Astronomy, critical thinking, philosophy and pseudo-science are covered at Camp Quest.
One of the most popular exercises is the invisible unicorn challenge. The children are told there are two invisible unicorns who live at Camp Quest but that they cannot be seen, heard, felt or smelt, and do not leave a trace. A book about them has been handed down through the ages but it is too precious for anyone to see.
All counsellors – as the adults are called – are said to be staunch believers in these unicorns.
Any child who can successfully prove that the invisible unicorns do not exist is rewarded with a prize: a £10 note with a picture of Charles Darwin on it signed by Richard Dawkins, or a “godless” $100 bill, printed before 1957 when “In God We Trust” was added to paper currency in the US.
Since this challenge began in 1996, the prize has been unclaimed.
I visited Washington in the European Parliament, the Liberal andCentre Group Presidency with the beginning of the week. We met with U.S. Congressional representatives and financial experts. One of the most talked subjects had anti-counterfeiting agreement, Acta.
We heard some unexpected information. U.S. Congress senator responsible for ACTA foreign trade committee chairman Ron Wyden, said he’d tried to find out if Acta is binding towards US or not. Congress has been kept outside of the process for forming the treaty, and the senator has received no response to his inquiries.
We also got to hear that the U.S. government does not intend to give Congress a vote on the agreement as it would collapse in Congress, which is a pretty worrying rationale. According to the U.S. law, Congress always deals with international agreements.
The U.S. government characterized in a reply to Wyden that ACTA is a bilateral trade agreements and as such has no effect on U.S. law. The big question remains as to whether the Acta at all binding on the United States.
FLYING a skull and crossbones flag as part of their child’s pirate play has landed a Lincolnshire family in hot water with the district council.
The Tattershall couple have been instructed to take down the pirate flag from their garden because, the council says, it breaches advertising regulations.
Talk about over-sharing. As part of a safe sex marketing campaign for National Condom Week — which exists, apparently — Planned Parenthood gave away 55,000 condoms with smartphone-ready QR codes to college students for online check-ins.
Hey Honey… up for a little geo-caching tonight?
The husband of Canada’s ambassador to Libya was hired by SNC-Lavalin to work as part of the Montreal-based company’s joint project with the Gadhafi regime, CBC News has learned.
The initial project for the unit was a controversial $271-million prison in the North African country, known as the Gharyan Rehabilitation Institution or “Judicial City,” a SNC-Lavalin PowerPoint presentation from June 2010 shows, with hopes it would be followed by work on a highway, water and power plants, as well as a “military academy.”
Two senior executives have resigned, a representative has been arrested in Mexico for allegedly trying to help the colonel’s son to escape, and millions of dollars are missing (allegedly for bribes, enhanced by kickbacks). It is not clear if the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act applies to SNC-Lavalin.
“I wouldn’t want to whine,” Schiff said.
Bully is an unflinching new documentary about teenagers and bullying. Controversially the MPAA is giving it an R for “language”, preventing it’s subjects from seeing it, and refusing to change that rating. In response Harvey Weinstein is considering a leave of absence from the MPAA, 75,000 people signed an online petition urging the rating be overturned and now in retaliation the National Association of Theatre Owners is now threatening to give all Weinstein Company films an automatic NC-17 rating in future.
That is a truly scary quote but we’ll emphasize that: “The indictment focuses on the movement of funds outside the U.S.” and that you can’t just “flout US law” by not being in the US. What also needs to be understood is that the domain bodog.com was registered to via a non-US Registrar, namely Vancouver’s domainclip.
This is exactly the scenario we were worried about when Verisign originally tabled their very troubling takedown proposal. Said proposal was quickly retracted, but here we have the same situation playing out anyway. Granted, this was an actual court order, to Verisign – not a “request” from a governmental or “quasi-governmental” agency as originally proposed.
But at the end of the day what has happened is that US law (in fact, Maryland state law) as been imposed on a .com domain operating outside the USA, which is the subtext we were very worried about when we commented on SOPA. Even though SOPA is currently in limbo, the reality that US law can now be asserted over all domains registered under .com, .net, org, .biz and maybe .info (Afilias is headquartered in Ireland by operates out of the US).
This is no longer a doom-and-gloom theory by some guy in a tin foil hat. It just happened.
The ramifications of this are no less than chilling and every single organization branded or operating under .com, .net, .org, .biz etc needs to ask themselves about their vulnerability to the whims of US federal and state lawmakers (not exactly known their cluefulness nor even-handedness, especially with regard to matters of the internet).