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Comment: Increase grades?? (Score 1) 511

by scottblascocomposer (#37303854) Attached to: Laptops In the Classroom Don't Increase Grades

Well, the only way to REALLY increase grades is to increase the number of graded assignments/quizzes/etc. Or maybe to have more students, since that would also result in an increase in grades. In order to increase test scores, all you have to do is give more tests!

Oh, you meant improve grades and raise test scores?

/pedantry

Comment: Re:Better get insurance (Score 1) 14

by scottblascocomposer (#31419564) Attached to: Man Sells Bottled Ghosts In Online Auction
Spirits have been known to escape from their bottles during shipping.

Even if they did escape, surely they would leave some sort of mark or essence in the water, right? Actually, perhaps the seller could dilute a bottle with a few Olympic-sized swimming pools of water and sell it as homeopathic ghost water!

Comment: Re:Cue objections from the religious right: (Score 1) 329

by scottblascocomposer (#28568243) Attached to: HIV/AIDS Vaccine To Begin Phase I Human Trials

Speaking as a life-long Christian with a Master's in theology: No, it doesn't.

If you stop at the word "created," you're good. The second half of your first sentence may be believed by some Christians, but it is not "clearly stated" anywhere. In fact, the majority of the Christian churches in the world do in fact believe evolution is a fact of history (the Catholic Church being only the biggest and most obvious choice). Christians believe the universe was created in the sense that it was brought about by the Creator, but as to the mechanics of its origin... well, that's why we have the physical sciences.

Comment: Re:HOT AIR (Score 1) 447

by scottblascocomposer (#27663421) Attached to: Vatican To Build 100 Megawatt Solar Power Plant

You seem not to have actually read the "slanted article with an agenda" very thoroughly (I assume you refer to the article in First Things). The author does not recommend "[abandoning] condom use" (and actually explicitly says the opposite), but details how HIV reduction and prevention campaigns based on promoting condom use have been consistently ineffective in Africa, and in at least one case have resulted in increased transmissions.

Both that and the Washington Post article were written by Edward C. Green, the director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies (the third link I gave). He's not "pushing a moral agenda," he's describing what actually has worked over the past 20-30 years. That the most effective prevention is abstinence or monogomy may not be what people want to hear, but that's what the actual numbers show.

Comment: Re:HOT AIR (Score 1) 447

by scottblascocomposer (#27661627) Attached to: Vatican To Build 100 Megawatt Solar Power Plant

Oh, after that, they say that condoms are allowed in marriages with one of the partners having HIV.

Of course, the Church has said nothing of the sort. There are some bishops who argue that way, but that is not what constitutes the Church's decision. Like it or not, condoms are not approved of by the Catholic Church in any situation.

More to the point, the Pope's statement that in Africa condoms may make the HIV epidemic worse seems to be supported by evidence. This is reality, not an ideal "what if" scenario.

Comment: Re:you just think you're joking. (Score 0, Offtopic) 776

by scottblascocomposer (#27661171) Attached to: Do We Need Running Shoes To Run?

I'm sure you meant this, but it's important to be clear that ID should be refuted by any good scientific way possible. Good science, with patience and good will, against bad science. Mockery and disdain will win no minds for the side of science.

I say this as someone who grew up in a 6000-year creationist home, and was convinced against creationism by a college biology professor who treated the subject with respect and firm but gentle argumentation. If the acceptance of good science by the general population is the goal, it's an important distinction to make.

Comment: Re:What's in that paper? (Score 4, Funny) 571

by scottblascocomposer (#27554849) Attached to: I prefer to consume my caffeine from a vessel of ...

Well, not ALL Americans, at least.

Story time: my wife and I were at a concert I was involved in over the weekend, and there was free Keystone Light in a barrel of ice by the door. Free is free, so we both cracked one open. I'm terribly proud of my wife's (who claims to be beer-ignorant) assessment: it was like "flat Fresca without the sugar."

Learned, apparently, from only ever having good beer around our house.

Comment: Re:RTFS?? (Score 1) 904

I do understand that Fox has no credibility criticizing this since they were so nakedly in favor of Bush.

Do you really mean this? Is the obverse true as well? News sources that publicly endorsed Obama have no credibility in criticizing Republicans?

I'm not loving on Fox (or any other news source, for that matter), but unless I've misunderstood you, your statement seems pretty wildly unfair.

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