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Teen Scientist Receives Glowing Review of Science Project about Glowing Seaweed

12:55 pm in Uncategorized by patrick devlin

cross posted at the demise

Strips of nori (edible seaweed used in sushi)

A Canadian teen’s science fair project found radiation in store bought seaweed products.

A Canadian teen has shamed the Canadian Government by exhibiting greater concern for her fellow Albertans than the state when, as part of a science fair project, she demonstrated that imported seafood found in local grocery stores has dangerously high levels of radiation.

Bronwyn Delacruz, a sophomore at Composite High School in Grande Prairie Alberta, using a $600 Geiger counter that her father bought for her, found higher levels of radiation than are considered to be safe by the International Atomic Energy Agency in store bought seafood products. Delacruz tested over 300 samples of edible seaweed found local stores that were imported from New Brunswick, British Columbia, California, Washington State, Japan and China for her science fair project.

The young scientist found that some of the samples of kelp that she tested contained radiation that was more than double the rate that is considered to be safe. “I think any dose of radiation can be harmful,” Delacruz told the Grande Prairie Daily Herald Tribune, adding that she is concerned that contaminated seafood products are “landing in our grocery stores.”

Delacruz’s findings prompted her to consider if the plume of deadly irradiated seawater that has been spewing unrelentingly from the earthquake ravaged nuclear plant in Fukushima, Japan for over 3 years may be tainting the seafood products that she purchased. Delacruz speculated that, given what is known about the ocean’s currents, radiation from the Fukushima disaster site “wouldn’t arrive (in Canadian waters until) about 2014 or 2013.” Though this is the case, the Canadian government discontinued sampling products imported from Japan in October 2012.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency did test products from Japan because of the nuclear disaster from the time of the incident in March 2011 until October 2012, admittedly testing fewer products than Delacruz. The national testers sampled over 250 products during the 18 months that they performed testing. The Canadian authority ceased testing Japanese exports deciding instead to rely upon Japan to test for radiation contamination. The national food inspecting agency told Metro News Calgary that, while it is “monitoring” events in Japan, it currently has no plans to perform additional testing on Japanese exports confidently stating, “Japanese controls on the sale of contaminated product remain intact.”

To test her hypothesis that the recently purchased products may be irradiated from the fallout of the Fukushima nuclear plant, Delacruz tested some pre-Fukushima nori that was in her kitchen cupboard (purchased in 2009) to find that this seaweed had about one third to half the measurable radiation than the products she purchase for her science fair project.

Ms. Delacruz won a gold medal for her scientific study at the regional Canada-Wide Science Fair in Peace River giving her entry into the national championship in Ontario next month. The aspiring scientist was prompted by her findings to begin a political campaign to petition the Canadian government to re-institute obligatory testing of imports and exports for radiation.

“I love seafood, and my whole family loves seafood,” Delacruz told the Daily Herald Tribune, “I would like the government to test before they ‘OK’ imports from other countries, because right now they’re just relying on other countries to do it for us.”

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Jesus schools taking US taxpayers for fools

9:05 pm in Uncategorized by patrick devlin

cross posted at the demise

Creationist decorated car: Evolution? The Fossils Say NO! Evolution is a Fairy Tale For Grownups

Are tax payer dollars supporting creationism in schools?

Reporter Stephanie Simon writing for Politico has reported on her findings after reviewing government subsidies granted to parents who choose to abandon public education and instead send their school age children to private schools, including hundreds of theological schools. Simon reports that in 2014 US taxpayers will pay nearly $1 billion to subsidize the private education, and in many cases this means the religious education and indoctrination, of grammar and secondary school children across America by providing publicly paid for “vouchers” to their parents.

The movement to expand the subsidization of private school religious indoctrination has been pushed by evangelical politicians who knowingly misrepresent their support of evangelical indoctrination by suggesting that they are simply lending a hand to parents who want to save their children from the terror of “failing public schools,” when their efforts are intended to fund ecumenical education at the expense of all Americans and to the impoverishment of the country’s public school systems.

While it is true that some political supporters of the concept of funding private schooling with US tax dollars are inspired by their support for the get-rich-quick-with-guaranteed-government-income-streams-and-bust-unions-at-the-same-time schemes also known as “charter schools” (Democratic mayor of blue state Chicago Rahm Emmanuel is a big supporter of the charter school projects that enrich private companies with tax dollars that otherwise would be spent on public schools), Simon focused her investigation on Christian institutions that that receive government dollars to teach American children and some of the educational (sic) materials that are used in in these theological schools. What Simon found in her review is that the materials and course outlines of publicly funded Christian learning centers “nurture disdain of the secular world, distrust of momentous discoveries and hostility toward mainstream scientists.”

Simon reports that one set of Christian textbooks that is widely used in private ecumenical schools refers to the theory of evolution as “a wicked and vain philosophy” and another is derisive of “modern math theories.” Simon goes on to report that, while most Americans may be aware that Abrahamic religious folklore is taught alongside the theory of evolution in Christian academy biology courses, many are not aware that Christian theological doctrine is infused through all course study in such schools. Simon advises that she found that math instructors take time away from teaching math to teach “biblical numbers” (presumably studying the biblical Book of Numbers) and in language classes students are taught spelling and language skills using example sentences such as; “Many scientists today are Creationists.”

Simon reports that a private school in Pennsylvania that is subsidized with taxpayer dollars advises potential students and their parents that they teach their students that their “understanding is not complete until we filter it through God’s word,” so that students will be able to “disprove the fake and vain philosophies of the world,” and a private Christian school in Georgia uses science classes to train students on how they can refute and argue against established scientific theories.

Furthermore, religious schools are not required to ensure that their curricula conforms with the educational standards that states set for their public grammar and secondary schools and religious schools are often exempted from state school testing regimes that public schools must adhere to.

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