Week in review: laurels and darts
It is highly likely that, at some point during the course of your undergraduate career, you are going to find yourself — or have already found yourself — spending an entire day in the library. Those who find themselves spending said day in the Alexander Library on the College Avenue campus can at least look forward to some small solace in the form of the brand new Scarlet Latte, a café in the library's basement. While the presence of a café may not make a day spent in the stacks a total breeze, it is, at the very least, a very nice way to break the monotony and relax for a while before returning to the academic grind. We give the Scarlet Latte a laurel.
Gov. Chris Christie may be the most entertaining politician of our time — one could conceivably start a Twitter dedicated to the brash and borderline ridiculous things he says. Sometimes, though, Christie lets his coarse manners get the best of him, as he did at a press conference this past Wednesday. In an effort to promote Atlantic City, Christie took a potshot at one of America's other gambling meccas, Las Vegas. Speaking of people who go to Las Vegas during the summer, Christie said, "Why would you go to the middle of the desert in the summer? You'd have to be stupid to do that" Stupid seems like a needlessly strong word in this scenario. Christie must know that there are other ways to encourage tourism to Atlantic City, ways that don't resort to name-calling. Christie receives a dart for this remark.
It seems like one can access Wi-Fi networks everywhere these days, with the obvious exception of most deserts and jungles. Such inhabited areas may not be exceptions for much longer, though. Iridium Communications Inc., a satellite phone company, plans on launching a small box which, when hooked up to an Iridium phone, creates a Wi-Fi hotspot anywhere in the world. The technology is expensive — the box costs under $200, but the phone goes for $1000, and the data connection is a hefty $1 per minute — but we can foresee a day when, like most advancements, this technology becomes cheap and affordable. We give Iridium a laurel for this development, and we look forward to seeing this technology advance even further.
When we hear the word "totalitarian," we think of Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy, not the Pledge of Allegiance. Brookline Political Action for Peace, a group from Brookline, Mass., however, thinks the Pledge fits squarely into the totalitarian category. Because of this, they are seeking to ban the Pledge from public schools in the town, in an effort to make students more comfortable and prevent bullying. Honestly, we're having a tough time coming up with words to say in this matter. The group's efforts to see the pledge banned seem so obviously extreme and misguided that, well, all we can do is scratch our heads and hand them a dart.
Despite the overwhelming amount of evidence supporting the theory of evolution, there still exists a surprising amount of non-believers. Even some members of America's political elite refuse to recognize the truth of evolution. Because of this, it's always comforting to see new evidence brought to the foreground. A set of bones found in South Africa has brought even more serious ammunition for the pro-evolution side. Analysis of these skeletons has revealed that the creatures these bones belong to had a mixture of human and ape traits. Such skeletons demonstrate a clear link between modern humans and their pre-human ancestors. The scientists involved in the discovery and analysis of these bones receive laurels for working to advance scientific knowledge.