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- Tuesday, March 19, 2013:
Metro Silver Line likely to get a $5 million haircut
Metro's new Silver Line could suffer nearly $5 million in cuts in federal funding. The money comes from the Federal Transit Administration's roughly $2 billion program called New Starts, which could take at least a 5 percent across-the-board haircut because of the federal sequestration.
Chris Paolino, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), said the agency "hasn't heard anything so we don't know what's going to happen" in terms of its fiscal 2013 funding from New Starts.
When asked why the Washington Post had written what is esse...
- Tuesday, November 20, 2012:
Newsday Tuesday: Introducing the HOT Lanes
New Beltway express lanes lead to crashes and changes
The Capital Beltway's new lanes have been open to the public for just a few days, but it's already time for a bit of a makeover. A spate of accidents at the entrance to the northbound 495 express lanes, all stemming from last-minute maneuvers to avoid the new lanes, has transportation authorities scrambling to make changes.
A spokesman for VDOT argued that Northern Virginian drivers should be used to constant lane changes by now. "While the HOT lanes were under construction, we played a game where we shifted the southbound 495 lanes to the right an extra foot every day. No one complained until they realiz...
- Tuesday, August 02, 2011:
NASA's Juno to circle Jupiter for 'planetary recipe'
The US space agency plans to launch next week a solar-powered spacecraft called Juno that will journey to the gassy planet of Jupiter in search of how the huge, stormy giant was formed. [...] With its fiery red eye and a mass greater than all planets in the solar system combined, excluding the Sun, Jupiter is intriguing to astronomers because it is believed to be the first planet that took shape around the Sun.
When asked why the Sun, which is a star and not a planet, was explicitly excluded from a list of planets, the editor stated that he was still relying on the Associated Press for math and science...
- Tuesday, November 23, 2010:
Almost Newsday Tuesday
The triumphant return of Newsday was going to cover West Potomac's recent decision to let cheaters retake tests , following closely on the heels of the decision to more closely emulate child sports (where everyone gets a paper plate award and no one is special) by replacing F's with Incompletes on report cards. However, I was robbed of this material by the principal's decision to reverse both policies . Once again common sense gets in the way of humour.
I'm not surprised at the reports of inexorably increasing levels of cheating in schools. Many of the average students I've gone to school with or taught over the years couldn't think their way out of a mime's box, and Internet searches from desperate ...
- Tuesday, May 11, 2010:
Boy Scouts Offer New Merit Pin -- for Video Gaming
The Boy Scouts of America -- a group founded on the principles of building character and improving physical fitness -- have introduced a brand new award for academic achievement in video gaming, a move that has child health experts atwitter.
Taking their cue from the popular online game, World of Warcraft , some cash-strapped local councils are also planning to convert their Cub Scout packs completely into online entities on the Scoutcrusher server. Said one den mother, "Building character in WoW is the next logical step for Cub Scouts in the 21st century -- there are Cooking skills and ...
- Tuesday, April 27, 2010:
Plans to allow women and gays, ban smoking shake world of Navy submarines
Imagine 150 fraternity brothers packed into a container the size of a three-bedroom house. Announce you are breaking hallowed traditions by taking away their cigarettes and admitting women. Then lock the doors and push the container deep into the sea, for months at a time. That's what the Navy, after decades of contemplation and controversy, has decided to do with its Submarine Force [...]
Not every sailor was buying into the controversy though, since many were aware from their junior college years just how rank a fraternity house can get. Said one petty officer, "I heard that chick...
- Tuesday, September 22, 2009:
Flu Trackers Encourage Patients to Blog About It
Think you have the flu? In some places, you can now go directly to the Internet and report your symptoms to officials eager to spot outbreaks. Say you feel sick, but before you see a doctor you search the Web for information, or blog or Twitter about the flu. Your worries will be detected by companies prowling the Internet for disease trends.
Researchers suggest a preemptive exclusion of Myspace from its monitoring, since the symptoms of being emo or "a member of a thrash metal band that hasn't quite made it big" are textually identical to the flu, resulting in too many false positives.
- Tuesday, September 08, 2009:
Your Brain Is Organized Like a City
A big city might seem chaotic, but somehow everything gets where it needs to go and the whole thing manages to function on most days, even if it all seems a little worse for the wear at the end of the day. Sound a bit like your brain? Neurobiologist Mark Changizi sees strikingly real similarities between the two.
This article was written by the LiveScience staff, whose news site has brought us such hard-hitting Newsday Tuesday fodder as People are Too Dumb To Understand a Weather Forecast and Some People Are Happier But Other People Are Sadder Now . If scientific reporting were any softer it w...
- Tuesday, August 18, 2009:
Squeaking by on $300,000
Birch Hill is a majestic property of tender grasses and low stone walls and a whimsical sculpture next to the swimming pool. To the untrained eye, the long economic downturn as viewed from here and beyond [...] has been hard to see or feel. [...] Laura Steins doesn't mind saying that she is barely squeaking by on $300,000 a year. She lives in a place where the boom years of Wall Street pushed the standard of living to astonishing heights. Where fifth-graders shop at a store called Lester's that sells $114 tween-size True Religion jeans. Where a cup of fresh spinach and carrot juice called the Iron Maiden costs $7.95.
- Tuesday, July 28, 2009:
Infectious Diseases Head for Tornado Alley
The Department of Homeland Security relied on a rushed, flawed study to justify its decision to locate a $700 million research facility for highly infectious pathogens in a tornado-prone section of Kansas, according to a government report.
The aspect that initially brought this to the GAO's attention was DHS's plan to harness tornadoes as a natural centrifuge as well as creating new samples of pathogens. "You'd be pretty mad too, if you were a cow in a tornado," said one analyst responsible for the recommendation (and who also maintains a personal website that insists Wizard of Oz really c...
