Daily Archive: 03/21/2011

Mar 21 2011

Round of 32 Day 1

NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament 2011

Well tonight we get to focus our undivided attention on the women and high time too.  The ‘Sweet’ Sixteen on the men’s side is not so much about who you’re rooting for as who you hate less.

But I digress.

Yesterday’s Results

Seed Team Record Score Seed Team Record Score Region
3 *Miami (Fla.) 28 – 4 80 14 Gardner Webb 23 – 11 62 Southeast
7 *Louisville 21 – 12 81 10 Vanderbilt 20 – 12 62 West
4 *Maryland 24 – 7 70 13 St. Francis 22- 12 48 East
1 *Connecticut 33 – 1 75 16 Hartford 17 – 16 39 East
6 *Oklahoma 22 – 11 86 11 James Madison 26 – 8 72 Southeast
2 *Xavier 29 – 2 72 15 South Dakota State 19 – 14 56 West
5 *Georgetown 23 – 10 65 12 Princeton 24 – 5 49 East
8 Kansas State 21 – 11 45 9 *Purdue 21 – 11 53 East
3 *Florida State 24 – 7 76 14 Samford 25 – 8 46 Southwest
2 *Texas A&M 28 – 5 87 15 McNeese State 26 – 7 47 Southwest
8 Houston 26 – 6 73 9 *West Virginia 24 – 9 79 Southwest
5 *Wisconsin-Green Bay 33 – 1 59 12 Arkansas-Little Rock 23 – 8 55 Southwest
6 *Georgia 22 – 10 56 11 Middle Tennessee State 23 – 8 41 Southwest
7 *Rutgers 20 – 12 76 10 Louisiana Tech 24 – 8 51 Southwest
1 *Baylor 32 – 2 66 16 Prairie View A&M 21 – 12 30 Southwest
4 *Michigan State 27 – 5 69 13 UNI 27 – 6 66 Southwest

Like the men’s bracket, few actual upsets.  Only Perdue and West Virginia yesterday and only Marist, Temple, Gonzaga and St. John’s from Saturday.

Tonight and tomorrow they’re still running the quad format with Tip Off times of 7 and 9:30 pm on ESPN2.

Current Matchups

Time Seed Team Record Seed Team Record Region
7 pm 3 DePaul 24 – 9 6 Penn State 24 – 9 East
7 pm 2 Duke 29 – 3 10 Marist 30 – 2 East
7 pm 1 Tennessee 31 – 2 8 Marquette 23 – 8 Southeast
7 pm 4 Ohio State 22 – 9 5 Georgia Tech 23 – 10 Southeast
9:30 pm 2 Notre Dame 26 – 7 10 Temple 23 – 8 Southeast
9:30 pm 1 Stanford 29 – 2 9 St. John’s 21 – 10 West
9:30 pm 4 Kentucky 24 – 8 5 North Carolina 25 – 8 West
9:30 pm 3 UCLA 27 – 4 11 Gonzaga 28 – 4 West

Follow the 2011 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament on The Stars Hollow Gazette.

If you don’t like squeeky shoes you can look for alternate programming here-

If you like a more traditional bracket try this NCAA one, they also have a TV schedule.

Mar 21 2011

Evening Edition

I’ll be sitting in for ek hornbeck who is Live Blogging the NCAA Championship Games for the next few days.

This is more Prime Time than news but in light of the assault on workers and unions by the GOP, it is an extremely important part of the history of union organization. Tonight at 9 PM EDT on HBO the documentary Triangle: Remembering the Fire. This Friday is 100 years since the March 25, 1911 infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Fire on the lower East Side of New York which killed 146 garment workers, most of them young, female Jewish and Italian immigrants. Many were burned alive on the upper floors of the ten story building, others jumped to their death. So many of these deaths were unnecessary, caused by unsafe working conditions. The outrage over this tragedy sparked reforms in working conditions and reforms in building and fire codes and a surge in union membership. This year we also know the identities of all the victims some who were burned so badly they could not be identified. Thanks go to Michael Hirsh, the co-producer of the documentary, for the four years of painstaking research he devoted to identifying them all. Having met Michael last year at a service for the dedication of a new headstone for one victim, I can say he was very passionate about this search. This is well worth watching if you have HBO.

  • West strikes Libya as Gaddafi forces choke Misrata

    By Maria Golovnina and Michael Georgy

    TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi surrounded Misrata, the only big rebel stronghold in western Libya, killing at least nine people, cutting off its water and bringing in human shields, residents said on Monday.

    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said a U.N. resolution authorizing military action in Libya resembled “medieval calls for crusades” and China stepped up criticism as Western forces prepared to switch from air strikes to air patrols.

  • Radiation fears grow in disaster-struck Japan

    TOKYO (Reuters) – Global anxiety rose over radiation from Japan’s earthquake-damaged nuclear plant even as engineers had some success in the battle to avert disaster from the world’s worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl.

    The high-stakes drama at the battered Fukushima nuclear power complex is playing out while the Asian nation grapples with the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that left at least 21,000 people dead or missing.

Mar 21 2011

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”

Paul Krugman: The War on Warren

Last week, at a House hearing on financial institutions and consumer credit, Republicans lined up to grill and attack Elizabeth Warren, the law professor and bankruptcy expert who is in charge of setting up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Ostensibly, they believed that Ms. Warren had overstepped her legal authority by helping state attorneys general put together a proposed settlement with mortgage servicers, which are charged with a number of abuses.

