DC high school grads all got diplomas without meeting basic requirements, Mayor investigates

Residents in Washington, D.C. are still baffled over how every single student at Ballou High School got their diploma, despite many of them not even showing up to class.

It wasn’t just one school. Students across the city graduated despite having missed more than 30 days of school in a single course, findings from the D.C. Office of the State Superintendent investigation found. The investigation is still ongoing, but parents’ demand for answers prompted city officials to share some initial findings.

The city wide audit came after an initial investigation by WAMU and NPR at Ballou, in which they discovered a high rate of unexcused absences.

An investigation by WAMU and NPR has found that Ballou High School’s administration graduated dozens of students despite high rates of unexcused absences. We reviewed hundreds of pages of Ballou’s attendance records, class rosters and emails after a district employee shared the private documents. Half of the graduates missed more than three months of school last year, unexcused. One in five students was absent more than present – missing more than 90 days of school.

Net neutrality revival needs one more vote in Senate to pass

A Democrat-backed Senate bill aimed at restoring net neutrality after a “misguided” repeal by the FCC only needs one vote from the GOP to pass. Meanwhile, 22 states have filed suit against the federal agency.

The measure introduced Tuesday by Senator Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) would block the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) December repeal of net neutrality rules under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). And it already has the support of all 49 Democrats and one Republican, Susan Collins of Maine, The Hill reported.

If the measure passes through the Senate with a 51-vote majority, it would then also need to pass the Republican-led US House of Representatives. If the bill passes there, the decision to either approve the measure, or veto it, would lie in the hands of President Donald Trump.

Under the Congressional Review Act, legislators have a 60-day window to pass the measure from the time the FCC repealed the regulations, which was on December 14 in a 3-2 vote. FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai approved the measure to repeal rules that blocked internet service providers (ISP) in the US from offering customers paid fast lanes or throttling and blocking internet traffic. The rules had been set in 2015 under former President Barack Obama.

Hijacking children’s brains: The era of ‘Digital Addiction’

Opioid addiction has become so widespread in the U.S. that last August President Trump declared it to be a national emergency.

“Digital Addiction” may not be as serious as opioid addiction YET; however, the outcry and accusations made by Apple investors and former tech employees seems eerily similar to what has been reported as contributing to the current Opioid Crisis.

Because of Apple shareholders taking a stand last week, more news keeps pouring in about tech inventors who have been limiting their children’s use of digital devices: “Bill Gates is surprisingly strict about his kids’ tech use – and it should be a red flag for the rest of us.”

Raging cop who likes to choke people for no reason caught on tape

Multiple videos have surfaced online showing an officer with the New York Police Department violently shoving and choking protesters during a demonstration in protest of the detainment of an immigration rights activist.

One Twitter user posted a video compiling cell phone footage from bystanders that shows the officer walking up to two different individuals who were not threatening him – appearing to choose them as random targets from the crowd – and choking them for no apparent reason.

The protest began after Ravi Ragbir, an immigrant from Trinidad and executive director of the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York, arrived at the federal building for a check-in with ICE officials and was detained.

A crowd of nearly 300 people gathered outside the building in protest of Ragbir’s detainment. The Hill reported that Ragbir has been “contesting a deportation order since 2006 and was granted prosecutorial discretion,” which means that Immigration and Customs Enforcement “delays execution of a final order of deportation for immigrants who are considered low priority.”

What you feed your kids affects their IQ

The more of the foods they consumed, the higher their IQs.

A diet low in sugars, fats and processed foods consumed at a young age may increase your intelligence, research finds.

Children under 3-years-old fed diets that are packed full of nutrients and vitamins have higher IQs.

The more healthily they eat, the higher their IQ.

The study followed the wellbeing and health of 14,000 children born between 1991 and 1992 in the UK.

Will 2018 be the year we directly ‘see’ our first black hole?

The Event Horizon Telescope has come online and taken its data. Now, we wait for the results.

