Where is Ukraine?

That’s what 2,066 Americans were asked in a survey.

This is where they put it:

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In case you can’t figure it out, the red dots are closer to Ukraine than the blue dots are. What’s really unbelievable is that some people put Ukraine in the middle of the U.S. I really hope they were joking.

But how could this get any worse? Political scientists from Dartmouth and Princeton tell us (from the Washington Post):

On March 28-31, 2014, we asked a national sample of 2,066 Americans (fielded via Survey Sampling International Inc. (SSI), what action they wanted the U.S. to take in Ukraine, but with a twist: In addition to measuring standard demographic characteristics and general foreign policy attitudes, we also asked our survey respondents to locate Ukraine on a map as part of a larger, ongoing project to study foreign policy knowledge. We wanted to see where Americans think Ukraine is and to learn if this knowledge (or lack thereof) is related to their foreign policy views. We found that only one out of six Americans can find Ukraine on a map, and that this lack of knowledge is related to preferences: The farther their guesses were from Ukraine’s actual location, the more they wanted the U.S. to intervene with military force.

So people who were the most unlikely to know where Ukraine is were more likely to say we should intervene militarily in Russia’s takeover of Crimea. Yeah, let’s send American troops to battle the Russians on the Russian border. I wonder how that would end?

Remember when Miley Cyrus was wholesome?

Once upon a time, there was a teenage singer who captured the hearts of the folks in the heartland:

At some point she realized that being wholesome could land you a comfortable gig and moderate success doing covers of country songs at Dollywood, but being slutty would make you a global phenom:

I give the kid credit. She knew where one image would lead her, so instead she chose super stardom. That’s an extremely smart business decision, and she’ll be a success for a very long time.

Bill Nye (the creationists’ guy)

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Bill Nye, a creationists’ best friend, at a Feb. 4 debate on evolution at the Creation Museum in Kentucky.

Remember a few weeks ago when Bill Nye “The Science Guy” went to the Creation Museum in Kentucky to hold a debate on evolution. In my non-blogging real life, I was telling anyone who would listen that he was a complete idiot for doing that.

Why?

Because there is no debate. Creationism is religion. Evolution is science. The only thing Nye would end up doing would be to draw more attention to the Creation Museum. And in the real world, publicity goes a lot further than “book learnin’.”

But Nye went and did it anyway. And the result was a disaster.

Why?

Because this was the state of things for the Creation Museum in 2012 (Via Yahoo News):

The people behind this museum are looking to erect something much bigger: a 160-acre park with a life-size replica of Noah’s Ark built to stand 500 feet long and 80 feet high. …

The group initially announced that it expected to break ground on the park in 2011, before eventually pushing that date back to 2014. But in June, in an interview in the Creation Museum’s “Noah’s Cafe,” Ark Encounter vice president Michael Zovath told Yahoo News that the group no longer has a date in mind for the construction to begin. It has been unable to raise sufficient amounts of money, despite pleas to the Creation Museum’s visitors to donate to the project.

“Fundraising is really tough,” Zovath said, blaming the recession. “It’s not moving so fast as we hoped.” The private LLC that is building the park would need to raise another $20 million before it can break ground, he said. So far, it’s taken in $5.6 million in donations and $17 million in private investments.

To add to the bad news, the Creation Museum is having its lowest attendance year yet. Last fiscal year, 280,000 people visited, compared to 404,000 the first year it opened in 2007.

And what happened after the Bill Nye debate? (Via NPR)

Ken Ham, the founder of the Creation Museum who last month debated TV personality Bill Nye “The Science Guy” pitting his Biblical literalism against Darwinian evolution, says the highly publicized showdown has been like manna from heaven for a foundering $73 million Noah’s Ark theme park. …

Nye is widely viewed as having won that debate, but Ham may have gotten the last word: On [Feb. 27] he announced that his Creation Museum’s proposed Noah’s Ark theme park, including a 510-foot replica of the Biblical vessel, had against all odds secured a last-minute $62 million municipal bond offering. The miracle was God’s, he said, but Nye also had something to do with it:

“The date of my debate with Bill Nye had been on our calendar several months before we knew the final delivery date of the Ark bonds. But in God’s timing, not ours—and although the bond registration had already closed before February 4 and no more bonds could be purchased— the high-profile debate prompted some people who had registered for the bonds to make sure they followed through with submitting the necessary and sometimes complicated paperwork.”

And that’s why Bill Nye can now take full responsibility for ratcheting up the dumbing down of America. He owes us all an apology.

As I’ve said before, there is more legitimate science in the theme song of “The Big Bang Theory” than there is in the entire Creation Museum.

Les vaches qui rient

OK, so that’s French and this video is in German, but the point’s the same. A laughing cow is a jumping cow:

Just another example of animals fully aware of their surroundings. They’ve been cooped up in a barn forever, and they probably knew they were set for slaughter. (And animals are aware when they’re about to be turned into meat. Stand outside an abattoir sometime, and listen to the screams.)

This is like watching a prisoner being released into the world after being stuck forever in solitary confinement.

Or like Tommy when he gets his senses back: