1:55pm

Thu March 15, 2012
The Two-Way

Arizona Telescope Sets New Standard For Optical Astronomy

Lab testing of the LBT adaptive secondary mirror system.
Large Binocular Telescope

A telescope in Arizona has taken some of the clearest pictures ever of distant celestial objects, including the first images of the innermost planet in a planetary system 127 light years from Earth. They achieved this astronomical tour de force using something called adaptive optics, a technique that eliminates the blurring caused by the Earth's atmosphere.

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1:40pm

Thu March 15, 2012
Middle East

For Fleeing Syrians, Jordan Offers Bare-Bones Refuge

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 7:39 am

A family of Syrian refugees in a camp set up near the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the Syrian border. Jordan has welcomed Syrian refugees, but has limited resources to help them.
Khalil Mazraawi AFP/Getty Images

If you're trying to escape the turmoil in Syria for the calm in Jordan, you have two choices.

You can go the legal way. Just get in a car and try to drive across the border. But that's not very easy these days. The Syrian government isn't letting many people out.

Or you can try the illegal way. Wait until nightfall, climb through a barbed-wire fence. It sounds dodgy, but if you make it over, you'll actually be welcomed by the Jordanian army. Troops will take your name, give you a drink of water, let you rest.

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1:19pm

Thu March 15, 2012
The Two-Way

Sen. Lugar Declared Ineligible To Vote In His Home District

Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Voting along party lines, the Marion County Election Board decided that Richard Lugar, the Republican senator from Indiana, was ineligible to vote in his home precinct.

The Indianapolis Star reports that the board agreed with its staff attorney that according to state law Lugar had abandoned his residency when he sold his house and moved to the Washington area.

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1:13pm

Thu March 15, 2012
It's All Politics

Review: 15-To-1 Spending Advantage Netted Romney Two Third-Place Showings

Mitt Romney and the superPAC supporting him spent more than 15 times as much as Rick Santorum and the superPAC backing him on television ads in Alabama and Mississippi, according to an NPR analysis of data collected by Kantar Media's CMAG unit and reported by the Washington Post.

Santorum won both primaries on Tuesday; Romney finished third in both states.

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1:07pm

Thu March 15, 2012
Afternoon News Roundup

Connecting the Dots: Afternoon edition for Thursday, March 15, 2012

 

Public employees are in the spotlight this week. In the coming weeks, Ward v. Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is expected to impact how the state handles hiring. In the case, former Chief Dentist James Ward at Ironwood State Prison was offered a permanent position when, in fact, there only existed a temporary one. Now that the job has fallen through, laws about who can offer state jobs have been called into question...

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1:01pm

Thu March 15, 2012
Fast Start

Getting the trains to the station

California’s high-speed rail project has taken a beating over the past couple of months. The price tag for building the super fast train is now expected to be almost $100 billion, more than twice what voters approved in 2008. The High-Speed Rail Authority, which is designing and planning the project, has to convince voters – and an increasingly skeptical Legislature – that funding high-speed rail is feasible.

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1:00pm

Thu March 15, 2012
The Two-Way

First Neutrino Message Sent Through Rock; Could One Travel Back In Time?

What if we could shoot a message through the center of the planet and back in time?
NASA

"Researchers from the University of Rochester and North Carolina State University have for the first time sent a message using a beam of neutrinos — nearly massless particles that travel at almost the speed of light," U of R reports.

And they pushed the message — which simply spelled out the world "Neutrino" — through "240 meters of stone" (787 feet).

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12:54pm

Thu March 15, 2012
Arts & Culture

The Black Brothers

Photo courtesy of www.black-brothers.com

This song sounds Irish – and it is. But the Black Brothers, who perform it, live in the Bay Area. Brother Michael is a lecturer at San Francisco State University, and brother Shay has a weekly Irish show in Berkeley.

This Saturday the Black Brothers will be at the Larkspur Theater, in Larkspur, for St. Patrick’s Day!  Their performance begins at 8pm, following a documentary about Irish Step Dancing. 

12:43pm

Thu March 15, 2012
Asia

Provocative Chinese Cartoonists Find An Outlet Online

Originally published on Sat March 17, 2012 3:40 am

In this illustration by a Chinese cartoonist who goes by the name Rebel Pepper, an anglerfish, representing the Chinese Communist Party, hypnotizes smaller fish, representing the Chinese people, with the glowing image of a famous, model soldier — with the implied intention of devouring them while they're distracted.
Courtesy Rebel Pepper

Chinese cartoonists have used the Internet in recent years to take aim at the Communist Party. Using Twitter-like microblogs, they try to slip past censors and skewer their government in ways that would have been unthinkable a generation ago.

One of their targets this month is an old-fashioned Communist propaganda campaign extolling the virtues of Lei Feng, a model People's Liberation Army soldier who was devoted to his fellow workers and China's leaders — and who has been dead for half a century.

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12:37pm

Thu March 15, 2012
The Salt

USDA To Give Schools More Ground Beef Choices After Outcry Over 'Pink Slime'

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 12:16 pm

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it will give schools alternatives to ground beef made with what critics have called "pink slime."
mcnsonbrg@yahoo.com iStockphoto.com

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has weighed in on the use of so-called pink slime in beef served in the government's free and reduced-price school lunch program.

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