Should a C.E.O. Be President?
The principle of presidential campaigns run by Ross Perot, Steve Forbes and now Herman Cain is that politics are broken and only a business leader can repair them. True?
What's the Latest Development?
Herman Cain's rise in the polls has been explained, in part, by his status as a Washington outsider who, as a past CEO, has the management skills, financial acumen and decisiveness to get the country going again. Cain is the former head of Godfather's Pizza. But is the skill set of a successful CEO suited to the office of the presidency? No, says Jonathan Cowan. Presidents must build consensus across divide, communicate effectively with a plurality of interests and cede control to different government branches.
What's the Big Idea?
Building consensus across party lines is not a skill that CEOs necessarily have. When a business leader creates consensus, he or she does so from within a company where each individual wants the business to succeed. And unlike CEOs, the President has little brand control, making communication an exercise in tolerance. Business leaders, on the other had, always have a direct line of communication to their employees. Finally, CEOs enjoy the ability to decide the direction of their company while democracy depends on sharing power.
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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