FOOTBALL AND FOSSIL FUELS: Vested interests in action

Posted in News Last updated on: Monday, 06 February 2017

A climb to dominance, disruptive discoveries, a fight for survival...

Football and fossil fuels might not be connected but they've followed similar arcs. Both give us a classic look at vested interests and the binds that big money creates.


The NFL admits there's a link between hits and CTE.

Ken Stabler and Tyler Sash are the latest deceased NFL players whose brains showed CTE.  Two promising players in their early twenties retire out of concussion concerns. Pop Warner youth football is sued by the family of a player who later committed suicide.

The NFL isn't the only organization worried about concussions: U.S. Soccer has outlawed heading the ball for youth soccer players 10 and under; see story here.  Women's soccer star Brandi Chastain has announced she'll donate her brain for concussion research.

CRITICAL THINKING: More critical than ever. So are teachers.

Posted in News Last updated on: Tuesday, 15 November 2016

It's 1:00 am, election night 2016.  Teachers, do you know where your critical thinking module is?

ALTERNATIVE FACTS CAN KILL YOU: My family's 300-year history with fake news

Posted in News Last updated on: Tuesday, 07 February 2017

fake newsThe year was 1950.  As a lark, the tiny magazine that my father wrote for published this photo of an alleged 27-inch alien who was said to have crashed outside Mexico City.

The picture had come from a flying saucer fanatic and was so obviously faked that the staff thought no reader would take it seriously.  Instead, the issue sold out and the story went national.  The office phone rang off the hook.  People called in confirming they’d seen the craft.  The magazine had inadvertently discovered the future readership of Weekly World News, the tabloid that revealed the location of the Garden of Eden (it’s in Colorado) as well as the 43 entrances to Hell.

That same audience has bequeathed us the dreamscape we all now inhabit, a place where no claim is too ludicrous to be bandied and believed.  Perhaps you took heart at the defeat of the candidate for the Texas State Board of Education who declared that Barack Obama had worked as a gay prostitute and that climate change is a hoax started by Karl Marx.  Consider, though, that she pulled in 41% of the vote.  What’s going on?

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