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xocet

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Member since: Thu Sep 25, 2008, 03:38 PM
Number of posts: 1,792

Journal Archives

A New Way to Pay for a Year of University?

Iowa offers free tuition for 5 student season ticket owners
Mitchell Schmidt
Iowa City Press-Citizen
10:54 p.m. CDT July 29, 2014


A handful of University of Iowa students will be getting much more than a gameday experience at Kinnick Stadium when they purchase their fall football tickets. Five lucky Hawkeyes also will receive two semesters of free tuition.

UI has pledged free tuition to five randomly selected, current in-state students who purchase a six-game or seven-game season ticket by Friday. Winners will receive free tuition valued at about $8,000 for the fall 2014 and spring 2015 semesters.

The goal of the generous giveaway is to draw enthusiastic student fans to Kinnick, said Lisa Pearson, director of marketing for the UI Athletics Department, and is the result of sluggish season ticket sales this year.

The fans in the stadium really feed off the energy from students, so wed like to have a full student section, Pearson said Tuesday. Were trying to get as many students into the stadium as possible.

...

http://www.press-citizen.com/story/news/education/university-of-iowa/2014/07/29/iowa-offers-free-tuition-student-season-ticket-owners/13348277/


Has the UI Athletic Department broken new ground here or is this practice common at other universities?

Is this effectively equivalent to a UI athletic scholarship for being a lucky-season-ticket-holding-in-state-tuition-paying football fan?

At any rate, this just seems perverse to me.

Iowa City, IA: Arrest made after shots fired on pedestrian mall

Arrest made after shots fired on pedestrian mall
Iowa City Press-Citizen
1:23 p.m. CDT July 27, 2014

One juvenile has been arrested and Iowa City Police are searching for another suspect after multiple shots were fired on the pedestrian mall early Sunday morning.

According to a media release from the Iowa City Police Department, at 1:36 a.m. officers on foot patrol heard the sound of gun shots on the pedestrian mall. Witnesses of the shooting described two suspects to the officers: The alleged shooters were described as two black males, one in a white t-shirt and the other wearing dark clothing. Witnesses told officers that the two suspects fled to the south of where the shots had been reported taking place, according to the release.

Police located a black juvenile two blocks to the south of the area of the shooting, according to the release. A loaded pistol was found in his possession and he admitted to firing multiple shots into the air while in the pedestrian mall. No injuries were reported from the incident.

According to the release, the juvenile suspect was charged with Reckless Use of a Firearm, a simple misdemeanor; Carrying Weapons, an aggravated misdemeanor; Going Armed with Intent, a Class D felony; and Intimidation with a Dangerous Weapon, a Class C Felony.

...

http://www.press-citizen.com/story/news/crime-and-courts/2014/07/27/multiple-shots-iowa-city-pedestrian-mall-juvenile/13237817/

"Weird Al" Yankovic - First World Problems





Some Good News: BBC to stop counterweighting scientific consensus with lunatical idiocy...

Stop Giving Airtime to Crackpots
By Phil Plait

In very welcome news, BBC journalists have been told to stop inviting crackpots on news shows in the name of balance.

Oh, I do so love this. Its precisely the right thing to do, sorely needed and sorely overdue. In this specific case, back in 2012 the BBC was criticized for news shows inviting on people with fringe views, especially when the science being discussed was solidly understood.

Obviously, the topic most abused in this way was the reality of global warming. That should come as no surprise to anyone who has been paying any attention at all.

But more broadly, most TV news shows do this, especially when they are done with a talk show format. Its all too easy for a news program or other venue with a biased ideological objective (cough cough Fox News cough Wall Street Journal cough) to bring on people who sound authoritative, but who are in fact simply cranks or contrarians with outlandish claims. This sort of bias sows doubt, which is far easier to do than to debunk it.


...

http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2014/07/07/crackpottery_bbc_journalists_told_to_stop_interviewing_science_deniers.html


A screen-captured 'sunset' from space - thanks to the ISS HD EVE (http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/HDEV/) :



Thanks for the link to the ISS HD Earth Viewing Experiment's video stream...

