Baby and Bathwater

The obstinate divide over healthcare reform is spilling into other areas of domestic policy such as immigration reform and financial regulation where Democrats are increasingly going it alone.

The obstinate divide over healthcare reform is spilling into other areas of domestic policy such as immigration reform and financial regulation where Democrats are increasingly going it alone. "Democrats have found very few Republicans to work with since taking back control of Congress in 2007. But GOP senators who have been willing to work with Democrats openly on big bills say that a bid to move healthcare with only Democratic votes will end bipartisan prospects for other legislation. After a meeting with President Obama on Thursday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) of South Carolina said that healthcare could sink prospects for comprehensive immigration reform. 'I expressed, in no uncertain terms, my belief that immigration reform could come to a halt for the year if health care reconciliation goes forward,' he said in a statement. Reconciliation is a procedure that allows legislation to pass with a simple majority, instead of the 60 votes now typical for major bills in the Senate. With the election of Sen. Scott Brown (R) of Massachusetts, the Democratic caucus has 59 members – one short of the count needed to end a Republican filibuster. 'For more than a year, healthcare has sucked most of the energy out of the room. Using reconciliation to push healthcare through will make it much harder for Congress to come together on a topic as important as immigration,' Senator Graham added. Republicans who have backed comprehensive immigration reform in the past, such as Sen. John McCain of Arizona, are not actively working with Democrats on this bill."

How to make a black hole

Here's the science of black holes, from supermassive monsters to ones the size of ping-pong balls.

Videos
  • 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.

Russian reporters discover 101 'tortured' whales jammed in offshore pens

Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.

(VL.ru)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Russian news network discovers 101 black-market whales.
  • Orcas and belugas are seen crammed into tiny pens.
  • Marine parks continue to create a high-price demand for illegal captures.
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China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

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.

Credit: EAST Team
Surprising Science
  • 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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