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Teacher Sells Ads On Tests 532 532

Tom Farber, a calculus teacher at Rancho Bernardo high school in San Diego, has come up with a unique way of covering district cuts to his supplies budget. He sells ads on his tests. "Tough times call for tough actions," Tom says. The price of an ad on a Mr. Farber Calc test is as follows: $10 for a quiz, $20 for a chapter test, and $30 for a semester final. Most of the ads are messages from parents but about a third of them come from local businesses. Principal Paul Robinson says reaction has been "mixed," but adds, "It's not like, 'This test is brought to you by McDonald's or Nike.'" I see his point. Being a local business whore is much better than being a multinational conglomerate whore.

Comment Re:FiveThirtyEight (Score 1) 1912 1912

"The only way we'll have a half-decent president in January is if a miracle happens, and a third party gets elected"

But what if Obama had renounced his party affiliation yesterday and joined a third party - then, by your "logic" he'd be a good president! Perfect! [Just because someone isn't a Democrat or a Republican does not mean they're a saint, genius.]

Hey, I got through that and didn't invoke Nazis once!

Space

Hubble Stops Sending Data, Mission On Hold 141 141

mknewman writes to tell us that NASA is no longer receiving data from the Hubble Space Telescope, which could possibly delay the shuttle launch planned just two weeks from now. There is a backup system installed which may be used instead of training the astronauts on the installation of the new component, but that would itself leave no fallback option. "NASA is reviewing whether the mission should be delayed a couple of months so that plans can be made to send up a replacement part for the failed component, said NASA spokesman Michael Curie. It would take time to test and qualify the old replacement part and train the astronauts to install it in the telescope, Curie said. NASA also would have to work out new mission details for the astronauts who have trained for two years to carry out five Hubble repair spacewalks."

New Solar Cell Sets World Efficiency Record 299 299

asoduk writes to tell us that a new world record has been set for the most efficient photovoltaic device. Topping the scale at 40.8% efficiency, the new solar cell differs significantly from the previous record holder. "Instead of using a germanium wafer as the bottom junction of the device, the new design uses compositions of gallium indium phosphide and gallium indium arsenide to split the solar spectrum into three equal parts that are absorbed by each of the cell's three junctions for higher potential efficiencies. This is accomplished by growing the solar cell on a gallium arsenide wafer, flipping it over, then removing the wafer. The resulting device is extremely thin and light and represents a new class of solar cells with advantages in performance, design, operation and cost."
Classic Games (Games)

PC Historian Finds Puzzling Game Diskette Image 232 232

This past weekend, Trixter — a self-proclaimed IBM PC historian — picked up some old software for his archive. What he didn't count on was a couple of additional Avantage titles that had never been released into the wild. If this weren't enough of a find, one of these titles provided Trixter with an interesting puzzle: the diskette for Mental Blocks is apparently hand-formatted to work on both C64 and IBM (on a single side, not the "flippy disks" of old). Quite an interesting little piece of history.

Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in high spirits. -- Robert Louis Stevenson

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