Monday, November 7, 2011
ORNL in the News

An international conference for sophisticated doodads and gizmos at ORNL

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The 2011 Future of Instrumentation International Workshop will be held next week at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. According to organizers, the conference "will bring a unique mix of perspectives on advanced instruments, sensors, measurement science and related topics such as advanced functional materials. ..11/4

Department of Energy Honors ORNL with Three Sustainability Awards

(AZ Cleantech) The Department of Energy has awarded the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) three Sustainability Awards for its accomplishments in the field of waste reduction and energy efficiency...11/7

Steven Chu and Barack ObamaSteven Chu's Gamble on Green Energy

(Forbes) For better or worse, Steven Chu, President Obama's Nobel-prize winning Secretary of Energy, is likely to have greater influence over the world's future energy economy than any other single person alive today...Similarly, the DOE selected a team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee to operate the "Nuclear Modeling and Simulation Energy Innovation Hub,"...11/7

Tension WoodCells In Bending Trees Make Good Biofuels

(Earth Techling) Since 2007, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have been looking for ways to make cost-effective biofuels from nonfood "cellulosic" plant fibers...11/4

Local entities seek to capitalize on innovation efforts

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Emphasis by Gov. Bill Haslam's administration on creating more homegrown companies from technology developed at the state's institutions is leading to a reorganization of tech-transfer efforts at the University of Tennessee and a new investment by a Knoxville company...The announced retirement of Tom Ballard, a longtime University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory executive, and his intentions to lead a new Innovation and Entrepreneurial Initiative at Pershing Yoakley & Associates has also resulted in new leadership of the lab's tech-transfer efforts...Jim Roberto is now leading ORNL's new Science and Technology Partnerships Directorate, which combines the functions of the Partnerships Directorate, which Ballard led, and the Graduate Education & University Partnerships Directorate, which Roberto previously headed...11/7


DOE calculates the cost of owning a car

(Autoblog) The Department of Energy has created a tool that can be used to compare the fiscal and environmental costs of thousands of new and used car models...11/03

State & Regional

In Tennessee, Following the Rules for Evaluations Off a Cliff

(New York Times) Last year, when Tennessee was named one of the first two states to win a federal Race to The Top grant, worth $501 million, there was great joy all around...11/6

East Tennessee

Matt Hinkin predicts the second snowy winter in a row

(WATE) Like last winter, this winter looks to be influenced by the global weather pattern known as La Nina. It returned in August and is expected to strengthen this winter...11/4


IAEA says foreign expertise has brought Iran to threshold of nuclear capability

(Washington Post) Intelligence provided to U.N. nuclear officials shows that Iran’s government has mastered the critical steps needed to build a nuclear weapon, receiving assistance from foreign scientists to overcome key technical hurdles...11/6

Report Shows Gain in Jobs but Growth Still Sluggish

(New York Times) Employers added 80,000 payroll positions on net, slightly less than what economists had expected. That compares to 158,000 jobs in September, a month when the figure was helped by the return of 45,000 Verizon workers who had been on strike...11/4

Thousands protest at White House over pipeline

(USA Today) Thousands of activists opposed to a plan to build a 1,700-mile oil pipeline that cuts through the heart of the United States descended on the White House on Sunday to ratchet up the pressure on President Obama to scrap the project...11/6

energy & science policy

Inside Energy Extra

11/04 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]

  • House panel subpoenas White House
  • Chu urges change in DOE loan-aid program
  • Browner calls Keystone XL 'troubling'
  • Bill aims to extend renewables aid
  • BLM unsure about Grand Canyon mines

science & technology

Tree RingsScientists Find Evidence of Ancient Megadrought in Southwestern U.S.

(Science Daily) A new study at the University of Arizona's Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research has revealed a previously unknown multi-decade drought period in the second century A.D. The findings give evidence that extended periods of aridity have occurred at intervals throughout our past...11/6

Science and law: Improve statistics in court

(Nature News) Misuse of statistics is a blight on the law. Verdicts have been influenced by incorrect statistical reasoning in dozens of widely documented cases1, 2. Sally Clark, for instance, was wrongly convicted of the murder of her two infant sons in a British court in 1999. She was cleared in 2003 after further investigation revealed that the probability of cot death had been calculated wrongly as being far too low.

Other Stories

DecoysDarpa’s Plan to Trap the Next WikiLeaker: Decoy Documents

(Danger Room) WikiLeakers may have to think twice before clicking on that “classified” document. It could be the digital smoking gun that points back at them. Darpa-funded researchers are building a program for “generating and distributing believable misinformation.”

Siri a challenge to Google search: Eric Schmidt

(PhysOrg) "Apple has launched an entirely new approach to search technology with Siri, its voice-activated search and task-completion service built into the iPhone 4S," Schmidt acknowledged in a written response to lawmakers released Friday by the Senate antitrust subcommittee...11/6

Out there

Mouse WineThe Witch Doctor Will See You Now

(National Geographic) Piers Gibbon tries a traditional medicinal drink, field mouse wine. A selection of brandies and wines and alcohol with added medicinal ingredients are popular in not only Hong Kong, but in mainland China as well. Field mouse wine is said to be good for driving out wind, clearing up meridians, and improving blood circulation...11/7