(Knoxville News Sentinel) I talked this afternoon with Oak Ridge National Laboratory Director Thom Mason for a year-ender piece that will probably appear in the print version of the News Sentinel sometime before 2012 arrives. I started off by asking some questions about some of the criticisms (relatively soft, at that) in the Department of Energy's FY 2011 evaluation of the lab management....12/16
(Utility Products) Dave Huizenga, DOE's assistant secretary for environmental management, visited Oak Ridge in October and specifically asked to see some of the mercury problem sites...The third priority is getting rid of the uranium-233 stockpile that's stored in a World War II-era building at Oak Ridge National Laboratory...n.d.
(WBIR) Madeline Rogero became Knoxville's first female mayor Saturday morning, during an inauguration ceremony in the Jacob Building at Chilhowee Park.
Rogero is the 68th mayor to take office in the city, following interim-mayor Daniel Brown who filled the vacancy left by former Knoxville mayor and now Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam...12/17
(New York Times) The House passed a $1 trillion spending package on Friday to avert a government shutdown while negotiations continued to try to reach a separate year-end agreement on a payroll tax break and an extension of unemployment benefits...12/16
(Wall Street Journal) Kim Jong Il, the dictator who used fear and isolation to maintain power in North Korea and his nuclear weapons to menace his neighbors and threaten the U.S., has died, North Korean state television reported early Monday...12/19
(CBS News) Even as Iraqis celebrated the departure of the last American troops Sunday, the dangers left behind after nearly nine years of war were on full display. Politicians feuded along the country's potentially explosive sectarian lines and the drumbeat of deadly violence went on...12/18
(Science Daily) Nathaniel Dominy, associate professor of anthropology, has been studying the dietary habits of these apes: what food they eat and how they digest it. "We are interested in how orangutans cope with food-limited environments because it may give us a glimpse into what early human ancestors were facing," Dominy explains...12/13
(PhysOrg) The application is titled "Transitioning a Mixed-mode Vehicle to Autonomous Mode." The patent presents a method listing numerous "embodiments" suggested, for a vehicle that switches from being driven by a human to moving, stopping, and parking autonomously...12/19
(Science Daily) An international team of astronomers has identified a candidate for the smallest-known black hole using data from NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE). The evidence comes from a specific type of X-ray pattern, nicknamed a "heartbeat" because of its resemblance to an electrocardiogram...12/15
(Washington Post) Christopher Hitchens, a sharp-witted provocateur who used his formidable learning, biting wit and muscular prose style to skewer what he considered high-placed hypocrites, craven lackeys of the right and left, “Islamic fascists” and religious faith of any kind, died Dec. 15 at a hospital in Houston. He was 62...12/16
(Washington Post) Vaclav Havel, a Czech writer who was imprisoned by his country’s communist rulers, only to become a symbol of freedom and his nation’s first president in the post-communist era, died Dec. 18 at his weekend home in the northern Czech Republic. He was 75...12/18
(Discovery News) Imagine the worst the sun could throw at Earth. Say, a record-breaking bubble of highly charged particles called a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). Should one of these be hurled at our planet, a worst-case scenario would be some dead satellites (yep, that means no cable TV), magnificent auroral displays and possible widespread power outages...
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