Instruction in Latin
The Latin language is still taught in many parts of the world. In many countries it is offered as an optional subject in some secondary schools and universities, may be compulsory for students in certain institutions or following certain courses. For those wishing to learn the language independently, there are online resources. For the most part, the language is treated as a written language in formal instruction. Although Latin was once the universal academic language in Europe, academics no longer use it for writing papers or daily discourse. Furthermore, the Roman Catholic Church, as part of the Vatican II reforms in the 1960s, modernized its religious liturgies to allow less use of Latin and more use of vernacular languages. Nonetheless, the study of Latin has remained an academic staple into the 21st century. Most of the Latin courses offered in secondary schools and universities are geared toward translating historical texts into modern languages, rather than using Latin for direct oral communication.
As such, they treat Latin as a written dead language, although some works of modern literature such as Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe, Paddington Bear, Winnie the Pooh, The Adventures of Tintin, Harry Potter, Le Petit Prince, Max und Moritz, Peter Rabbit, Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat have been translated into Latin in order to promote interest in the language. Conversely, proponents of the Living Latin movement believe that Latin can be taught in the same way that modern "living" languages are taught, i.e. by incorporating oral fluency and listening comprehension as well as textual skills. This approach offers speculative and stylistic insight into how ancient authors spoke and incorporated sounds of the language, as patterns in Latin poetry and literature can be difficult to identify without an understanding of the sounds of words. Living Latin can be seen in action in Schola, a social networking site where all transactions are in Latin, including conversations in real-time in the site's locutorium.
Institutions that offer Living Latin instruction include the University of Kentucky. In Great Britain, the Classical Association encourages this approach, Latin language books describing the adventures of a mouse called Minimus have been published; the Latinum podcast, teaching conversational Classical Latin, is broadcast from London. There are several websites offering Nuntii Latini which cover international matters: in Finland, in Bremen/Germany, on Radio Vatican. In the United States, the National Junior Classical League encourages high school students to pursue the study of Latin, the National Senior Classical League encourages college students to continue their studies of the language. Many international auxiliary languages have been influenced by Latin. Latino sine Flexione is a language created from Latin with its inflections dropped, that laid claim to a sizable following in the early 20th century. Latin is not offered by the mainstream curriculum. Many schools private schools, offer many languages in year 7 to expose the student to languages as possible electives.
Alternatively, many universities or colleges offer the subject for students should they desire to study it. Latin is optionally taught. Most students can choose Latin as one of the two majors. Other majors may be Greek, science, humane sciences or modern languages. One third of "ASO" students learn Latin for a number of years. Latin is optionally taught in secondary schools. Latin is optionally studied in French secondary schools. In Germany Latin is a choice for the compulsory second language at the Gymnasium together with French and sometimes Spanish, Russian etc. Nearly one third of students at the Gymnasium learn Latin for a number of years, a Latin certificate is a requirement for various university courses, it is the third most popular language learnt in school after English and French, ahead of Spanish or Russian. In some regions majority-Catholic ones such as Bavaria, it is still popular, to the point that more than 40% of all grammar school students study Latin. However, in Eastern Germany where educational traditions were broken during the communist period, it does not command much popularity.
The teaching of Latin has a long history in Greece. Latin is today compulsory for high school students who wish to study law and political sciences and humanities, is one of the four subjects tested in Greek examinations for entry into university-level courses in these fields. In high school, the subject is taught in a detailed manner that has provoked criticisms. Latin until was quite popular in secondary schools. Latin is now not taught, but can be taken as an optional subject in some secondary schools. In Italy, Latin is compulsory in secondary schools such as the liceo classico and liceo scientifico, which are attended by people who aim to the highest level of education. In liceo classico, regarded as "Italy's best and most elitist school", Ancient Greek is a compulsory subject too. Italian high schools other than liceo classico and liceo scientifico do not include the subjects Latin and Ancient Greek. About one third of Italian high school graduates have taken Latin for fiv
Libertarian Party (United States)
The Libertarian Party is a political party in the United States that promotes civil liberties, non-interventionism, laissez-faire capitalism and shrinking the size and scope of government. The party was conceived at meetings in the home of David F. Nolan in Westminster, Colorado in 1971 and was formed on December 11, 1971 in Colorado Springs, Colorado; the founding of the party was prompted in part due to concerns about the Nixon administration, the Vietnam War and the end of the gold standard. The party promotes a classical liberal platform, in contrast to the Democratic Party's modern liberalism and progressivism and the Republican Party's conservatism. Gary Johnson, the party's presidential nominee in 2012 and 2016, states that the Libertarian Party is more culturally liberal than Democrats, more fiscally conservative than Republicans. Current fiscal policy positions include lowering taxes, abolishing the Internal Revenue Service, decreasing the national debt, allowing people to opt out of Social Security and eliminating the welfare state, in part by utilizing private charities.
