Wednesday, April 11, 2012
ORNL in the News

USDA Forest Service and NASA release Web-based forest disturbance monitoring tool

(GISuser) The USDA Forest Service's Eastern Forest and Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Centers recently unveiled a product that helps natural resource managers rapidly detect, identify, and respond to unexpected changes in the nation's forests by using web-based tools...In addition to the Forest Service and NASA, the partnership includes the US Geological Survey; the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory; and the University of North Carolina Asheville's National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center...4/10

From bags to riches at ORNL?

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers, headed by Amit Naskar of the Materials Science and Technology Division, got a bunch of attention in recent days for work published in the journal Advanced Materials. Researchers have identified a technique for converting material such as the polyethylene used in plastic bags into carbon fiber with properties tailored to meet desired applications...4/10

DOE

UPFRevving up for Glovebox City at Y-12

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The Y-12 nuclear weapons plant will host a UPF Glovebox Supplier Forum May 9-10. According to the Website set up for the event, the forum will provide "an ideal opportunity to interface directly with procurement, engineering and quality specialists to learn more about the requirements for gloveboxes that will be used in UPF,"...4/10

NETL: Project could make coal gasification 'economically competitive'

(The State Journal) The National Energy Technology Laboratory says an ongoing Department of Energy project could make coal gasification economically competitive...4/10

State & Regional

Tennessee ‘monkey bill’ becomes law

(Nature News) The governor of Tennessee has allowed the passage of the 'monkey bill', giving public-school teachers licence to teach alternatives to those mainstream scientific theories often attacked by religious and political conservatives...4/11

National

EarthquakePowerful 8.7 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Off Coast of Indonesia; Tsunami Watch Issued

(ABC News) A powerful earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia, triggering a tsunami watch for countries across the Indian Ocean. The magnitude 8.7 quake was centered 20 miles beneath the ocean floor around 269 miles from Aceh's provincial capital...4/11

East Tennessee

This weekend's Dogwood Arts Festival events include crafts, performance art, more

(Knoxville News Sentinel) A lot is going on this weekend under the flowery umbrella of the Dogwood Arts Festival. Performance arts, an arts and craft show and art exhibits are all part of the weekend fare...4/10

UT Professor’s Hypothesis May be Game Changer for Evolutionary Theory

(Tennessee Today) A new hypothesis posed by a University of Tennessee, Knoxville, associate professor and colleagues could be a game changer in the evolution arena. The hypothesis suggests some species are surviving by discarding genes and depending on other species to play their hand...4/4

energy & science policy

Office of Science and Technology Policy Unveils Big Data Initiative

(AIP) On Thursday, March 29, 2012, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), in collaboration with several federal departments and agencies, announced the creation of a Big Data Research and Development Initiative to a packed auditorium at the American Association for the Advancement of Science...4/10

science & technology

ShellsWhat Triggers a Mass Extinction? Habitat Loss and Tropical Cooling Were Once to Blame

(Science Daily) The second-largest mass extinction in Earth's history coincided with a short but intense ice age during which enormous glaciers grew and sea levels dropped...4/10

Nine-Planet SystemRecord Nine-Planet Star System Discovered?

(National Geographic) A star about 127 light-years from Earth may have even more planets than the sun, which would make the planetary system the most populated yet found. According to a new study, HD 10180—a sunlike star in the southern constellation Hydrus—may have as many as nine orbiting planets, besting the eight official planets in our solar system...4/10

Other Stories

GMAs Market Takes Off, GM's Share Hits A 90-Year Low

(Forbes) The last time General Motors’ U.S. market share was at this level, Warren G. Harding was in the White House, George Sisler was the American League’s most valuable player, and Judy Garland was in diapers...4/10

Gasoline prices: Have we reached the top yet, or just a false summit?

(Christian Science Monitor) It looks as if it’s safe – at least this week – to pull out of the driveway and head to the gas station without worrying that the price at the pumps will be a lot higher than the last time. Over the past week, the retail price of gasoline has barely budged...4/10

Out there

Alarm Clock From Hell5 more minutes? New clock answers resounding 'no'

(PhysOrg) There is no snooze button. If you unplug it, a battery takes over. As wake-up time approaches, you cannot reset the alarm time. It could be the world's most exasperating alarm clock. Once it goes off, to stop it you must get out of bed, go into the kitchen or bathroom, and punch the day's date into a telephone-style keypad...4/10