Here is an image of a sunset - the image was captured from the ISS HD Earth Viewing Experiment's video stream:



ERB: Nye vs. Newton



Given that integral(sec(x), dx) = ln( abs( sec(x) + tan(x) ) ) + C


One finds

integral(sec(x), dx, {0, Pi/6}) = ln( abs( sec(Pi/6) + tan(Pi/6) ) ) - ln( abs( sec(0) + tan(0) ) )

sec(0) = 1
tan(0) = 0

integral(sec(x), dx, {0, Pi/6}) = ln( abs( sec(Pi/6) + tan(Pi/6) ) ) - ln( abs( 1 + 0 ) )

abs( 1 + 0 ) = 1

integral(sec(x), dx, {0, Pi/6}) = ln( abs( sec(Pi/6) + tan(Pi/6) ) ) - ln( 1 )

ln( 1 ) = 0

integral(sec(x), dx, {0, Pi/6}) = ln( abs( sec(Pi/6) + tan(Pi/6) ) ) - 0

sec(Pi/6) = 1/( cos(Pi/6) ) = 2 /((3)^(1/2))
tan(Pi/6) = 1/((3)^(1/2))

integral(sec(x), dx, {0, Pi/6}) = ln( abs( sec(Pi/6) + tan(Pi/6) ) ) = ln( abs( (2/((3)^(1/2))) + (1/((3)^(1/2))) ) )

integral(sec(x), dx, {0, Pi/6}) = ln ( ((3)^(1/2)) ) = ln( (3)^(1/2) ) * 1


Since ln( (3)^(1/2) ) * 1 = ln( (3)^(1/2) ) * ((k)^64) implies 1 = k^64 or k^64 = 1, one must find the sixty-fourth roots of unity.


The sixty-fourth roots of unity are the elements of the set {e^((2*Pi*i*n)/64)} with n being an element of the set {0, 1, 2, 3, ..., 63}.

Euler's formula states that e^(i*m) = cos(m) + i*sin(m). If n = 16, (2*Pi*i*16)/64 = i*Pi/2 and m = Pi/2.

cos(Pi/2) = 0 and sin(Pi/2) = 1, so e^((2*Pi*i*16)/64) = 0 + i*1 = i.

Thus, the solution in the video corresponds to the 17th of the sixty-fourth roots of unity -i.e., the one that has the value n = 16.


Would anyone care to analyze the prism's refraction of light (i.e., the displayed order of colors) relative to the orientation of the prism? It is difficult to tell, but the intended refracted beam looks a lot like it is reflecting off one of the lateral faces or lateral edges of the prism.

This is a really neat video and a cool rap.









On Iraq, the TAZ Mission Accomplished Photo and the Content of the Subsequent Commentary....

Following this brief introduction is a rough translation of the first four paragraphs of the TAZ commentary that accompanied the altered picture of Bush's mission accomplished speech. That commentary's message is different than one that merely goes after President Bush. It is a piece regarding the practical realities of the current situation in Iraq - even though it followed a picture that damned Bush by highlighting his folly. The untranslated remainder (3 paragraphs) of the commentary focuses on the part of the title that is in italics and underlined:



June 12, 2014
ISIS Must Not (Be Allowed to) Achieve Victory
What is happening in Iraq is a catastrophe for the world community. New strategic partnerships must be considered.
by Ines Pohl


It is difficult to say which was the greater mistake: the American invasion of Iraq in 2003 or the withdrawal of 2011 - a withdrawal from a country whose government order appeared to lay in total disarray after, during and in spite of the eight-year American occupation?

In the final analysis, it is idle to argue whether President Bush is more responsible for the current situation than President Obama who ordered the final military withdrawal three years ago. What now counts - and what must be of the greatest concern - are the reports that reach us: hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing before the apparently inexorably advancing ISIS militias, a radical Islamic terrorist organization which is so brutal that even Al Qaeda declines to cooperate with it.

One city after the other take the terrorists in without any noteworthy resistance from the Iraqi army. On the contrary, it (the Iraqi army) surrenders and leaves behind the most modern undamaged American weapons of war: this further strengthens the mob's (ISIS's) military striking power.

What is happening here is not only a catastrophe for the people of the region but a catastrophe for all people who believe in democracy (original word: Demokraten) - indeed, the world community. This catastrophe is also the result of western military interventions that simply do not lead to the transfer of freedom and democracy, but instead to the disintegration of countries.

...

http://www.taz.de/Kommentar-Entwicklung-im-Irak/!140266/



Here is the altered mission accomplished photograph:



The Guardian: A eulogy to the NHS...

Here is an article that describes access to healthcare before the creation of and after the creation of the NHS in the UK - the article goes on to speak of some current changes in healthcare in the UK:

A eulogy to the NHS: What happened to the world my generation built?
In 1926, Harry Leslie Smith's sister died of TB in a workhouse infirmary, too poor for proper medical care. In 1948, the creation of the NHS put a stop to all that. In an extract from his new book, Harry's Last Stand, he describes his despair at the coalition's dismantling of the welfare state

Harry Leslie Smith
The Guardian, Wednesday 4 June 2014 14.03 EDT

...

As I convalesced, I was gobsmacked at the great consequences of free health care and the potential it offered to improve our society. It was a transformational shift in how we as a country viewed our fellow citizens. The creation of the NHS made us understand that we were in truth our brother's keeper, and that taxation benefits everyone through maintaining not just our roads and sewers but the health of our children, workers and elderly.

