Privatize large public universities such as SUNY

Large public universities in the east have not kept pace with their peers in the mid-west and west. Gov. Rockefeller envisioned a system to rival or exceed that of California, but it fell short for many reasons, not the least of which were state and university administrator's politics and plain lack of courage. Today Gov. Spitzer is considering creating an endowment for SUNY to help.

However, much more effective would be the radical move of privatizing at least the four research centers, via a form of LBO. The move would place them on a playing field similar to that of, say, Cornell, and would vastly reduce both the cost to NY State and the bureaucratic controls which plague the university system.

Of course there are a multitude of challenging issues. Of course there will be great resistance from those fearful of loss of control or position. But the process can be rejuvenating and the result could greatly benefit all parties: students, faculty, and taxpayers.

How to make a black hole

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.

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

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

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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