My sister is looking for a little help for her gentleman friend’s pup-pup, Bubba. They got some bad news from the veterinarian that Bubba may have cancer and they need some financial assistance to get him the tests and treatments he’ll need. So they have set up a Gofundme page to take donations, please help if you can, even a couple bucks will do. Thanks!
On July 30 I signed up on Coursera to take their “verified certificate” version of the course Evolution: A Course for Educators, taught by Joel Cracraft and David Randle of the American Museum of Natural History. I figured it would be fairly easy given my background and the certificate would add a little something to my resume. So, as I said, I signed up, paid the $29 fee for the certificate got an email receipt back from Coursera and waited for the class to start on Aug. 3rd.
Aug. 3rd quickly rolls around and I get another email, ostensibly from Cracraft & Randle, welcoming me to the course.
Then I tried to log in and start the course only to get a 404 error message telling me that the page for the course isn’t there.
I contact Coursera and they send back the usual “use X browser & clear your cache” troubleshooting message. I was already using browser X and I cleared my cache but this has no effect and I inform Coursera of this.
Next I get an email telling me that the course I signed up for has “changed format” (apparently in a matter of days) and that I needed to “un-enroll” from the old course, get my money back and then re-enroll in the new version.
One problem though, the new “format” is $20 more than the old one!
I suggest to them that since I already paid the price they had asked for (and got a receipt & welcoming email etc.) that they should allow me access to the course.
They responded by refunding my money and telling me (in corporate happy talk) that it was too damn bad and that if I wanted to take the course I would have to cough up $49 dollars, going so far as to suggest that I look into their financial aide services if I thought that would help.
Well, instead of paying more money I am telling everyone I know about their bait and switch and asking that you pass this on on Facebook and Twitter and the like. Thanks!
[And I was so looking forward to the Dinosaur Paleobiology course they offer as well…]
Last weekend while I was awaiting delivery of my copy of Cambridge University historian of science Nick Hopwood‘s new book Haeckel’s Embryos: Images, Evolution, and Fraud (2015) on 19th century biologist Ernst Haeckel and his (in)famous embryo illustrations, (which I have written about a few times here an PCWP and elsewhere), I got a Facebook notification that I had been “tagged” in a post by my friend (in real life, not just Facebook) and colleague Dr. Nick Matzke. The somewhat cryptic post said the following:
Hey look who’s in the acknowledgements – Troy Britain
Attached to this comment was the following picture:
Thereafter the comments conversation between Nick M. and I went like this:
Me: Wait, wait, wait, this isn’t Hopwood’s new book is it (my copy is in route)?!
Nick: Yep it is!!
Me: Holy crap!
Apparently Professor Hopwood was kind enough to mention me (and Nick Matzke as well) in the acknowledgements section of his new book (page 304).
The relevant section reads as follows:
For crucial pieces of advice, I thank Thomas Brandstetter, Troy Britain, Solveig Jülich, Ron Ladouceur, Nick Matzke, Signe Nipper Nielsen, Ron Numbers, Jesse Olszynko-Gryn, and Constance Sommerey…
Quite an honor! All the more given the company of people like Nick Matzke, Ron Numbers and the rest.
Thank you Prof. Hopwood, you are too kind! And thank you for writing this book! It needed to be done and I look forward to reading it (or rather the rest of it, I’m up to chap. 3 already)!
Evolutionists Do It… With increasing complexity and diversity.
A brand new Evo-T inspired by an old National Center for Science Education bumper sticker, it comes in both men’s and women’s sizes and is sure to have creationists everywhere clutching their pearls in horror.
You know what comes next…