Happy Labor Day

I note that once again, housekeeping activities on the WordPress sites have reset all the “last changed” dates to Saturday, September 3. We do have recent photos in PHOTO Notes, a revamped Astronomy department, and – gasp – a lighthearted new Astronomy observations article.

I have been following all the “Intelligent Design” flaps (the latest attempts to disenfranchise Darwin and the collective accumulative efforts of hundreds of years of catalogued work by hundreds of thousands of scientists worldwide). Unlike Creationism, this theory doesn’t attempt to refute or repudiate the massive body of testable scientific evidence, all of which indicates that the universe as we know it evolved over some 14 billion years, and that life as we know it evolved on Earth gradually over the period of the odd billion or so. “Intelligent Design” just says that, even if true, this body if knowledge doesn’t make any difference. I’ve been composing an essay on this topic, in my head, and it may come to fruition one of these days.

All other media news is pre-empted with coverage of the horrible devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Words are insufficient to adequately express sorrow for the loss of life, livelihood and subsistence of the good people of that region. It will take years to rebuild, and some lives and some families can never be rebuilt. And they say that the average ocean surface temperature has raised two degrees in the Gulf Stream. This could mean an increase in the frequency and severity of hurricanes that traditionally pelt the Gulf region. If that isn’t evidence of global warming, I don’t know what is. Despite the expected political resistance, the September 2005 Scientific American says we are actually making headway on greenhouse gases — compared to where this one country would be if we had made no effort at all. Stay the course.

“We want to hear JANE”: In the Sunday funnies, Doonesbury’s archconservative Chase agrees that Jane Fonda is an embarrassment to any movement that opposes any war. Chase hopes against hope that Jane will surface for the Iraq conflict. See Jane run. Is she about to bless the world with another shower of her deeply profound political acumen?

Speaking of the comic pages, last but not least, we enjoyed seeing all our old comic strip friends at Dagwood and Blondie’s 75th anniversary bash. America’s oldest cartoon couple? May we all age so gracefully. May yours be a happy Labor Day!

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