To me, the introduction of free health care was the first brick laid on the road to the social welfare state. So it has always been difficult for me to listen to politicians, proud possessors of health insurance and shares in private health care companies, when they talk about how the health service that we fought so hard to build must change. The coalition government's Health and Social Care Act will create a two-tier health care system. This act will see the NHS stripped down like a derelict house is by criminals for copper wiring.

Ukip has even proposed that A&E patients should have the right to buy their way to the front of the queue, while in Merseyside a private for-profit cancer clinic has set up shop under the NHS umbrella. Where will all of this end? What will be given the greatest priority in a new health care system that sends every service, from blood work to chemotherapy, out to the lowest bid tender?

It ends where I began my life in a Britain that believed health care depended on your social status. So if you were rich and insured you received timely medical treatment, while the rest of the country got the drippings. One-fifth of the lords who voted in the controversial act which provides a gateway to privatise our health care system were found to have connections to private health care companies. If that doesn't make you angry, nothing will.

...

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jun/04/coalition-attacks-nhs-return-britain-age-workhouse


Ernst Wins Iowa Republican Primary for US Senate

Source: Associated Press

Joni Ernst, an Iowa state legislator whose ads about guns and hog castration helped her shore up support among conservatives, won the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate Tuesday to set up a fall matchup that Republicans are eyeing as a prime opportunity to pick up a seat.

Once a long shot when better-known party leaders passed on the race, the state senator and Iraq War veteran received enough votes to avoid a nominating convention in the five-way race. Most of the voting in the primary came ahead of severe storms, which curbed turnout and forced some precincts to suspend voting temporarily.

Ernst moves on to face Democratic U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley in a race expected to play a key role in the battle for Senate control.

Five-term Democratic U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin announced last year that he would forego another term, leaving a Senate seat open in Iowa for the first time in 40 years. Republicans have made the traditional swing state one of their top targets.

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/ernst-wins-iowa-republican-primary-us-senate-23983684

An Honest Man: Sec. Shinseki (Gen.-Ret.) Versus the GOP



Sec. Shinseki appears to be quite an honest man who deserves support. On the other hand, the GOP continually refuses to "support the troops" whom they so love to thank:


U.S. Senate Republicans block veterans' health bill on budget worry
By Richard Cowan
WASHINGTON Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:50pm EST


(Reuters) - U.S. Senate Republicans blocked legislation on Thursday that would have expanded federal healthcare and education programs for veterans, saying the $24 billion bill would bust the budget.

Even though the legislation cleared a procedural vote on Tuesday by a 99-0 vote, the measure quickly got bogged down in partisan fighting.

Supporters said the measure would have brought the most significant changes in decades to U.S. veterans' programs. For example, it called for 27 new medical facilities to help a healthcare system that is strained by veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

With Democrats pressing for passage this week, Senate Republicans, backed by their leader, Mitch McConnell, attempted to attach controversial legislation calling for possible new sanctions on Iran that President Barack Obama opposes.

...

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/27/us-usa-veterans-congress-idUSBREA1Q26O20140227


Were these funding levels sufficient?


Veterans Affairs: Historical Budget Authority, FY1940-FY2012
Veterans Affairs: Historical Budget Authority, FY1940-FY2012
Congressional Research Service

Table 1. Historical Budget Authority for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in
Current and Constant (FY2011) Dollars, FY1940-FY2012 (dollars in millions)

...

2000 44,818.9 58,531.5
2001 48,665.2 61,449.3
2002 53,495.0 66,372.7
2003 59,673.1 72,445.7
2004 63,824.8 75,827.4
2005 69,436.4 80,084.3
2006 73,736.8 81,924.4
2007 82,013.8 88,823.3
2008 90,525.5 94,538.6
2009 99,447.3 102,425.9
2010 112,694.6 114,957.6
2011 124,383.5 124,383.5
2012 125,304.3 125,304.3

...

https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RS22897.pdf


Speaker Boehner and Senator Mcconnell - simply saying thank you without supporting proper funding is false gratitude - no matter how floridly, frequently or profusely you intone the words 'thank you':


Speaker Boehner's Veterans Day Message from Nov. 12, 2012:


Senator Mcconnell's Veterans Day Message from Nov. 11, 2013:


Bush et al and the GOP wanted the war in Iraq - now the GOP needs to agree to pay for the consequences of its warmongering.

It is time for the GOP to consent to proper funding for the support of US veterans instead of playing political games with that funding. It is time for the GOP to stop treating veterans like throw-away rag dolls who may be summarily thanked and then discarded at the end of their service.

Sen. McConnell and Speaker Boehner, either you truly support the troops or you do not. Which is it?
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