Current cultural policy positions include ending the prohibition of illegal drugs, advocating criminal justice reform, supporting same-sex marriage, ending capital punishment and supporting gun ownership rights. Many Libertarians believe in lowering the drinking age. While it is the third largest political party in the United States by voter registration, it has no members in Congress, state legislatures, or governorships. There are 511,277 voters registered as Libertarian in the 31 states that report Libertarian registration statistics and Washington, D. C; the Libertarian Party was the party under which the first electoral vote was cast for a woman for Vice President in the 1972 United States presidential election due to a faithless elector. The first Libertarian National Convention was held in June 1972. In 1978, Dick Randolph of Alaska became the first elected Libertarian state legislator. Following the 1980 federal elections, the Libertarian Party assumed the title of being the third-largest party for the first time after the American Independent Party and the Conservative Party of New York continued to decline.
In 1994, over 40 Libertarians were elected or appointed, a record for the party at that time. 1995 saw a soaring voter registration for the party. In 1996, the Libertarian Party became the first third party to earn ballot status in all 50 states two presidential elections in a row. By the end of 2009, 146 Libertarians were holding elected offices. Tonie Nathan, running as the Libertarian Party's vice presidential candidate in the 1972 presidential election with John Hospers as the presidential candidate, was the first female candidate in the United States to receive an electoral vote; the 2012 election Libertarian Party presidential candidate, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, received the highest number of votes—more than 1.2 million—of any Libertarian presidential candidate at the time. He was renominated for president in 2016, this time choosing former Massachusetts Governor William Weld as his running mate. Johnson/Weld shattered the Libertarian record for a presidential ticket, earning over 4.4 million votes.
Both Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein received more news coverage in 2016 than third-party candidates get, with polls showing both candidates increasing their support over the last election among younger voters. Though the party has never won a seat in the United States Congress, it has seen electoral success in the context of state legislatures and other local offices. Three Libertarians were elected to the Alaska House of Representatives between 1978 and 1984 and another four to the New Hampshire General Court in 1992. Neil Randall, a Libertarian, won the election to the Vermont House of Representatives in 1998 and was re-elected until 2002, which marked the last time to date a Libertarian was elected to a state legislature. Rhode Island State Representative Daniel P. Gordon was expelled from the Republicans and joined the Libertarian Party in 2011. In July 2016 and June 2017, the Libertarians tied their 1992 peak of four legislators when four state legislators from four different states left the Republican Party to join the Libertarian Party: Nevada Assemblyman John Moore in January, Nebraska Senator Laura Ebke and New Hampshire Representative Max Abramson in May and Utah Senator Mark B.
Madsen in July. In the 2016 election cycle and Abramson did not run for re-election to their respective offices while Moore lost his race after the Libertarian Party censured him over his support of taxpayer stadium funding. Ebke was not up for re-election in 2016. New Hampshire Representative Caleb Q. Dyer changed party affiliation to the Libertarian Party from the Republican Party in February 2017. New Hampshire Representative Joseph Stallcop changed party affiliation to the Libertarian Party from the Democratic Party in May 2017. New Hampshire State Legislator Brandon Phinney joined with the Libertarian Party from the Republican Party in June 2017, the third to do so in 2017 and matching their 1992 and 2016 peaks of sitting Libertarian state legislators. In January 2018, sitting New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands Aubrey Dunn Jr. changed party affiliation from Republican to the Libertarian Party, becoming the first Libertarian statewide officeholder in history. In 1972, "Libertarian Party" was chosen as the party's name, selected over "New Liberty Party".
