While state Sen. James Meeks (D-Chicago) and former state Rep. Kevin Joyce (D-Chicago) normally held positions opposite conservative Republicans, there was one issue on which they agreed — school choice.
The two Democratic leaders had key roles in the 2010 legislative effort to provide a way for students to escape failing Chicago Public Schools. Although Meeks succeeded in getting his bill through the Senate, Joyce fell a few votes short in the House.
Here is a short video about the event:
I will be attending the School Choice Week event here in St Louis tonight at Loyola Academy near SLU
WHENJanuary 25, 2012 at 6:00 PMWHERELoyola Academy
3851 Washington Ave
St. Louis, MO 63108
Google map and directions
American 15-year-olds rank 35th out of 57 countries in math and literacy, behind almost all industrialized nations!
America shouldn’t be 35th in anything. It’s time to Restore American Exceptionalism! WE need an education system that challenges and motivates students, preparing them for life. We know it can be done!
Special guests to include: Dick Morris, Dana Loesch, Mike Podgursky (an educational economist), and more!
RSVP on Eventbrite: schoolchoicestlouis.eventbrite.com
When sites like Wikipedia and Reddit banded together for a major blackout January 18th, the impact was felt all the way to Washington D.C. The blackout had lawmakers running from the controversial anti-piracy legislation, SOPA and PIPA, which critics said threatened freedom of speech online.
Unfortunately for free-speech advocates, these pieces of legislation are not the only laws which threaten an open internet.
Few people have heard of ACTA, or the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, but the provisions in the agreement appear quite similar to – and more expansive than – anything we saw in SOPA. Worse, the agreement spans virtually all of the countries in the developed world, including all of the EU, the United States, Switzerland and Japan.
Many of these countries have already signed or ratified it, and the cogs are still turning, with the final real fight playing out in the EU parliament.
The treaty has been secretly negotiated behind the scenes between governments with little or no public input. The Bush administration started the process, but the Obama administration has aggressively pursued it.
Indeed, we signed ACTA in 2011.
I’ve said before that I think Zynga is in for tough times in the future: I stand by that. In the long term, they’re going to hit it big with another Farmville — the sort of game that may never happen again.
But in the meantime, their stock is skyrocketing nearly back up to the IPO price of $10 on rumors that they may be getting into the online gambling game. A spokesperson told All Things D:
Zynga Poker is the world’s largest online poker game with more than 7 million people playing every day and over 30 million each month. We know from listening to our players that there’s an interest in the real-money gambling market. We’re in active conversations with potential partners to better understand and explore this new opportunity.” More
According to the memo, train service on the unnamed railroad located in the Pacific Northwest “was slowed for a short while” on Dec. 1, and rail schedules were delayed about 15 minutes after the interference. The next day, shortly before rush hour, a “second event occurred,” but this one did not affect schedules, NextGov reports.
An investigation determined that hackers — possibly from overseas — had penetrated the system from three IP addresses, according to the memo, which did not name the country from which the hack occurred.
“Some of the possible causes lead to consideration of an overseas cyberattack,” the memo said.
Information stating that a targeted attack occurred was sent out on Dec. 5, along with alerts listing the three IP addresses, to several hundred railroad firms and public transportation agencies, in addition to unnamed partners in Canada.
A DHS spokesman acknowledged the breach in a statement to Threat Level.
“On December 1, a Pacific Northwest transportation entity reported that a potential cyber incident could affect train service,” said spokesman Peter Boogard in a statement. “The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the FBI and our federal partners remained in communication with representatives from the transportation entity in support of their mitigation activities and with state and local government officials to send alerts to notify the transportation community of the anomalous activity as it was occurring.”
A DHS official added that after more in-depth analysis of the incident, it did not appear to be a targeted attack aimed at the railway and halting service, but was more of a random incident that simply hit the transportation entity. He would not elaborate. More
In an unusual move, an international coalition of flu researchers agreed last week to a hiatus on work surrounding a highly contagious, mammal-adapted version of the avian influenza virus. Research on transmissible H5N1 flu will halt, and two manuscripts describing how to modify the virus won’t be published, at least not yet.
The voluntary pause came a few weeks after an American advisory panel recommended censoring the research in the name of security. So it raises an interesting question — is some research just too dangerous to pursue? Not just for the scientists conducting it, but for the public in a post-9/11 world?
Voluntarily pausing science in the name of safety and public solace is certainly not common, but then neither is a potentially groundbreaking study into the mechanisms that could make bird flu more potent and more deadly. The decision, announced in Science and Nature, indicates influenza researchers want to quell public fears, but they also don’t want to censor their work.
Dr. Nancy Cox, chief of the Influenza Division at the Centers for Disease Control, said flu researchers will confer during the hiatus about how to proceed, including making modifications to security procedures or the biosafety requirements for labs doing this work. Flu is dangerous, but it’s not nearly as deadly as some of the other pathogens CDC studies, she noted.
