Posts tagged news

  1. world-shaker:

sciencecenter:

Tevatron shuttered after 27 years due to lack of funding
Formerly the world’s most powerful particle accelerator (before CERN, of course), the Tevatron at Fermilab in Chicago was responsible for discovering the top quark, among other contributions to particle physics. According to scientists at Tevatron, the group was closing in on the elusive Higgs boson, an undiscovered particle tying the Standard Model of particle physics together. Friday marked the last time the particle beams would be turned on at the facility, due to a decision by the federal government to cease funding the lab. The annual budget of the Tevatron? $35 million.
Just for reference, $35 million would fund the Afghanistan war for 144 minutes.

I really feel restricted because I can’t express just how angry this makes me (I try to avoid profanity on the blog). But this pisses me off.
No, let’s just cede another global leadership position because screw science, right? Who needs it? It’s ASTOUNDING how anti-science this country has become. It’s cool. We’ll let Switzerland pick up another victory. Maybe we can all just get a little fatter and dumber, then let bought-and-paid-for-by-lobbyists politicians tell us our tax dollars are being “wasted” on things like “space shuttles” and “arguably the most important scientific discovery of our generation.” 
Tell me: What do we have now? They killed the space shuttle program. They’ve killed our particle accelerator. What’s left? What grand scientific American project remains? What embodies the spirit of America ingenuity, determination, or pioneering scientific attitude?
This is an embodiment of what is fundamentally wrong with America. This project could be funded for an entire year if we used what we currently spend in Afghanistan every 144 minutes. 
Dear Congress: They’re called “priorities.” And yours are royally screwed up.

    world-shaker:

    sciencecenter:

    Tevatron shuttered after 27 years due to lack of funding

    Formerly the world’s most powerful particle accelerator (before CERN, of course), the Tevatron at Fermilab in Chicago was responsible for discovering the top quark, among other contributions to particle physics. According to scientists at Tevatron, the group was closing in on the elusive Higgs boson, an undiscovered particle tying the Standard Model of particle physics together. Friday marked the last time the particle beams would be turned on at the facility, due to a decision by the federal government to cease funding the lab. The annual budget of the Tevatron? $35 million.

    Just for reference, $35 million would fund the Afghanistan war for 144 minutes.

    I really feel restricted because I can’t express just how angry this makes me (I try to avoid profanity on the blog). But this pisses me off.

    No, let’s just cede another global leadership position because screw science, right? Who needs it? It’s ASTOUNDING how anti-science this country has become. It’s cool. We’ll let Switzerland pick up another victory. Maybe we can all just get a little fatter and dumber, then let bought-and-paid-for-by-lobbyists politicians tell us our tax dollars are being “wasted” on things like “space shuttles” and “arguably the most important scientific discovery of our generation.”

    Tell me: What do we have now? They killed the space shuttle program. They’ve killed our particle accelerator. What’s left? What grand scientific American project remains? What embodies the spirit of America ingenuity, determination, or pioneering scientific attitude?

    This is an embodiment of what is fundamentally wrong with America. This project could be funded for an entire year if we used what we currently spend in Afghanistan every 144 minutes.

    Dear Congress: They’re called “priorities.” And yours are royally screwed up.

  2. Missouri judge blocks Facebook limits for teachers

    world-shaker:

    A new Missouri law prohibiting teachers from having private online conversations with students suffered a double setback Aug. 26. First, a judge blocked it from taking effect because of free speech concerns. Then, the governor called for its repeal.

    The law limiting teacher-student conversations through social networking sites such as Facebook had been scheduled to take effect Aug. 28. But Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem issued a preliminary injunction blocking it until at least February, saying the restrictions “would have a chilling effect” on free speech rights.

    Good. This is a topic that should be addressed, but this all-out blanket approach doesn’t work.

    Our state put this into place this year, too, and my first thought was, “Really?  Isn’t that ILLEGAL?”  I have never added current students as FB friends by personal choice because I do not want them to have access to that side of my private life, but I do not think that the government should have the right to meddle in teachers’ private, non-school-time, non-school-affiliated internet usage.  That has struck me as an infringement of Constitutional freedoms.  I am glad to see this issue being brought up for examination in the courts.  Not everything that gets done to teachers is okay, contrary to popular opinion.

  3. Decline and Rebirth

    world-shaker:

    To our great shame, among the 20 major advanced countries America now has

    • the highest poverty rate, both generally and for children;
    • the greatest inequality of incomes;
    • the lowest government spending as a percentage of GDP on social programs for the disadvantaged;
    • the lowest number of paid holiday, annual, and maternity leaves;
    • the lowest score on the United Nations’ index of “material well-being of children”;
    • the worst score on the United Nations’ gender inequality index;
    • the lowest social mobility;
    • the highest public and private expenditure on health care as a portion of GDP,

    yet accompanied by the highest

    • infant mortality rate;
    • prevalence of mental health problems;
    • obesity rate;
    • portion of people going without health care due to cost;
    • low-birth-weight children per capita (except for Japan);
    • consumption of antidepressants per capita;

    This is why I drink in the morning.