The first official slogan of the Libertarian Party was "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch" (abbreviated "TANSTAAFL
Bill Nye the Science Guy
Bill Nye the Science Guy is an American half-hour live action science program, syndicated by Walt Disney Television to local stations from September 10, 1993 to June 20, 1998 and aired on PBS from 1994 to 1999. It was hosted by Bill Nye; the show aired for 100 half-hour episodes spanning five seasons. Known for its quirky humor and rapid-fire MTV-style pacing, the show won critical acclaim and was nominated for 23 Emmy Awards, winning nineteen. Studies found that people that viewed Bill Nye were better able to generate explanations and extensions of scientific ideas than non-viewers. While performing in a sketch comedy television show in Seattle called Almost Live! during the 1980s, Nye cultivated a science-explaining TV persona. One famous incident on the show led to his stage name, he corrected another host, John Keister, on his pronunciation of the word "gigawatt", the nickname was born when Keister responded, "Who do you think you are—Bill Nye the Science Guy?" In 1993, he developed a Bill Nye the Science Guy pilot for PBS member station KCTS-TV in Seattle.
Nye collaborated with James McKenna, Erren Gottlieb and Elizabeth Brock to plan and create the show for KCTS. The group pitched the show, he obtained underwriting from the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Energy. Nye's program became part of a package of syndicated series that local stations could schedule to fulfill Children's Television Act requirements; because of this, Bill Nye the Science Guy became the first program to run concurrently on both public and commercial stations. Nye plays a hyper-kinetic slender scientist wearing a blue lab coat and a bow-tie, he combines the serious science of everyday things with fast-paced humor. Each half-hour show begins with a cold open, where Nye introduces the episode's topic, which leads into an opening credit sequence, featuring Nye in a computer animated scientifically world, along with his head spinning, radio frequencies, plastic toy dinosaurs flying. In seasons, the theme song was cut short by a static screen. After the opening credits, announcer Pat Cashman would say "Brought to you by...", in which a product name was related to the episode's topic, followed by Nye walking onto the set, called "Nye Laboratories", filled with scientific visuals including many "of science" contraptions announced relevant to the topic of the episode.
Parodies of movies and television shows configure the facts of the episode's topic. Guest appearances included Christopher Walken, Samuel L. Jackson, Harrison Schmitt, Jenna von Oÿ, Robin Leach, John Ratzenberger, Ross Shafer, Graham Kerr, Gene Siskel, Roger Ebert, Bob Ross, Willard Scott, Richard Karn, Kenny G, Pat Sajak, Vanna White, Cirque Du Soleil, Suzanne Somers, The Flying Karamazov Brothers, Pat Cashman, John Keister, Candace Cameron, Alfonso Ribeiro, Edgar Martínez, Nate McMillan, Drew Barrymore, Taran Noah Smith; each episode featured Nye in diverse places, where he interviews people to talk about their work and other contributions, focusing on the episode's topic. "Vivian Cupcake" was a recurring skit on Bill Nye the Science Guy. In these skits, Nye portrayed Vivian Cupcake, where she demonstrated scientific recipes, "Richie, Eat Your Crust" was a recurring skit, featuring Nye and the Family Crust. There are several individual segments that are featured in each episode, such as "Way Cool Scientist", which features an expert on the episode's topic, "Consider the Following", where Nye discusses a certain aspect of the episode's topic, "Nifty Home Experiment", where the audience is shown how to do a simple home experiment relating to the episode's topic, "Try This", where the audience is shown how to try a simple demonstration relating to the episode's topic, "Hey!
Look at This", where the expert shows us how to give us a closer look by relating to the episode's topic, "Check it Out", where the audience is shown how to affect their environmental issues by relating to the episode's topic, "Clever Science Trick", where the audience is shown how to do a simple science trick relating to the episode's topic, "Did you know that...", where an interesting factoid related to the episode's topic was presented. "Luna Van Dyke, Private Eye" was one of the recurring segments on the show. The segments featured private eye Luna Van Dyke focusing on a story, related to the episode's topic. Most half-hour episodes contain a mock song parody and music video in the "Soundtrack of Science" by "Not That Bad Records". "Not that bad" is a catchphrase that Nye will say in those episodes, substituting a scientific roundup of the episode for the lyrics to a popular song. This is the last segment of each episode; each half-hour show ends with Nye saying, "Well, that's our show. Thanks for watching.
