Category Archives: Points of Information

Undefeated youth football team banned from playoffs for being too good

How’s this for teaching kids the wrong lessons: League officials have banned an undefeated youth football team from the playoffs because they are too good. The other teams in the league feared they lose if they played them again.

Update: Teaching kids the joy of winning instead of the misery of “fairness.” Key quote:

Every week you’ve been told that the important thing is just to have a good time. Well, this week it’s going to be different. The number one goal is to win; the number two goal is to have a good time. But I assure you: if you win, you will have a much better time!

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A high school production of To Kill a Mockingbird cancelled due to political correctness

Freedom of speech alert: A high school production of To Kill a Mockingbird was cancelled because of the play includes the word “nigger.” The absurdity of this is incredible. Not only was this how people spoke during the time period described in the book, Harper Lee’s book was central in bringing about the end to racial discrimination.

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Update on Mount Merapi eruption

More on the continuing eruption of Mount Merapi in Indonesia. Key quote:

The Volcano Mitigation and Geological Disaster Agency warned of worse in store as magma pushed towards the surface from depths of 6-8km, compared with a maximum 2km deep when the mountain previously erupted in 2006. “This is the scenario I dislike the most, because the deepest magma is pushing up now,” said the agency’s chief, Surono. “The eruptions haven’t stopped, the tremors are getting stronger and one big explosion could be the result. I’ve never seen it act like this. We don’t know what to expect.”

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Bankruptcy of U.S. government “mathematical certainty” says banker

The former CEO of one of the nation’s largest banks says that unless the federal government gets its budget under control, bankruptcy is a “mathematical certainty.” I especially like this quote from the CEO, John Allison, in describing the past history of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mack:

“I was on a committee, a Financial Services Roundtable, for nine years trying to do something about Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae,” said Allison. “You couldn’t help but see it coming,” he said. “You ran the numbers, particularly the last several years, and it was mathematically certain Freddie and Fannie were going bankrupt.”

“We met with Congress. We met with [House Financial Services Chairman] Barney Frank and [Senate Banking Chairman] Chris Dodd and they absolutely wouldn’t see it,” said Allison.

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AARP raises employee premiums because of Obamacare

You can’t put lipstick on this pig! AARP, which backed healthcare reform because it thought it would lower costs, has announced that due to healthcare reform it will raise the premiums its employee pay by 8 to 13 percent. Meanwhile, privacy advocates are raising alarms about the federal health database being set up under the healthcare bill.

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An Early Warning System for Asteroid Impact

In a paper posted tonight on the Los Alamos astro-ph website, an astronomer is proposing an early warning system for asteroid impact. Key quote from the abstract:

This system, dubbed “Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System” (ATLAS), comprises two observatories separated by about 100km that simultaneously scan the visible sky twice a night, and can be implemented immediately for relatively low cost. The sensitivity of ATLAS permits detection of 140m asteroids (100 Mton impact energy) three weeks before impact, and 50m asteroids a week before arrival. An ATLAS alarm, augmented by other observations, should result in a determination of impact location and time that is accurate to a few kilometers and a few seconds.

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Watching the Deep Impact flyby of Hartley 2

Watch the Deep Impact flyby of Hartley 2 this instant (11:06 AM eastern)! The images are incredible. Update: The fly-by is over, but the live stream is still available (as of 11:30 am Eastern), showing some of the images taken. The comet itself is a peanut-shaped object about two miles long, with a jet of water coming out one end.

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Overhaul of NASA’s Deep Space communication system completed

NASA has completed a significant upgrade of its Deep Space communication system. These unheralded antennas and the engineers who maintain them make it possible for scientists to communicate with the far flung planetary probes in orbit around Venus, Mars, and Saturn, as well as the spacecraft visiting comets or traveling beyond the edge of the solar system.

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