“Eat your peas, Gregor”

July 20, 2011

Gregor Mendel was born July 20 in 1822.

Google’s doodle honors the man now generally regarded as the “father of modern genetics.”  The Washington Post blogs note, “Rare is the monk who gets to be celebrated for passing down his genes.”

Oblivious to Mendel’s work and significance, and to much else in the world of knowledge, the Texas State Board of Education debates how to frustrate the teaching of evolution with hearings in Austin tomorrow, and a vote on supplementary materials to texts in biology on Friday, July 22.

Mendel would urge, pray for Texas and the children who will be saddled with the decision of the Texas SBOE.

Look up something about Mendel.  Maybe we could all learn something from him.

Google doodle - gregormendel11-hp

Google Doodle honoring Fr. Gregor Mendel, "father of modern genetics"

For science, Bing loses badly to Google; not safe for school kids?

June 24, 2009

Have you tried Bing yet?

Nice pictures — the wallpaper is cooler than Google’s rather sterile white background.  I’m not much fond of the way Bing shows images, with some down the side when you check out another, but without any identifying data to help you figure out which ones to check out.

But I stumbled into a major problem:  At least on DDT, Bing favors the Tinfoil Hat Brigades™, featuring crank science almost exclusively on the first page in my early searches, compared to Google’s pointing first to the hard science.

Importantly, this tells me that Bing is not safe to assign to students doing research.

Bing will bear watching all summer.  Can they get it up to speed by the opening of schools in the fall?

Here’s the Google web search for “ddt”:

  1. DDT – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    – 2 visits – May 27

    DDT (from its trivial name, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) is one of the most well-known synthetic pesticides. It is a chemical with a long, unique,

  2. DDT, What is DDT? About its Science, Chemistry and Structure

    Find out about the science and chemistry of DDT (Banned Insecticide), see colourful images of DDT and explore interactive 3D molecules of DDT.

  3. DDT Ban Takes Effect | EPA History | US EPA

    – Jun 17

    The general use of the pesticide DDT will no longer be legal in the United States after today, ending nearly three decades of application during which time
    http://www.epa.gov/history/topics/ddt/01.htm – CachedSimilar

  4. DDT |Persistent Bioaccumulative and Toxic (PBT) Chemical Program

    Prior to 1972 when its use was banned, DDT was a commonly used pesticide. Although it is no longer used or produced in the United States, we continue to
    http://www.epa.gov/pbt/pubs/ddt.htm – CachedSimilar
    More results from www.epa.gov »

  5. News results for ddt

    The Associated Press
    EPA plans hearings on DDT deposit off SoCal coast‎ – 1 day ago

    “We have the worst DDT hotspot in the entire US,” he said. “That we’re still stuck with this horrible legacy decades later is awful.” From 1947 to 1971,

    The Associated Press231 related articles »

  6. What’s This?

    ATSDR – ToxFAQs™: DDT, DDE, and DDD

    – 2 visits – 10/28/07

    Sep 11, 2007 Exposure to DDT, DDE, and DDD occurs mostly from eating foods containing small amounts of these compounds, particularly meat,

  7. EPA plan targets vast DDT deposit off Calif. coast – Yahoo! News

    A plan to cap a vast, long-neglected deposit of the pesticide DDT on the ocean floor off Southern California got its first public airing Tuesday — nearly

  8. Silent spring – Google Books Result

    by Rachel Carson, Edward O. Wilson – 2002 – Nature – 378 pages
    Even if she had not inspired a generation of activists, Carson would prevail as one of the greatest nature writers in American letters” (Peter Matthiessen,…

  9. What’s This?

    Junkscience.com — 100 things you should know about DDT

    – 7 visits – 6/15/08

    Rachel Carson sounded the initial alarm against DDT, but represented the science of DDT The use of DDT under the regulations involved here do not have a
    http://www.junkscience.com/ddtfaq.html – CachedSimilar

  10. DDT : An Introduction

    Not many of us, though, are aware of what DDT is and how it works. This module is here to hopefully give you some insight into the science behind this

No crank science until #9 in the search. Compare it to Bing:

  • · Cached page
  • The third entry goes to a wrestling maneuver, the fifth entry is the biggest crank science site.  The ninth entry plunges back into crank science at its worst.   This is much improved since I tried it last night and got nothing but crank science (Bing is improving quickly).

    Note: Vaibhav has a post comparing Bing to Google, as he notes in comments.  You may want to check that out, too.  He’s sticking with Bing as default, though he finds Google serves his needs better.  Go figure.

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