- Tuesday, July 21, 2009:
To Be or Not to Be Fairfax County?
Fairfax County has long been viewed as the ultimate burb, where Washington goes to walk the dog and water the lawn. But the more residents look around, the more they see what many have tried to avoid: high-rise offices, blight, crime and housing that's more likely to have a balcony than a back yard. That changing reality came into focus last week when County Executive Anthony H. Griffin raised the possibility of officially making Fairfax a city [...]
For the uninitiated, a county generally has a larger land area but a smaller population than a city, and more roads that meet at oblique angles (or not at all, i...
- Tuesday, June 23, 2009:
Game Developers Gunning For Girl Power
Known for making adrenaline-pumping action games for young men, video game companies now are getting in touch with their feminine side. Why? Because it's a lucrative and relatively untapped market.
What game publishers still fail to realize is that a good game is always a good game -- making girl games with themes presumed to be girly will probably do more to insult than to attract.
Video games for girls today fall into two main categories. There are "pet/nurturing games" like EA's "Littlest Pet Shop" [...] and there are "fashion/style type games" like Ubisoft's "Imagine" franch...
- Tuesday, May 26, 2009:
Here, Here! 13 Years Of Perfect Attendance
Cal Ripken, Iron Man of the Baltimore Orioles, played in 2,632 consecutive baseball games. Stefanie Zaner, Iron Kid of Darnestown, is closing in on her 2,340th straight day of public school.
Thirteen years of perfect attendance is quite the accomplishment, although it's ultimately useless. I never got near this lofty attendance record, although I did go to school every day during the sixth grade .
Not once in 13 years was Stefanie marked absent: not for a cold, a family vacation, a college visit or a senior skip day. She once went on a freshman trip to Shanghai with the...
- Tuesday, April 21, 2009:
Rainy Weather Forecasts Misunderstood by Many
To bring an umbrella or not to bring an umbrella? That's the perennial question on those days where the chance of rain is less than 100 percent. But only half the population understands what a precipitation forecast means well enough to make a fully informed answer, a new study finds.
If, for example, a forecast calls for a 20 percent chance of rain, many people think it means that it will rain over 20 percent of the area covered by the forecast. Others think it will rain for 20 percent of the time, said Susan Joslyn, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Washington.
- Tuesday, April 14, 2009:
Obama looking at cooling air to fight warming
Tinkering with Earth's climate to chill runaway global warming ? a radical idea once dismissed out of hand ? is being discussed by the White House as a potential emergency option, the president's new science adviser said Wednesday. That's because global warming is happening so rapidly, John Holdren told The Associated Press.
In fact, global warming is occurring so rapidly that the current administration is also investigating its use as a distribution mechanism for the federal stimulus package, as many states are complaining that the money is not arriving fast enough. "We have a very fortuitous over...
- Tuesday, February 17, 2009:
HOV Cheaters Run the Numbers
HOV cheaters have a special, and dark, place in the hearts of area commuters. As motorists sit in stop-and-go traffic or pick up strangers to meet the minimum number of riders to use the free-flowing HOV lanes, cheaters blithely fly by in the restricted lanes. Alone.
"Sometimes when you commute, you do some crazy, crazy things when you see all those red lights in front of you," said Aleta Joy Williams, a daily cheater who has racked up 10 HOV violations [...] "You need to be at a certain place at a certain time, and you are willing to do whatever it takes to get to where you need to."
- Tuesday, January 27, 2009:
Many Americans Much Happier Now
Key groups of people in the United States have grown happier over the past few decades, while other have become less so. The result: Happiness inequality has decreased since the 1970s, a new study finds.
In other important research, some people have been taking longer showers in the morning, while others have taken shorter showers. The result: the net amount of water used in the shower has stayed about the same.
Previous research has found that happiness is partly inherited, and that it can be highly contagious. So what's the state of glee in these United States? Depends on who and how you ask. One recent...
- Tuesday, January 13, 2009:
Top Army recruiter weighs fat camp for recruits
The Army has been dismissing so many overweight applicants that its top recruiter, trying to keep troop numbers up in wartime, is considering starting a fat farm to transform chubby trainees into svelte soldiers.
The Army tried a similar approach with a series of "Don't Be Gay" camps in the mid '90s, although the success rate from those camps was 0% -- by attending the camps, young people were implicitly breaking the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" rules and forced to leave the service.
[Maj. Gen. Thomas] Bostick told The Associated Press that obesity looms as "a bigger challeng...
- Tuesday, November 11, 2008:
T-Pain Cranks Out Hits Thanks to Auto-Tune Software
T -Pain is tired of hearing the sound of his own, heavily processed voice. Actually, the Tallahassee hip-hop star is tired of hearing everybody else simulating the sound of his synthesized voice -- the one that's run through a software program called Auto-Tune for a giddy effect that makes him (and them) sound like a singing cyborg.
I have always been of the opinion that the increased popularity of the Auto-Tune effect was one of the worst things to happen to music since they gave TATU microphones. The effect first gained notoriety with Cher's dance hit from the 90s where she asks the audience if they believe i...
- Tuesday, October 21, 2008:
Scouts to get advice on safe sex
The Scouts, the youth movement best known for its focus on bracing outdoor activities such as camping, hiking and fishing, is to arm its teenage members with practical advice about sex.
Advocates of the decision see this as a logical extension of existing Scout activities, noting that if you don't brace yourself while boinking out of doors, someone's going to have a very unfortunate head first fall into a latrine.
The movement, whose motto is Be Prepared, has issued new guidelines aimed at Explorer scouts between 14 and 18 in a bid to help them better understand some of the realities about sexual relatio...