Posts tagged news
Posts tagged news
Jenn Harris on The Los Angeles Times's Daily Dish blog:
Police are investigating an incident involving a Tampa, Fla., family who reported having hallucinations after eating meat found to be tainted with LSD last week.
After eating the meat last Monday, Ronnie became ill, and shortly after, Rosado and her husband were hospitalized. The two daughters, 6 and 7, said they experienced hallucinations. The family was released from the hospital later in the week.
How in the heck does that happen?
Trevor Graff and John Eligon for The New York Times:
Kansas’s highest court ruled on Friday that funding disparities between school districts violated the state’s Constitution and ordered the Legislature to bridge the gap, setting the stage for a messy budget battle in the capital this year.
The debate over school funding in Kansas heated up in the 1960s when the Legislature added an article to the Constitution that read, “the Legislature shall make suitable provision for finance” of public education. That led to a court case decades later that ended with lawmakers agreeing to provide $4,492 in base aid per student.
But because of the nationwide financial crisis, the Legislature never reached that level of spending. It went as high as $4,400 by the 2008-9 school year, but under Gov. Mark V. Parkinson, a Democrat, the figure began a downward slide, which has continued under Mr. Brownback. The figure is now $3,838, and Mr. Brownback called for maintaining it in a budget proposal he released in January.
The reduction in school financing over the years led to the current lawsuit.
I hadn’t heard a single thing about this battle until right now.
School funding is unfortunately pretty atrocious across a large part of the United States. A few years ago, the governor of my state suggested diverting $300 million of school construction bonds to plug a hole in the state’s budget.
Nick Anderson, The Washington Post:
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.
That only lasted eight years.
I wonder if this will have any impact on how family income and race correlate with SAT performance.
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.
Well that’s cool I guess.
Donald G. McNeil Jr., The New York Times:
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.
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.
PBS NewsHour had a segment last night with Atlantic Council senior fellow Adrian Karatnycky, who talked exclusively about Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. I’ve heard a lot about the protests and the opposition in the Ukraine, but not a whole lot about what’s been going on politically, so I found this pretty enlightening.
But a bill was already tabled for Mr. Yanukovych’s impeachment. And given the fact that firm majorities and veto-proof majorities have emerged in the Parliament and the elite, including many of Mr. Yanukovych’s former backers, is — is working hand in glove with the opposition suggests that the signal’s being sent that his future is not very secure, even through institutional means.
Karatnycky sees several signs that Yanukovych is going to be ousted in the very near future.
UPDATE: Whoops, he was ousted a few hours before I had this link scheduled to be posted. Karatnycky was right! 8)
ESPN staff report:
Video game player turned racing driver Jann Mardenborough has been taken on by Red Bull’s driver development programme and will race in the GP3 series this year for Arden.
Mardenborough won the Playstation GT Academy in 2011 - a competition based around the computer game Gran Turismo - and has been working his way through the motorsport ranks ever since. Last season he competed in Formula 3, at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and took part in tests in both GP3 and Formula Renault 3.5.
'Ili: What if all video games were like that.
'Ili: Being really good at Call of Duty gets you drafted into the army.
'Ili: Okay never mind
Colin: What would happen if you got really good at Mario?
'Ili: The Koopa War is a hell to be.
Colin: I was thinking more like, do a lot a mushrooms, hang out in sewers.
'Ili: I don't think that's something you need recruits for.
'Ili: btw wanna do shrooms and hang out in a sewer tomorrow
Colin: You know it
Andrew Fazekas on National Geographic's StarStruck blog:
Reports of the demise of China’s Jade Rabbit (Yutu in Chinese) lunar rover appear greatly exaggerated. The rover looks to have survived a long, cold night on the moon.
According to state-run media Xinhua, Chinese mission engineers managed to restore communication with the moon buggy late this week, after much angst over a technical malfunction that officials dubbed a “mechanical control abnormality.” The problems started in late January just as the rover entered a hibernation state during the two-week-long lunar nights.
The surprising rover resurrection comes only a day after the troubled explorer was declared dead by China.
ROBOT ZOMBIES HAVE CONQUERED THE MOON
Vanessa Thorpe, The Guardian:
Danny Cohen, head of the BBC’s television output, has promised viewers that the corporation will not make any more all-male comedy panel shows.
Following recommendations made by the BBC Trust last year, Cohen has underlined his determination to see women appearing in the habitually macho environment of panel shows such as QI and Mock the Week. Talking to the Observer about his plans for better representing his audiences on screen, Cohen said: “We’re not going to have any more panel shows with no women on them. It’s not acceptable.”
That’s cool. Women are hilarious, we need more of them in comedy.
This is “TEMPEST,” the ending theme from Resident Evil: Director’s Cut Dual Shock Ver. This specific version of the game, a second release of the director’s cut remake, also included a new score by Japanese composer Mamoru Samuragochi. I’m an enormous fan of this piece of music, especially the part at 1:27 when the Resident Evil Big Band muscles in for a fifteen second performance.
Japan was rather stunned last week by Samuragochi’s admission that he’s been using a ghostwriter for almost twenty years. Martin Fackler reporting for The New York Times:
On Thursday, Japan learned that one of its most popular musical figures, Mamoru Samuragochi, 50, had staged an elaborate hoax in which someone else had secretly written his most famous compositions, and that he had perhaps even faked his hearing disability.
Across a nation long captivated by Western classical music, people reacted with remorse, outrage and even the rare threat of a lawsuit after Mr. Samuragochi’s revelations that he had hired a ghostwriter since the 1990s to compose most of his music. The anger turned to disbelief when the ghostwriter himself came forward to accuse Mr. Samuragochi of faking his deafness, apparently to win public sympathy and shape the Beethoven persona.
Takashi Niigaki, a composer and university lecturer who has conducted several pieces by Samuragochi, has come forth claiming to be the ghostwriter. His impetus to come clean now is that one of the pieces he wrote for Samuragochi, “Sonatina for Violin,” is the piece that figure skater Daisuke Takahashi will use for his short program at the Olympics. The Japanese Skating Federation will be stripping Samuragochi’s name from the program.