The SAT college admission test will no longer require a timed essay, will dwell less on fancy vocabulary and will return to the familiar 1600-point scoring scale in a major overhaul intended to open doors to higher education for students who are now shut out.
The College Board also pledged to offer new test-preparation tutorials for free online, enabling students to bypass pricey SAT-prep classes previously available mostly to affluent families looking to give their children an edge.
Researchers are reporting that injections of long-lasting AIDS drugs protected monkeys for weeks against infection, a finding that could lead to a major breakthrough in preventing the disease in humans.
Two studies by different laboratory groups each found 100 percent protection in monkeys that got monthly injections of antiretroviral drugs, and there was evidence that a single shot every three months might work just as well.
If the findings can be replicated in humans, they have the potential to overcome a major problem in AIDS prevention: that many people fail to take their antiretroviral pills regularly.
Just an animal trial, so let’s hope it’s effective in humans too. Long-term vaccination might be preferable to the pre-exposure prophylaxis treatment requiring periodic shots that’s under study, but all progress is progress.
Mission Specialist Bruce McCandless II, is seen further away from the confines and safety of his ship than any previous astronaut has ever been. This space first was made possible by the Manned Manuevering Unit or MMU, a nitrogen jet propelled backpack. After a series of test maneuvers inside and above Challenger’s payload bay, McCandless went “free-flying” to a distance of 320 feet away from the Orbiter. This stunning orbital panorama view shows McCandless out there amongst the black and blue of Earth and space.
Timothy Snyder wrote a summary for The New York Review of Books on what’s been going on in Ukraine: what lead to the protests, what happened during the protests, and what’s been happening since Viktor Yanukovych’s deposition both there and in Russia.
As specialists in Russian and Ukrainian nationalism have been predicting for weeks, the claim that the Ukrainian revolution is a “nationalist coup,” as Yanukovych, in Russian exile, said on Friday, has become a pretext for Russian intervention. This now appears to be underway in the Crimea, where the Russian flag has been raised over the regional parliament and gunmen have occupied the airports. Meanwhile, Russia has put army battle groups on alert and sent naval cruisers from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea.
Whatever course the Russian intervention may take, it is not an attempt to stop a fascist coup, since nothing of the kind has taken place. What has taken place is a popular revolution, with all of the messiness, confusion, and opposition that entails. The young leaders of the Maidan, some of them radical leftists, have risked their lives to oppose a regime that represented, at an extreme, the inequalities that we criticize at home. They have an experience of revolution that we do not.
Snyder’s stance is very pro-Ukraine; one of the thrusts of his piece is that the revolution there has been distorted by pro-Yanukovych and pro-Russia propaganda. I’m not saying this as a value judgment or to discredit him, because I’m pretty much 100% on his side.
Davey Wreden, author of the game The Stanley Parable, on his feelings after the game’s critical acclaim and inclusion of many “game of the year” lists:
To help myself better understand and isolate the feeling of depression around the GotY awards, I wrote and drew a comic to explain what I had been feeling. It was simply the best expression I had for the thoughts and emotions that were running through my head at the time at the time, I just wanted to put it into some words to help make it less nebulous and unknowable. I wanted something I could hold in front of myself and say “This. This is what I am experiencing.” It’s nice to get it out of your head.
The point of the comic was purely just to clarify that financial and critical success does not simply make your insecurities go away. If you were insecure about other peoples’ opinions of you and addicted to praise in order to feel good about yourself, the dirty truth is that there is no amount of praise you can receive that will make that insecurity goes away. What fire dies when you feed it?
George Gene Gustines on The New York Times's ArtsBeat blog:
In putting together “Stripped,” a documentary exploring the art and evolution of newspaper comic strips, Dave Kellett and Fred Schroeder, the co-directors, interviewed more than 70 cartoonists. One of the biggest gets was Bill Watterson, the reclusive creator of “Calvin and Hobbes,” the beloved newspaper strip about a mischievous boy and his stuffed tiger, which ran from 1985 to 1995.
Watterson even drew them some poster art, which is pretty neato.
One of Colin’s and my favorite films of 2012 was The Raid: Redemption. Somehow I failed to notice that a trailer for the sequel, The Raid 2: Berandal, has been around since last year. Looks like it’s going to be intense.
I love the way this trailer is structured, by the way. Builds up to something fierce, yet doesn’t really give away any part of the plot.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who took over the league from David Stern on February 1, had some strong words about this, as reported by Tim Bontemps for the New York Post:
"I have mixed feelings, because I’m enormously proud that the first openly gay player is playing in the NBA," Silver told The Post in a phone interview prior to Sunday’s game. "On the other hand, this is so long overdue that I don’t think this should necessarily be on the list of the greatest accomplishments of the NBA.
"This is an area where no one in sports should be too proud. Sports has led society in so many critical areas … this is one where we fell behind."
Colin: As he would agree, it’s sad that that that attitude is so surprising