Enallagma civile


Photograph by Vivian Dullien.

Photography contest, Winner.

Enallagma civile sp. – familiar bluet damselfly, emerging from nymph cast, Echo Lake, Colorado.

20 votes were cast for the 7 finalists. Dr. Dullien’s splendid picture of the damselfly earned 8 of those votes and therefore is the winner of the 2017 contest. She will be awarded an autographed copy of Why Evolution Works (and Creationism Fails) by Matt Young and Paul Strode. The runner-up, with 6 votes, was Alan Rice’s frost pattern preserved in mud; Mr. Rice’s photograph will be displayed in 2 weeks.

Photography Contest IX: Finalists


Here are the finalists of the 2017 photography contest. We received 30 photographs from 11 photographers. We had considerable difficulty choosing seven finalists – most of the pictures were excellent, as you will no doubt see during the coming months. As before, we enlisted our wife to help with the choices, which are displayed below the proverbial fold. Unfortunately, the submissions did not lend themselves to being divided into categories, so we present one general category (which includes as much variety as we could muster). The text was written by the photographers and lightly edited for consistency.

The finalists are presented in alphabetical order of last name. Please look through their photographs before voting for your favorite. Polling will close Friday, August 4, at approximately 12:00 MDT.

Reed Cartwright contributed to this post.

Help Requested To Improve Website


I am looking for a volunteer or two who are skilled at designing websites to help with some outstanding requests here at the Panda’s Thumb. Basically, I am currently too busy to implement several of the features that have been requested by our authors and readers.

I am looking for someone with the following skills and experience.

  • Static website design (if you try to use PHP, Prof. Steve Steve will cut you)
  • Jekyll
  • Javascript, CSS, HTML
  • Git and GitHub

The source code for PT is hosted on GitHub and is built on an external server using Jekyll. Everything is served statically using Nginx. No PHP, CGI, Java, or other backends are used.

If you are interested in volunteering, please leave a comment below with evidence of your skillsets.


Photo contest ends...


… in 4 3 2 1 0 days, Wednesday, July 19 at noon, MDT.

Update, July 19: The deadline for submitting entries has passed. To be safe, though, I will list the names of those who have submitted photographs. If you submitted something to thousandwords@pandasthumb.org and your name does not appear, please contact us at pandasphotocontest@gmail.com. OK, here goes: DullienV, DullienR, Fugate, Andreas, RiceJ, RiceA, May, Kocher, Sturtevant, Susek, Phelps. If your name is not on the list and should be, please contact us right away.

Update, July 18: We have received a report that thousandwords@pandasthumb.org may not work properly, and a test message did not go through (or at least was not forwarded correctly). Please send submissions to pandasphotocontest@gmail.com.

If you did not get a response, please assume that your submission was not received and send it again to the pandasphotocontest address.

When is a for-profit corporation not for profit?


When it is owned by Ken Ham, of course. According to press reports in the Grant County News and the Lexington Herald Leader, the management of the Ark Park is resisting efforts by the City of Williamstown to collect a safety fee that will be used to upgrade police and fire protection because of Williamstown’s increased needs as a result of the Ark Park.

Ark Encounter, which owns the Ark Park, is a for-profit corporation and arguably should be subject to the tax. It is, however, owned by a nonprofit corporation, Crosswater Canyon. Mark Looy of Answers in Genesis has previously admitted that Ark Encounter is a for-profit corporation, but now he argues that they should be exempt from the tax because – you guessed it – Ark Encounter is owned by a nonprofit.

The Williamstown City Council, anticipating a possible lawsuit, has gone into executive session. According to an informant of ours, Williamstown, which was promised untold wealth if it permitted the Ark “replica” to be built there, barely has a coffee shop downtown, let alone the restaurants and hotels which were supposed to provide jobs and revenue. If you need gasoline or a tattoo, our informant implies, Williamstown is the place to go.

If I were inclined to schadenfreude, I might add that if something sounds too good to be true, it is probably being offered by grifters and charlatans. Nonetheless, it is hard not to feel sorry for the people of Grant County who will suffer as a result of this Ark Park nonsense. If Answers in Genesis decides to fight the safety fee, I think they will be adding injury to injury.