Sunday, July 15, 2007
Just not cricket ... the exclusion of Winston Churchill is likely to leave traditionalists aghast.
Britain's World War II prime minister Winston Churchill has been cut from a list of key historical figures recommended for teaching in English secondary schools, a government agency says.
The radical overhaul of the school curriculum for 11- to 14-year-olds is designed to bring secondary education up to date and allow teachers more flexibility in the subjects they teach, the Government said.
But although Adolf Hitler, Mahatma Gandhi, Joseph Stalin and Martin Luther King have also been dropped from the detailed guidance accompanying the curriculum, Sir Winston's exclusion is likely to leave traditionalists aghast.
A spokesman for the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority said the new curriculum, to be taught from September 2008, does not prescribe to teachers what they must include.
But he added: "Teachers know that they need to mention these pivotal figures. They don't need to be instructed by law to mention them in every history class.
"Of course, good teachers will be teaching the history of Churchill as part of the history of Britain. The two are indivisible."
Sir Winston's grandson Nicholas Soames, also a Conservative Member of Parliament, described the move as "madness."
"It is absurd. I expect he wasn't New Labour enough for them ... this is a Government that is very careless of British history and always has been.
"The teaching of history is incredibly important," he added.
"If you're surprised that people do not seem to care that much about the country in which they live, the reason is that they don't know much about it."
The History Curriculum Association said it was "appalled" by the move, saying the new curriculum would "promote ignorance" and was pandering to a politically-correct agenda.
The Conservatives' schools spokesman Michael Gove added: "Winston Churchill is the towering figure of 20th century British history.
"His fight against fascism was Britain's finest hour. Our national story can't be told without Churchill at the centre."
Schools Secretary Ed Balls defended the move, saying a slimmed-down curriculum was overdue and traditional elements in all subjects had been protected.
Among the few named figures that stay in the new history curriculum are William Wilberforce, the British law maker who was instrumental in efforts to abolish the slave trade.
Sir Winston, who was British prime minister from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955, was famous for his defiance to the Nazis, stirring oratory and trademark cigar and "V for victory" sign.
In 2002, a BBC poll with more than one million votes saw him voted the Greatest Briton of all time.
A terrorist website releases a tape of Osama Bin Laden, claiming it's new. And how do the MSM react? By rushing to air it, or in the case of wire services like AP, trumpet it in print. As of 6:30 A.M. EDT this morning, the AP story Bin Laden Appears in New al-Qaida Video was featured on Drudge.
There's only one problem. A senior Bush administration official informs this NewsBuster that:
"intelligence agencies have determined the video was previously aired as a portion of a longer show first on MBC TV (Middle East broadcast station) on April 17, 2002."
What's the result of the MSM's sloppy "air-first-verify-later" approach? The world’s most evil and despicable terrorists are given tons of free air time and print exposure.
Shades of the recent incident in which the MSM breathlessly promoted news of 20 beheaded bodies having been discovered in Iraq, only to have the story debunked within 48 hours.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
AUSTRALIAN physicists have discovered a method that could see atoms being teleported between Sydney and Perth and pave the way for possible Star Trek-like travel in the future.
The method involves cooling down a group of atoms and shooting lasers at them, making them "appear to disappear" before using transporting them along optic fibres at light speed to another location where they can be reconstructed.
The "simple" way of transporting atoms was developed by physicists Murray Olsen, Ashton Bradley, Simon Haine of the Australian Research Council Centre for Quantum-Atom Optics, and and Joseph Hope of ANU.
Dr Olsen told NEWS.com.au the method was very much like the Star Trek characters' favourite way to get back onto the ship.
The atoms are cooled to almost absolute zero, or -273C. At a billionth of a degree above this temperature, a quirk of physics makes all the atoms start behaving in the same way. Then the scientists zap them with two lasers.
“If you cool these atoms down enough ... in a condensate, they all enter the same quantum state,” Dr Olsen said.
“When a few thousand atoms are overlapping (and you hit them with the laser beams)… they basically disappear.
“We can use an optic fibre (to transport the signal at the speed of light) into a second condensate, which could be in another room, or another building, or another state.
“We’ve got the coldest thing in the universe and the fastest speed in the universe.”
He said the method could be being used in laboratories in the next four years, but didn't expect he would ever see humans teleported.
Dr Haine said the team’s method was a lot simpler than previous theories.
Dr Haine also said their method would reconstruct the atoms better once transported, compared to the “entanglement” theory.
“As our scheme doesn’t rely on the quality of the entanglement, it may be possible to achieve more accurate teleportation via this method,” Dr Haine said.
Another scientist at ANU, Dr John Close, intends to implement the experiments over the coming years