“If you think of Ebola and Marburg, and some other pathogens with a high lethality, which are worked on in the lab and for which there aren’t antivirals and there aren’t vaccines, influenza falls into a little bit different category,” she said.
One of the two main labs at the center of this debate does not have a Biosafety Level 4 facility, the highest security level reserved for the most deadly pathogens. Issues like that will be a topic of discussion during the 60-day break.
“(The hiatus) is unusual, but because there was so much concern about the work, it was an appropriate action on the part of the laboratories that are involved in this type of research,” Cox said.
It does have some precedent, however, in a 1975 conference in which scientists agreed to pause research on recombinant DNA. That meeting, known as the Asilomar Conference, was organized to quell public concern, but also to allow scientists to agree among themselves about how best to proceed. At the time, recombinant DNA technology — the process of taking DNA from one organism, and recombining it with DNA from another — was still brand-new and researchers were still uncertain about the risks. More
Ever wonder why flies always get away when you try to swat them? It turns out they’re extremely acrobatic. Like, Neo-in-the-Matrix acrobatic. And New Scientist has captured one in near bullet-time to prove it.
This video is one of the winners in a contest held by the Flight Artists group at the Wageningen University in the Netherlands in which amateur filmmakers were taught how to use very high-speed cameras to shoot flying animals and plant seeds. The video captured here was taken by two biologists from the University of Washington and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute who study fruit flies in flight.
How much residents of each state owe on their mortgages is an interesting statistic. For the most part, residents of the states with the highest average mortgage debt are not in trouble. While the average home price in these states dropped in value during the recession, the foreclosure rates in these states are among the lowest in the country. The reason: residents of these states can generally afford to lose and owe more money than their counterparts in other states. 24/7 Wall St. examined a recent report by Credit Karma to find the 10 states with the highest average mortgage debt.
Most of the states on our list have extremely high mortgage debt because of the size of their initial mortgages. States like Connecticut and Massachusetts, which have among the highest median home values in the U.S., also have among the highest mortgage debt. Hawaii, which has the second-highest average mortgage debt per person, has the highest median home value of $525,400.
Many of the states on the list also experienced the steepest declines in home value during the recession. Home prices in seven of the states with the highest mortgage debt declined during the recession. In states like California and Nevada, properties lost more than 30% of their value. Even in states like New Jersey and Maryland, which fared relatively well during the recession, homes lost between 7% and 10% of their value. More
The good: The Walkman Z portable media player emphasizes music as the killer mobile app, integrating Sony’s Music Unlimited service, high-quality headphones, and unmatched audio enhancement software.
The bad: Considering its premium price, the Walkman Z has limited video support, a thick design, mediocre screen resolution, short battery life, no memory expansion, no cameras, and is built around a version of Android that’s soon to be outdated.
The bottom line: The Walkman Z is Sony’s iPod Touch for Android-loving audiophiles.
BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) yesterday appointed a brand new chief executive officer and president, Thorsten Heins. The move follows months of pressure from RIM shareholders and others to oust former RIM co-CEOs, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie. (In fact, I wrote a piece earlier this month explaining why a major leadership change was in order at RIM.)
Check out the following list for 10 interesting tidbits on Mr. Heins, his past and his plans for RIM and BlackBerry in the coming months and years.
1) Thorsten Heins is of German origin, and his middle name is Gerhard.
“I’m German, and I’m a big fan of the term ‘process discipline’,” he said with laugh in a conference call this morning.
In addition to his role at RIM, Heins is also a Board Member of the German Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Toronto, according to BusinessWeek.com.
2) Heins has been with RIM since December 2007, serving as a SVP of the company’s handheld business unit and then as one of RIMs two chief operating officers. He played key roles in the creation of RIMs product portfolio. Before working for RIM, Heins was employed by Siemens, starting in 1984 just after his graduation from the University of Hannover in Germany, where he earned a master’s degree in science and physics.
3) Heins says he is open to licensing the BlackBerry OS, but it’s not his main concern at this point.
“I will entertain those discussions; I will assess the business opportunity for RIM,” Heins said. “And I will make the decision together with the board. It’s not my focus. ”
However, he does believe that the upcoming BlackBerry 10 handheld OS, which is expected to be released along with at least one new device in late 2012, will become an attractive option for hardware makers looking to license software.
“I’m absolutely confident that BlackBerry 10 will prove itself,” Heins said More
A magic moment recently occurred on the Rush Limbaugh show. Dennis, an African-American caller, noted that he listens to Rush in his truck and has been frequently angry with him in the past. But Obama’s recent decision to refuse approval for the Keystone pipeline was a real eye-opener. Beset by high fuel bills, which affect everything from his cost of doing business to groceries, he can no longer support Obama and may be done with the Democratic party as well.
Enjoy the the video, courtesy of
The Right Scoop