It's All Politics
12:06 am
Thu May 3, 2012

That New Friend You Made On Facebook? He Might Be Named Mitt Or Barack

An image from the Republican National Committee's Facebook page advertises its new "Social Victory Center" app.
RNC via Facebook.com

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 7:31 am

As the presidential campaigns refocus on November, they're zeroing in on digital domains. In fact, the Obama campaign has spent six times as much money advertising online as it has on TV so far, though that's certain to change.

And Republicans are fighting back with a new Facebook app called the "Social Victory Center." (You have to be a Facebook user to access the site.)

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Presidential Race
12:05 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Gingrich Out Of The Race, But Still In Debt

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich pauses while announcing that he is suspending his presidential campaign Wednesday in Arlington, Va.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 8:42 am

Newt Gingrich is officially out of the presidential race. The former House speaker said Wednesday that he's suspending his campaign, and he's ready to help the presumptive Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, battle President Obama. But Gingrich might have a more pressing problem: His campaign has about $4 million in debt.

In Gingrich's exit speech, he opened by thanking people — first his family, then his financial backers.

"I also want to single out, first of all, the over 179,000 donors who helped us at Newt.org and who helped make the campaign possible," he said.

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Humans
12:04 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Put Away The Bell Curve: Most Of Us Aren't 'Average'

Hank Aaron breaks Babe Ruth's record for career home runs as he hits No. 715 at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium on April 8, 1974, on his way to a career 755 home runs. Research suggests that in a wide variety of professions, including collegiate and professional sports, a small but significant number of individuals perform exceedingly well and the rest of individuals' performance trails off.
AP

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 8:06 pm

For decades, teachers, managers and parents have assumed that the performance of students and employees fits what's known as the bell curve — in most activities, we expect a few people to be very good, a few people to be very bad and most people to be average.

The bell curve powerfully shapes how we think of human performance: If lots of students or employees happen to show up as extreme outliers — they're either very good or very bad — we assume they must represent a skewed sample, because only a few people in a truly random sample are supposed to be outliers.

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Commentary
12:02 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Watching 'The Avengers' In India, With A Twist

In The Avengers, the Hulk lives in Calcutta — and doesn't lose his temper over the city's traffic and other problems. That might not ring true to anyone who's been there, says Sandip Roy.
Marvel

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 7:31 am

When I went to see The Avengers the very day it was released, I texted a friend in San Francisco. It seems kind of unfair, I said, that because of the 12-hour time difference, I get to see The Avengers before you do.

Turns out I was a week off. The Avengers actually released in 39 countries around the world, including India, a week before it opens in America.

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Arts & Life
11:18 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Colorful Visions At African-American Art Exhibit

Gene Young American Art Museum

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 7:50 am

The African-American experience is reflected, right now, on the walls of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. Exuberant dancing in Chicago. Laundry on a line in the nation's capital. A girl smiling out from her father's warm jacket — all captured in photographs, paintings and sculptures from the 1920s through the 1990s.

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Tsunami Test
5:23 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Hundreds Head For The Hills In Seaside Tsunami Drill

A tsunami drill sent people to higher ground.
Photo Credit: Patriarca12 Wikimedia commons

The sound of tsunami warning sirens sent hundreds of people in Seaside, Oregon scurrying on foot to higher ground Wednesday. The resort town held a community-wide evacuation drill.

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Death With Dignity
5:13 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Report: 70 Washingtonians End Lives With Physician's Help in 2011

Seventy people in Washington legally ended their lives in 2011 with the help of a physician. That continues a steady increase in each of the last three years. The latest numbers come from a report out Wednesday on Washington's so-called Death with Dignity Act. The annual release of statistics on the law says 80 physicians wrote a total of 103 such prescriptions in 2011.

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Wash. Budget Signed
4:44 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Wash. Gov To Candidates For Gov: New Education Tax Needed

Governor Chris Gregoire Poses For An Official Photo With Lawmakers After Signing The Newly Rebalanced State Budget
Photo credit: Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire has a message for both leading candidates to replace her next year. The state will need to find a new, dedicated source of funding for education. The Democrat made her comments Wednesday at a ceremony to sign a newly rebalanced state budget.

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The Two-Way
4:27 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

'Zombie' Ants And The Fungus That Saves Them

A zombie ant with the brain-manipulating fungus (Ophiocordyceps unilateralis s.l.) having been castrated by an hyperparasite fungus (white with yellow material).
David Hughes Penn State University

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 4:59 pm

As you can probably tell, at least one person on this blog's masthead likes ants.

So we've always been bummed that we haven't had the opportunity to tell you about zombie ants, but today we are glad to report there is a new development in the field. Luckily, it's a good-news report about a fungus that limits the fungus that turns ants into zombies.

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Wind Power
4:24 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

New Wind Power Generators In Eastern Washington

New wind power generators will be built on the Washington Palouse.
Photo credit: Harvey McDaniel Wikimedia Commons

You may be familiar with the sight of wind turbine generators in the Columbia Gorge, but soon, dozens of the tall structures will be built some 40 miles south of Spokane.

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