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Forward Thinking

An entirely subjective look at the week ahead

By COLETTE BANCROFT
Published October 3, 2005


NEXT: STORKS IN SEX ED?

The trial continues this week in a Harrisburg, Pa., lawsuit filed by eight families who want the teaching of intelligent design in science classes stopped. On Thursday, two newspaper reporters are scheduled to testify that school board members linked intelligent design and creationism in their discussions; board members deny it. Meanwhile, scientists from around the world are expressing their opposition to the Kansas Board of Education's proposal to require criticism of evolution in science classes; the board votes this month.

MORE SILLY SCIENCE

If you can't make it to Harvard on Thursday, go to www.improbable.com at 7:15 p.m. for the live Webcast of the 15th First Annual IgNobel Prize Ceremony. Presented by the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research, the Igs are handed out by real Nobel Prize winners and are intended to "celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative - and spur people's interest in science, medicine and technology." Among last year's winners were the authors of a report on "The Effect of Country Music on Suicide" and a father and son from Orlando who patented the combover.

TESTING THE TEST

On Saturday, the Florida Coalition for Assessment Reform holds a conference, "High Hopes, Not High Stakes: Changing the Impact of FCAT," at the University of South Florida College of Education in Tampa. The organization of educators, parents and students was born out of frustration with the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test and the changes it has forced in the way kids are taught. The conference is open to the public; for registration and information, go to www.fcar.info/

SIGNING UP TO HELP

Heather Graham (no, not the Austin Powers Heather Graham; this Heather Graham is the romance-suspense author of more than 100 books) has a new novel, Ghost Walk, the story of a New Orleans tour guide who specializes in the Big Easy's many haunted locales and finds herself enmeshed in murder. Graham, a Florida native, is donating proceeds from her book-signing tour to New Orleans relief. She will be signing at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Barnes & Noble at 2501 Tyrone Blvd. in St. Petersburg.

INTERNATIONAL BIRTHDAYS

Several world leaders celebrate birthdays this week. Vaclav Havel, playwright and former president of the Czech Republic, turns 69 on Wednesday. On Friday, Russian president Vladimir Putin turns 53, and Desmond Tutu, South African archbishop and Nobel Peace Prize winner, will be 74.

- COLETTE BANCROFT, Times staff writer, 727 893-8435 or bancroft@sptimes.com