Blue-Top).  The newsletter is in your email or can be found under "Pages" in the right hand column.  I figured out how to circumvent the Adobe translation charge and get a copy onto this website.  Now the trick is remembering how I did it for next time.





Saturday, February 26, 2022

Don't You Dare Ask, "How Much Worse Can It Get?"

 I was prepared to make my own list when I saw this list on Pharyngula:  

 Anyone else feeling overwhelmed?


It’s all too much.

  • War in Ukraine is the latest horror story. All we can do is stand back and watch as the Russian army tyrannizes a civilian population.
  • The pandemic is not over, although there is a lot of noise from dangerously ignorant people that it is.
  • Climate change is still creeping inevitably over the world, and no one is doing anything significant about it.

  • You know what else no one is doing anything about? Economic inequity. Billionaires got even richer during the pandemic.

  • Our country is torn apart by racism, and it’s getting worse. It’s flaring up at all levels of society.

  • Somehow, the Right has decided that sexual differences are the biggest issue now. They’re passing laws that will kill transgender people.

  • We’re racing towards a 2024 election that will be more divisive than ever, and that will probably conclude with conservatives trying to dismantle democracy.

  • Personally, my mother is going in for heart surgery next week, & I’m facing the prospect of retirement in a few years.

  • You can probably think of many more.

I’m a science nerd and teacher. I’m completely helpless in the face of circumstance, and I feel that.

How are you all coping?

Pharyngula is a Science Professor at the University of Minnesota-Morris and a spider fanatic. 

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Minnesota Does it Right

From the Minnesota DOT:

Here are the 8 winners of MnDOT's 'Name a Snowplow' contest

Betty Whiteout made it, obviously.


The results are in and Minnesota has eight newly named snowplows.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation announced the results of its second annual "Name a Snowplow" contest, which attracted hundreds of pun-tastic submissions.

Here are the winners, and the districts in which they'll be operating:

  • Betty Whiteout – District 8 (SW Minnesota)
  • Ctrl Salt Delete – District 7 (SW Minnesota)
  • The Big Leplowski – District 4 (West-Central Minnesota)
  • Plowasaurus Rex – Metro District 
  • Scoop Dogg – District 3 (Central Minnesota)
  • Blizzard of Oz – District 2 (NW Minnesota)
  • No More Mr. Ice Guy – District 1 (NE Minnesota)
  • Edward Blizzardhands – District 6 (SE Minnesota)

Betty Whiteout was comfortably the most popular choice, with more than 40,000 votes cast for the name.





Gilead is Coming


Yet another attack on the content of what's being taught in the classroom, this time in Oklahoma.  According to this Alternet article, a law has been introduces that would fine teachers $10,000 for teaching anything that would contradict the parent's religious beliefs: Thou shalt not teach (fill in the blank)

Good-bye to most of Science, History, and Literature.  Surely there's someone who could find something to object to in Math, Art, Music, and any curricula.  


Friday, February 4, 2022

Scam Alert

 From the WREA newsletter:


How Do I Protect Myself from the Scam Artists?

There are different ways in which a scam artist will try to engage you. 

  • One is by sending an email asking for help for a cause. 
  • They may even use a name that you are familiar with. 
  • Look at the email address. Is it one that you recognize? Does it match the name and organization of the sender?

If you got a phishing email or text message, report it. The information you give can help fight the scammers.

  1. If you got a phishing email, forward it to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at reportphishing@apwg.org.
  2. Report the phishing attack to the FTC website at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
  3. Sign up for biweekly Watchdog Alerts from AARP's Fraud Watch Network. Click here to sign up.
  4. Report a Scam to the AARP Fraud Watch Network.

Read more in the Spring edition of the WREA News, coming to your mailbox soon.