Are two parties enough?
Political parties are dead; they've been dying for many years. Since Kennedy, presidential candidates have run almost independent of parties, which has contributed to this trend.
Parties were useful in organizing governing coalitions in a new nation; we now have other means of doing so, primarily the media and, now, the internet.
Another important contributing factor has been the inability of parties to achieve anything. Consequently, most now believe not just that political parties can't do anything, but that they prevent doing anything.
Presidential candidates increasingly will need to campaign across traditional party lines. This will include informal cooperation ("endorsement"?) of office holders in other power centers (e.g., presidential and congressional candidates) without reference to party. Essentially, it represents building an issue-based mandate that can be used to accomplish objectives in the brief window immediately after an election.
Here's the science of black holes, from supermassive monsters to ones the size of ping-pong balls.
- There's more than one way to make a black hole, says NASA's Michelle Thaller. They're not always formed from dead stars. For example, there are teeny tiny black holes all around us, the result of high-energy cosmic rays slamming into our atmosphere with enough force to cram matter together so densely that no light can escape.
- CERN is trying to create artificial black holes right now, but don't worry, it's not dangerous. Scientists there are attempting to smash two particles together with such intensity that it creates a black hole that would live for just a millionth of a second.
- Thaller uses a brilliant analogy involving a rubber sheet, a marble, and an elephant to explain why different black holes have varying densities. Watch and learn!
- Bonus fact: If the Earth became a black hole, it would be crushed to the size of a ping-pong ball.
Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
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