21 October 2008

Dr. Corwin!

I successfully defended my dissertation yesterday, and as far as I know that makes me Dr. Corwin officially! You may all call me that now, at least until the novelty wears off.

15 October 2008

Local Election Information Sources

Many of you may have already made you choice in the McCain v. Obama (v. Nader v. McKinney v. Barr v. Baldwin v. Duncan v. Moore). However, have you made your choice in McKinley v. Moyer v. Wolpert, Russo v. O'Connor, Sikora v. Stratton, Leonard v. McCloud, or Gorniak v. Lewis? Who are these people? They are all candidates for state and local office that will appear on the ballot on Nov. 4. To find out what offices they are seeking or defending, look at the Franklin County Candidate List or your sample ballot.

Update (Oct. 17): The Ohio News Network has video of the Congressional and Ohio Attorney General debates.

The League of Women Votes has a very useful Voter Information Bulletin. The Franklin County Consortium for Good Government is hosting a series of Meet the Candidate Forums. Another good source of general non-partisan information is Project Vote Smart. More local information can be found in Dispatch Politics, which includes the endorsements by the Dispatch editorial board. Since I am a scientist, I am influenced by the candidate's answers to the Scientists & Engineers for America Congressional Questions. A useful tool for understanding who may be influencing candidates with their campaign contributions is Follow The Money.

For candidates who are or were part of the Ohio State legislature, you can access their votes for the current session by going to the current (2007-2008) session website, finding the relevant bill, and clicking "votes" in the left-hand column. For past votes (2003-2006 House, 2005-2006 Senate), find the bill in the search engine. When you find the bill, click "Status Report of Legislation" in the left-hand column. This will give you the dates of votes on this bill. Then look at the Legislative Journal for that date to see how the legislators voted.

Voter guides with explicit viewpoints and agendas are available.

For judicial candidates, gathering useful information is particularly difficult. They are represented in some of the vote guides above. Some judicial candidates have held other elective offices, and their records in those could be helpful in choosing how to cast your ballot. For those candidates who are judges or justices already, their records on the bench may be helpful. The Dispatch conducted investigations of 30 cases in which prison inmates had requested DNA testing; it reports the ongoing results on its Test of Convictions site. These investigations already freed one innocent man from prison. You could consider the conduct of the judges in these cases in your voting choices. If you want to get into the details of specific cases, you can find case information for the Franklin County Common Pleas Court and Ohio Supreme & Appeals Court decisions online.

13 October 2008

Secure in My Masculinity.

Your Surfing Habits are 60% Male, 40% Female

If we had to guess, we would guess that you are a man.

You use the internet to make your life more efficient - and to make you smarter.

For you, the internet is like a vast encyclopedia.

You search and surf extensively. You look up everything online.

10 October 2008

Special Events about Science, Evolution, Christianity, and Islam

Ohio State will experience a confluence of lectures and other events regarding the sometimes tumultuous interaction between science and religion. I have listed five events below.

The first four are courtesy of Prof. Fisher in the College of Biological Sciences. I am particularly excited to hear from Judge Jones who rendered the Kitzmiller decision. More details and important information can be found at the Ohio State University Libraries web site. The fifth event is not directly related to the other four; it is the Physics department's weekly colloquium and should appeal to similar interests.

October 20, 7:00 PM, Independence Hall: You are invited to two very special lectures, one given by Judge John Jones who presided over Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover area School Board and wrote the definitive opinion on teaching intelligent design in public schools.

October 21, 7:00 PM, Jennings Hall Auditorium: The second lecture will be given by Pulitzer Prize winning author, Ed Humes, who wrote Monkey Girl, the very readable chronicle of the Kitzmiller trial.

October 22, 2008, 3:00 PM 104 Aronoff Laboratory: "Evolution and Religion: Conflict, Contrast, or Conversation?" by Connie Bertka. Dr. Bertka is a geophysicist and former Director of the Program of Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is currently teaching a course on Contemporary Issues in Science and Religion at Wesley Theological Seminary.

October 22, 7:00 COSI and the Fawcett Center: ...we're having our annual religion and science panel discussion, live at COSI or by videolink to Fawcett Center. This year's panelists are: Joan Roughgarden, Stanford, Connie Bertka, Carnegie Mellon and Carol Anelli, Washington State. The panel is being moderated by David Brancaccio, host of PBS's NOW.

October 28, 4:00 p.m., Physics Research Building (PRB), Room 1080: Physics Colloquium presented by Pervez Hoodbhoy of Quaid-e-Azam University. With well over a billion Muslims, extensive material resources, and a history of brilliant scientific achievements, why has the Islamic world disengaged from science and the process of creating new knowledge? Although science is under pressure globally, and from every religion, a strong and growing anti-science component in the Muslim world threatens to keep Muslims away from modern thought and exacerbate conflicts locally and globally. How can science be made to return to the Islamic world, and what is it that the West needs to do for reducing its multi-faceted conflict with the Muslim world?

04 October 2008

October Travel & Defense Plans

This month will be busy with traveling and other events.