If you'll excuse me, I've got some..." before explaining his departure in a clever description of an activity on topic, followed by him saying "See ya!" afterwards. After that, a female announcer says "Produced in association with the National Science Foundation"; the credits rolled over bloopers from the episode. In a study that evaluated the pacing of 87 popular children's programs, Bill Nye the Science Guy was found to be the fastest-paced show on television, with a pacing score of 56.90. The show was created in 1992 by Bill Nye, James McKenna and Erren Gottlieb, produced by McKenna/Gottlieb Producers, Inc, in partnership with KCTS in Seattle; the following year, the production companies entered a distribution agreement with Buena Vista Television, a subsidiary of Disney. As part of the agreement, the profits of the show were split between Disney and the production team, with Disney owning full distribution rights across broadc
Fraternities and sororities
Fraternities and sororities, or Greek letter organizations, are social organizations at colleges and universities. A form of the social fraternity, they are prominent in the United States, with small numbers of non-residential fraternities existing in France and the Philippines. Similar organizations exist in other countries as well, including the Studentenverbindungen of German-speaking countries. Similar, but much less common, organizations exist for secondary school students, as do fraternal orders for other adults. In modern usage, "Greek letter organization" is synonymous with the terms "fraternity" and "sorority". Two additional types of fraternities, professional fraternities and honor societies, incorporate some limited elements of traditional fraternity organization, but are considered a different type of association. Traditional fraternities of the type described in this article are called "social fraternities". Membership in a fraternity or sorority is obtained as an undergraduate student but continues, for life.
Some of these organizations can accept graduate students as well as undergraduates, per constitutional provisions. Individual fraternities and sororities vary in organization and purpose, but most share five common elements: Secrecy Single-sex membership Selection of new members on the basis of a two-part vetting and probationary process known as rushing and pledging Ownership and occupancy of a residential property where undergraduate members live A set of complex identification symbols that may include Greek letters, armorial achievements, badges, hand signs, passwords and colorsFraternities and sororities engage in philanthropic activities, host parties, provide "finishing" training for new members such as instruction on etiquette and manners, create networking opportunities for their newly graduated members; the first fraternity in North America to incorporate most of the elements of modern fraternities was Phi Beta Kappa, founded at the College of William and Mary in 1775. The founding of Phi Beta Kappa followed the earlier establishment of two other secret student societies that had existed at that campus as early as 1750.
In 1779 Phi Beta Kappa expanded to include chapters at Yale. By the early 19th century, the organization transformed itself into a scholastic honor society and abandoned secrecy. In 1825, Kappa Alpha Society, the oldest extant fraternity to retain its social characteristic, was established at Union College. In 1827, Sigma Phi and Delta Phi were founded at the same institution, creating the Union Triad; the further birthing of Psi Upsilon, Chi Psi and Theta Delta Chi collectively established Union College as the Mother of Fraternities. It should be noted that the social fraternity Chi Phi, although formed in 1854, traces its roots to 1824, oldest.org considers it the oldest social fraternity. Fraternities represented the intersection between dining clubs, literary societies and secret initiatory orders such as Freemasonry, their early growth was opposed by university administrators, though the increasing influence of fraternity alumni, as well as several high-profile court cases, succeeded in muting opposition by the 1880s.
The first fraternity meeting hall, or lodge, seems to have been that of the Alpha Epsilon chapter of Chi Psi at the University of Michigan in 1845, leading to a tradition in that fraternity to name its buildings "lodges". As fraternity membership was punishable by expulsion at many colleges at this time, the house was located deep in the woods; the first residential chapter home, built by a fraternity, is believed to have been Alpha Delta Phi's chapter at Cornell, with groundbreaking dated to 1878. Alpha Tau Omega became the first fraternity to own a residential house in the South when, in 1880, its chapter at the University of the South acquired one. Chapters of many fraternities followed suit and less building them with support of alumni. Phi Sigma Kappa's chapter home at Cornell, completed in 1902, is the oldest such house still occupied by its fraternal builders. Sororities began to develop in 1851 with the formation of the Adelphean Society Alpha Delta Pi, though fraternity-like organizations for women didn't take their current form until the establishment of Pi Beta Phi in 1867 and Kappa Alpha Theta in 1870.
The term "sorority" was invented by a professor of Latin who felt the word "fraternity" was inappropriate for a group of ladies. The first organization to use the term "sorority" was Gamma Phi Beta, established in 1874; the development of "fraternities for women" during this time was a major accomplishment in the way of women's rights and equality. By mere existence, these organizations were defying the odds; the first "Women's Fraternities" not only had to overcome "restrictive social customs, unequal status under the law and the underlying presumption that they were less able than men," but at the same time had to deal with the same challenges as fraternities with college administrations. Today, both social and multicultural sororities are present on more than 650 college campuses across the United States and Canada; the National Panhellenic Conference serves as the "umbrella organization" for 26 national sororities. Founded in 1902, the NPC is one of the oldest and largest women's membership organizations, representing more than 4 million women at 655 college/university campuses and 4,500 local alumnae chapters in the U.