Black holes are some of the most incredible objects in the Universe. There are places where so much mass has gathered in such a tiny volume that the individual matter particles cannot remain as they normally are, and instead collapse down to a singularity. Surrounding this singularity is a sphere-like region known as the event horizon, from inside which nothing can escape, even if it moves at the Universe’s maximum speed: the speed of light. While we know three separate ways to form black holes, and have discovered evidence for thousands of them, we’ve never imaged one directly. Despite all that we’ve discovered, we’ve never seen a black hole’s event horizon, or even confirmed that they truly had one. Next year, that’s all about to change, as the first results from the Event Horizon Telescope will be revealed, answering one of the longest-standing questions in astrophysics.

New largest prime number discovered

If you have a whole lot of free time, you might be able to type out the largest known prime number.

The newly found number has 23,249,425 digits, nearly one million digits more than the previous record holder, discovered a year ago. Here comes the math: the new prime number is calculated by multiplying together 77,232,917 twos, and then subtracting one.

Because no one, not even a mathematician, has the time to recite 23 million digits, the number was given the not-so-catchy name of M77232917. (But its friends call it 2 to the power of 77,232,917 minus 1.)

A collaborative computer project called the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search, which has been going on for years, found the number in late December, on a computer volunteered by Tennessee electrical engineer Jonathan Pace. Pace had been hunting for primes for 14 years. Merseene primes are a special class of rare prime numbers named for Jesuit scholar Marin Mersenne, who studied them in the 17th century.

First batch of Russian 5th generation Su-57 fighter jets to be put in service ‘very soon’

The Russian military is expected to receive the first batch of fifth generation Sukhoi Su-57 fighter jets “very soon,” the corporation developing the plane said. The jet was known earlier as the PAK FA and T-50.

“The newest 5th generation aviation complex T-50/PAK FA, for which we have high hopes and plans, will be delivered to the Russian Air Force very soon,” the Joint Aviation Corporation (OAK) said in a Facebook post.

Earlier on Saturday, a source in the aviation industry told Interfax that the delivery of the first planes of the maiden batch is expected to take place in 2018. A similar estimated time of delivery was given earlier by then-Russian Air Force commander Colonel General Viktor Bondarev.

The first nine machines are currently undergoing flight tests, according to the manufacturer. While the early jets were fitted with older “first-stage engines,” the Su-57 recently received a new engine, developed specifically for the fifth-generation fighters. The fighter, fitted with the new Product 30 engine, successfully performed its maiden flight on December 5. While little is known about the specifications, the OAK said last year it was an entirely new engine designed from scratch.

The Su-57 jet fighter, designed to replace the iconic Sukhoi Su-27 in frontline tactical aviation, made its maiden flight in 2010. One plane has an estimated price tag of about $50 million.

Comment: Compare that with the price of US’ fifth generation jet the F-35: Lockheed stated that by 2019, pricing for the fifth-generation aircraft will be less than fourth-generation fighters. An F-35A in 2019 is expected to cost $85 million per unit complete with engines and full mission systems, inflation adjusted from $75 million in December 2013.

Study shows which books you read to your baby matters

Parents often receive books at pediatric checkups via programs like Reach Out and Read and hear from a variety of health professionals and educators that reading to their kids is critical for supporting development.

The pro-reading message is getting through to parents, who recognize that it’s an important habit. A summary report by Child Trends, for instance, suggests 55 percent of three- to five-year-old children were read to every day in 2007. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 83 percent of three- to five-year-old children were read to three or more times per week by a family member in 2012.

Powered by WPeMatico

Driverless Taxis became a reality in 2017 and hardly anyone noticed

There are now actual driverless cars on the roads in Phoenix. That’s a big deal.
On November 7, Waymo announced it would begin regularly testing fully driverless cars-without a safety driver-on public roads. It was a momentous announcement. A technology that had seemed like science fiction a decade earlier became a reality. And the announcement was greeted with a yawn by much of the media and the public-if they noticed at all.Consider this December 7 article by Eric Adams, a writer for The Drive. Adams wrote that “Level 4 technology”-that is, a car like Waymo’s that can operate with no driver in a geofenced area-“is legal to operate precisely nowhere in the world right now.” In fact, Waymo had been operating its driverless fleet in Arizona with the tacit approval of Arizona regulators for several weeks by that point. The Motley Fool wrote on November 30 that “it’s not yet clear how Waymo will bring its technology to market,” even though Waymo had already announced that its first product would be a Phoenix-area taxi service.