Posing Bipartisans

“Forget the bipartisan photo-op” says The Huffington Post, referring to yesterday’s passage of a package of tax cuts, but instead “extend unemployment benefits now.”

"Members of Congress got to pose for a moment of bipartisan victory on the jobs crisis yesterday with the passage of a package of tax cuts and transportation investments that may put a few hundred thousand people to work. It would be great news, if only there weren't 14.8 million Americans looking for a job and more than a million of them weren't about to lose their unemployment benefits and health care coverage this coming Monday according to the National Employment Law Project. The bipartisan photo-op is helpful only insofar as it actually helps build momentum for policies that will meaningfully lower the unemployment rate and keep faith with Americans who have been fruitlessly searching for work for months. Economic analysts project that unemployment will remain above 8 percent through 2012 and will stay high through 2014. Those numbers only look worse when you consider discouraged workers and involuntary part-timers. So why aren't we extending benefits to the millions of Americans we already know will find it impossible to get work for the duration, whatever they do? Congress should be implementing a permanent fix to the system that automatically extends benefits at times of persistent high unemployment, not a two week extension that leaves families, communities, and the states that administer unemployment programs scrambling and uncertain."

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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