S. and Canada. In 1867, the Chi Phi fraternity established its Theta chapter at the University of Edi
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical depiction of working-class life, epitomized by the Simpson family, which consists of Homer, Bart and Maggie; the show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture and society and the human condition. The family was conceived by Groening shortly before a solicitation for a series of animated shorts with producer James L. Brooks. Groening created a dysfunctional family and named the characters after his own family members, substituting Bart for his own name; the shorts became a part of The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. After three seasons, the sketch was developed into a half-hour prime time show and became Fox's first series to land in the Top 30 ratings in a season. Since its debut on December 17, 1989, 659 episodes of The Simpsons have been broadcast, it is the longest-running American sitcom, the longest-running American scripted primetime television series in terms of seasons and number of episodes.
The Simpsons Movie, a feature-length film, was released in theaters worldwide on July 27, 2007, grossed over $527 million. On October 30, 2007, a video game was released; the Simpsons is on its thirtieth season, which began airing September 30, 2018. The Simpsons was renewed for a thirty-first and thirty-second season on February 6, 2019, in which the latter will contain the 700th episode; the Simpsons received acclaim throughout its first nine or ten seasons, which are considered its "Golden Age". Time named it the 20th century's best television series, Erik Adams of The A. V. Club named it "television's crowning achievement regardless of format". On January 14, 2000, the Simpson family was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, it has won dozens of awards since it debuted as a series, including 31 Primetime Emmy Awards, 30 Annie Awards, a Peabody Award. Homer's exclamatory catchphrase "D'oh!" has been adopted into the English language, while The Simpsons has influenced many other adult-oriented animated sitcoms.
However, it has been criticized for a perceived decline in quality over the years. The Simpsons is known for its wide ensemble of supporting characters; the main characters are the Simpson family, who live in a fictional "Middle America" town of Springfield. Homer, the father, works as a safety inspector at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, a position at odds with his careless, buffoonish personality, he is married to a stereotypical American housewife and mother. They have three children: a ten-year-old troublemaker and prankster. Although the family is dysfunctional, many episodes examine their relationships and bonds with each other and they are shown to care about one another. Homer's dad Grampa Simpson lives in the Springfield Retirement Home after Homer forced his dad to sell his house so that his family could buy theirs. Grampa Simpson has had starring roles in several episodes; the family owns a dog, Santa's Little Helper, a cat, Snowball V, renamed Snowball II in "I, -Bot". Both pets have had starring roles in several episodes.
The show includes an array of quirky supporting characters, which include Homer's co-workers Lenny Leonard and Carl Carlson, the school principal Seymour Skinner and teachers Edna Krabappel and Elizabeth Hoover, neighbor Ned Flanders, friends Barney Gumble, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Milhouse Van Houten, Nelson Muntz, extended relatives Patty and Selma Bouvier, townspeople such as Mayor Quimby, Chief Clancy Wiggum, tycoon Charles Montgomery Burns and his executive assistant Waylon Smithers, local celebrities Krusty the Clown and news reporter Kent Brockman. The creators intended many of these characters as one-time jokes or for fulfilling needed functions in the town. A number of them subsequently starred in their own episodes. According to Matt Groening, the show adopted the concept of a large supporting cast from the comedy show SCTV. Despite the depiction of yearly milestones such as holidays or birthdays passing, the characters do not age between episodes, appear just as they did when the series began.
The series uses a floating timeline in which episodes take place in the year the episode is produced though the characters do not age. Flashbacks and flashforwards do depict the characters at other points in their lives, with the timeline of these depictions generally floating relative to the year the episode is produced. For example, in the 1991 episode "I Married Marge", Bart appears to be born in 1980 or 1981, but in the 1995 episode "And Maggie Makes Three", Maggie appears to be born in 1993 or 1994. A canon of the show does exist, although Treehouse of Horror episodes and any fictional story told within the series are non-canon. However, continuity is limited in The Simpsons. For example, Krusty the Clown may be able to read in one episode, but may not be able to read in another. Lessons learned by the family in one episode may be forgotten in the next; some examples of limited continuity include Sideshow Bob's appearances where Bart and Lisa flashback at all the crimes he committed in Springfield or when the characters try to remember things that happened in previous episodes.
