Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 8:39 am
Good Tuesday morning, fellow political junkies.
As you go through your day, keep this in mind: at least you're not Marilyn Tavenner. When critics of the Obama administration's botched launch of the Affordable Care Act call for heads to metaphorically roll, Tavenner, the top official of the Health and Human Services agency that oversaw the ill-fated website project, is high on that list.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - A University of Alabama study is looking at whether butterfly wings might hold a key for improving flight for aircraft. The National Science Foundation has awarded a grant of about $280,000 to study the tiny scales that butterflies have on their wings. The scales help the insects stay aloft despite flying so slowly. An associate professor of aerospace engineering and mechanics at Alabama, Amy Lang, says the arrangement of the scales leads to an aerodynamic benefit for butterflies.
You probably know, or should know, that your cellphone is tracking your location everywhere you go. But whether law enforcement officials should have access to that data is at the center of a constitutional debate.
Matt Blaze, a professor of computer and information science at the University of Pennsylvania, says location tracking is key to how the cell system operates.
One of the effects of Superstorm Sandy a year ago could be seen at service stations throughout New York City and surrounding areas: Motorists joined long lines outside the few stations that had both electricity and gasoline.
"People were fighting over here. People were fighting over there. People were coming through the wrong way. It was chaos," Jessica Laura said at the time. "Then the cops came, and they just started organizing it."
Since then, the oil industry and policymakers have been working to shore up the region's fuel supply system.
Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 7:52 pm
Update at 8:45 p.m. ET:
Kings Dominion spokesman Gene Petriello says the theme park is dropping the Miner's Revenge maze from its Halloween lineup in the future.
"At the completion of each season, all Halloween attractions are reviewed to allow for new themes," Petriello says. "As part of its regular rotation, Kings Dominion does not intend to operate the Miner's Revenge Halloween attraction next year."
In England today, one of the highest profile criminal trials the country has seen in years got underway. Eight people are on trial, most notably Rebecca Brooks, a former top executive for Rupert Murdoch's UK newspaper empire, and Andy Coulson, former News of the World editor. Coulson also served for a while as Prime Minister David Cameron's communications chief.
The case grew out of a scandal over allegations that staff at the News of the World hacked into thousands of voicemails, including celebrities, politicians and crime victims.
On a quiet fall morning in the Delaware countryside, a lone sustained whistle pierces the air. Within moments, a train sweeps around a broad curve, its two heavy locomotives hauling dozens of white, cylindrical rail cars, loaded with 70,000 barrels of crude oil.
Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 10:52 am
When you sit down at Chef José Andrés' tapas restaurant, Jaleo, in Washington, D.C., and ask to see the beverage options, as I did recently, you're in for a surprise. Instead of a traditional leather-bound menu, I was handed an iPad.
Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 1:06 pm
Oh, what a job. You've got $3 billion to address society's most intractable problems. So what do you do?
If you're philanthropist Howard G. Buffett, son of famed investor Warren Buffett, you set a deadline: 40 years.
And you move at "fast-forward" speed (that's the way Warren describes his son's pace) to steer the most vulnerable people on Earth towards a future where food production is efficient, plentiful and affordable.
Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 9:54 am
Good morning, fellow political junkies.
It's the last week of October. That means the administration has just a month to meet its self-imposed deadline to have the Affordable Care Act website running as efficiently as it and millions of Americans had originally envisioned.
But the first item in our Monday political mix of some of the more interesting tidbits that caught my eye this morning indicates why setting such a deadline might be easier than meeting it.