What will a $120 barrel of oil mean for the U.S. economy?

Question: What will a $120 barrel of oil mean for the U.S. economy?

Michael Klare: I think some of what we can anticipate is already happening, I mean you have to think in terms of the economic strata in the American population poor people, and working people are already suffering, they already cutting back. I read stories everyday in the New York Times, in the Wall Street Journal of working people who are having a very hard time. The trucking, industry, farmers, working people who have long commutes, have to cut back on everything in their life, just to pay for gas, now that will work itself up from the working people, blue collar people, farmers and artisans who drive long distances, even the middle class will start suffering and work its way higher and higher, all of us will start suffering in various ways. I think summer vacations are going to be very problematic, air travel will become much more costly. So, in all kinds of ways we will start experiencing all kinds of hardships in our lives. Small business will shut down, resorts will shut down, and all this will then ripple out of cross the economy and I think the recession that we are already experiencing will go deeper and more severe.

Recorded: 3/14/08

 

The first things to go will be summer vacations and air travel.

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.

Project 100,000: The Vietnam War's cruel and deadly experiment

Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?

Flickr user Tommy Truong79
Politics & Current Affairs
  • During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
  • The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
  • Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
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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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