The Simpsons takes place in the fictional American town of Springfield in an unknown and impossible-to-determine U. S. state. The show is intentionally e
A debunker is a person or organization who attempts to expose or discredit claims believed to be false, exaggerated, or pretentious. The term is associated with skeptical investigation of controversial topics such as UFOs, claimed paranormal phenomena, conspiracy theories, alternative medicine, religion, or exploratory or fringe areas of scientific or pseudoscientific research. According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, to "debunk" is defined as: "to expose the sham or falseness of."If debunkers are not careful, their communications may backfire – increasing an audience's long-term belief in myths. Backfire effects can occur if a message spends too much time on the negative case, if it is too complex, or if the message is threatening; the American Heritage Dictionary traces the passage of the words bunk and debunker into American English in 1923 as a belated outgrowth of "bunkum", of which the first recorded use was in 1828 related to a poorly received "speech for Buncombe County, North Carolina" given by North Carolina representative Felix Walker during the 16th United States Congress.
The term debunk originated in a 1923 novel Bunk, by American journalist and popular historian William Woodward, who used it to mean to "take the bunk out of things."The term "debunkery" is not limited to arguments about scientific validity. Stephen Barrett writes on medical quackery. Brian Dunning produces the podcast Skeptoid. Stanton Friedman has debunked debunking attempts on other UFO cases. Martin Gardner was a mathematics and science writer who extensively debunked parapsychology in his magazine articles and books. Susan Gerbic is the founder and leader of Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia which has the mission of improving the skeptical content of Wikipedia, she has focused her skeptical activism at debunking famous "psychics" such as Sylvia Brown, Chip Coffey and Tyler Henry. Harry Houdini debunked spiritualists. Ray Hyman is a psychologist, known for debunking some parapsychological studies. Philip Klass was a pioneer in the field of skeptical investigation of UFOs. Alan Melikdjanian is a debunker of viral videos and hoaxes on the internet deconstructing them and explaining the post production techniques and software used to create the illusions.
Donald Menzel was Philip Klass' predecessor in debunking UFOs. Joe Nickell writes for the Skeptical Inquirer. Penn & Teller are an entertainment team who demystify magic tricks and illusions, they have debunked many other aspects of popular belief on their show, Penn & Teller: Bullshit!. Dorothy Dietrich a professional magician and Houdini expert and historian. Has been put in charge of Houdini's grave site, is the founder of The Houdini Museum in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Phil Plait is an astronomer and science writer who's speciality is fighting pseudoscience related to space and astronomy, he established Badastronomy.com to counter public misconceptions about astronomy and space science, providing critical analysis of pseudoscientific theories related to these subjects. Basava Premanand, founder of Indian CSICOP and the Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations, has exposed various Indian "god-men" and was known for being the most fierce critic of Sathya Sai Baba and his frauds. James Randi has exposed "psychics" and others claiming to have paranormal powers.
Carl Sagan was a noted astronomer who debunked purported close encounters such as the Betty and Barney Hill abduction, pseudoscience such as Immanuel Velikovsky's Worlds in Collision. Michael Shermer, executive director and founder of the non-profit organization The Skeptics Society, editor-in-chief of the group's magazine, Skeptic. Britt Marie Hermes is a prominent debunker of naturopathy having once practised as a naturopath. Benjamin Radford is an American writer and skeptic who has authored, coauthored or contributed to over twenty books and written over a thousand articles and columns debunking topics such as urban legends, unexplained mysteries and the paranormal. Committee for Skeptical Inquiry The Skeptics Society The MythBusters, a program on the Discovery Channel. Two former special effects technicians, Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, test the validity of urban legends; the National Institute of Standards and Technology debunked the World Trade Center controlled demolition conspiracy theories.
Popular Mechanics has released several publications debunking 9/11 conspiracy theories, in particular those mentioned in Loose Change. Snopes validates urban legends. Quackwatch The website Bad Astronomy, by astronomer Phil Plait, debunks astrology and other myths related to the sky. James Randi Educational Foundation American Council on Science and Health Australian Professorial Fellow Stephan Lewandowsky and John Cook, Climate Communication Fellow for the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland co-wrote Debunking Handbook, in which they warn that debunking efforts may backfire. Backfire effects occur when science communicators accidentally reinforce false beliefs by trying to correct them, a phenomenon known as belief perseverance. Cook and Lewandowsky offer possible solutions to the backfire effects as described in different psychological studies, they recommend spending little or no time describing misconceptions because people cannot help but remember ideas that they have heard before.
They write "Your goal is to increase people's familiarity with the facts." They recommend providing fewer and clearer arguments, c
Delaware is one of the 50 states of the United States, in the South-Atlantic or Southern region. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, north by Pennsylvania, east by New Jersey and the Atlantic Ocean; the state takes its name from Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr, an English nobleman and Virginia's first colonial governor. Delaware occupies the northeastern portion of the Delmarva Peninsula. It's the sixth most densely populated. Delaware's largest city is Wilmington; the state is divided into the lowest number of any state. From north to south, they are New Castle County, Kent County, Sussex County. While the southern two counties have been predominantly agricultural, New Castle County is more industrialized. Before its coastline was explored by Europeans in the 16th century, Delaware was inhabited by several groups of Native Americans, including the Lenape in the north and Nanticoke in the south, it was colonized by Dutch traders at Zwaanendael, near the present town of Lewes, in 1631.
Delaware was one of the 13 colonies participating in the American Revolution. On December 7, 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the Constitution of the United States, has since been known as "The First State"; the state was named after the Delaware River, which in turn derived its name from Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr, the ruling governor of the Colony of Virginia at the time Europeans first explored the river. The Delaware Indians, a name used by Europeans for Lenape people indigenous to the Delaware Valley derive their name from the same source; the surname de La Warr is of Anglo-Norman origin. It came from a Norman lieu-dit La Guerre; this toponymic could derive from the Latin word ager, from the Breton gwern or from the Late Latin varectum. The toponyms Gara, Gaire appear in old texts cited by Lucien Musset, where the word gara means gore, it could be linked with a patronymic from the Old Norse verr. Delaware is 96 miles long and ranges from 9 miles to 35 miles across, totaling 1,954 square miles, making it the second-smallest state in the United States after Rhode Island.
Delaware is bounded to the north by Pennsylvania. Small portions of Delaware are situated on the eastern side of the Delaware River sharing land boundaries with New Jersey; the state of Delaware, together with the Eastern Shore counties of Maryland and two counties of Virginia, form the Delmarva Peninsula, which stretches down the Mid-Atlantic Coast. The definition of the northern boundary of the state is unusual. Most of the boundary between Delaware and Pennsylvania was defined by an arc extending 12 miles from the cupola of the courthouse in the city of New Castle; this boundary is referred to as the Twelve-Mile Circle. Although the Twelve-Mile Circle is claimed to be the only territorial boundary in the United States, a true arc, the Mexican boundary with Texas includes several arcs, many cities in the South have circular boundaries; this border extends all the way east to the low-tide mark on the New Jersey shore continues south along the shoreline until it again reaches the 12-mile arc in the south.
To the west, a portion of the arc extends past the easternmost edge of Maryland. The remaining western border runs east of due south from its intersection with the arc; the Wedge of land between the northwest part of the arc and the Maryland border was claimed by both Delaware and Pennsylvania until 1921, when Delaware's claim was confirmed. Delaware is with the lowest mean elevation of any state in the nation, its highest elevation, located at Ebright Azimuth, near Concord High School, is less than 450 feet above sea level. The northernmost part of the state is part of the Piedmont Plateau with rolling surfaces; the Atlantic Seaboard fall line follows the Robert Kirkwood Highway between Newark and Wilmington. A ridge about 75 to 80 feet in elevation extends along the western boundary of the state and separates the watersheds that feed Delaware River and Bay to the east and the Chesapeake Bay to the west. Since all of Delaware is a part of the Atlantic coastal plain, the effects of the ocean moderate its climate.
The state lies in the humid subtropical climate zone. Despite its small size, there is significant variation in mean temperature and amount of snowfall between Sussex County and New Castle County. Moderated by the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay, the southern portion of the state has a milder climate and a longer growing season than the northern portion of the state. Delaware's all-time record high of 110 °F was recorded at Millsboro on July 21, 1930; the all-time record low of −17 °F was recorded at Millsboro on January 17, 1893. The transitional climate of Delaware supports a wide variety of vegetation. In the northern third of the state are found Northeastern coastal forests and mixed oak forests typical of the northeastern United States. In the southern two-thirds of the state are found Middle Atlantic coastal forests. Trap Pond State Park, along with areas in other parts of Sussex County, for example, support