But the accusations made no sense. Since when is it illegal for a federal official to talk with state officials, giving them the benefit of her expertise? Anyway, everyone knew that the real purpose of the attack on Ms. Warren was to ensure that neither she nor anyone with similar views ends up actually protecting consumers.

Pepe Escobar: The Club Med War

It would be really uplifting to imagine United Nations Security Council resolution 1973 on Thursday was voted just to support the beleaguered anti-Muammar Gaddafi movement with a no-fly zone, logistics, food, humanitarian aid and weapons. That would be the proof that the “international community” really “stands with the Libyan people in their quest for their universal human rights”, in the words of United States ambassador to the UN Susan Rice.

Yet maybe there’s more to doing the right (moral) thing. History may register that the real tipping point was this past Tuesday when, in an interview to German TV, the African king of kings made sure that Western corporations – unless they are German (because the country was against a no-fly zone) – can kiss goodbye to Libya’s energy bonanza. Gaddafi explicitly said, “We do not trust their firms, they have conspired against us … Our oil contracts are going to Russian, Chinese and Indian firms.” In other words: BRICS member countries.

John Nichols: Wars Should Be Debated and Declared by Congress, Not Merely Launched by Presidents

The grotesque extremes to which Muammar Gaddafi has gone to threaten the people of Libya – and to act on those threats – have left the self-proclaimed “king of kings” with few defenders in northern Africa, the Middle East or the international community.

Even among frequent critics of U.S. interventions abroad, there is disgust with Gaddafi, and with the palpable disdain he has expressed for the legitimate aspirations of his own people.

The circumstance is made easier by the fact that the bombing of Libya by U.S. and allied planes has been carried out under the auspices of the United Nations. And with his words and his initial reluctance with regard to taking military action, President Obama has seemed to avoid many of the excesses of his predecessors.

Yet, now the headline on CNN reads “Libya War.”

This war, like so many before it, has neither been debated nor declared by the Congress of the United States.

Mar 21 2011

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”

Paul Krugman: The War on Warren

Last week, at a House hearing on financial institutions and consumer credit, Republicans lined up to grill and attack Elizabeth Warren, the law professor and bankruptcy expert who is in charge of setting up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Ostensibly, they believed that Ms. Warren had overstepped her legal authority by helping state attorneys general put together a proposed settlement with mortgage servicers, which are charged with a number of abuses.

But the accusations made no sense. Since when is it illegal for a federal official to talk with state officials, giving them the benefit of her expertise? Anyway, everyone knew that the real purpose of the attack on Ms. Warren was to ensure that neither she nor anyone with similar views ends up actually protecting consumers.

Pepe Escobar: The Club Med War

It would be really uplifting to imagine United Nations Security Council resolution 1973 on Thursday was voted just to support the beleaguered anti-Muammar Gaddafi movement with a no-fly zone, logistics, food, humanitarian aid and weapons. That would be the proof that the “international community” really “stands with the Libyan people in their quest for their universal human rights”, in the words of United States ambassador to the UN Susan Rice.

Yet maybe there’s more to doing the right (moral) thing. History may register that the real tipping point was this past Tuesday when, in an interview to German TV, the African king of kings made sure that Western corporations – unless they are German (because the country was against a no-fly zone) – can kiss goodbye to Libya’s energy bonanza. Gaddafi explicitly said, “We do not trust their firms, they have conspired against us … Our oil contracts are going to Russian, Chinese and Indian firms.” In other words: BRICS member countries.

John Nichols: Wars Should Be Debated and Declared by Congress, Not Merely Launched by Presidents

The grotesque extremes to which Muammar Gaddafi has gone to threaten the people of Libya – and to act on those threats – have left the self-proclaimed “king of kings” with few defenders in northern Africa, the Middle East or the international community.

Even among frequent critics of U.S. interventions abroad, there is disgust with Gaddafi, and with the palpable disdain he has expressed for the legitimate aspirations of his own people.

The circumstance is made easier by the fact that the bombing of Libya by U.S. and allied planes has been carried out under the auspices of the United Nations. And with his words and his initial reluctance with regard to taking military action, President Obama has seemed to avoid many of the excesses of his predecessors.

Yet, now the headline on CNN reads “Libya War.”

This war, like so many before it, has neither been debated nor declared by the Congress of the United States.

Mar 21 2011

Monday Business Edition

Monday Business Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Business

1 Disaster could cost Japan $235 billion: W. Bank

by Martin Abbugao, AFP

47 mins ago

SINGAPORE (AFP) – Japan’s massive earthquake and tsunami could cost its economy up to $235 billion, or 4.0 percent of output, and reconstruction could take five years, the World Bank warned Monday.

“If history is any guide, real GDP growth will be negatively affected through mid-2011,” the Bank said in its latest East Asia and Pacific Economic Update report.

But growth should pick up in subsequent quarters “as reconstruction efforts, which could last five years, accelerate”, it added.

Mar 21 2011

On This Day in History March 21

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

March 21 is the 80th day of the year (81st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 285 days remaining until the end of the year.

March 21st is the common date of the March equinox (although astronomically the equinox is more likely to fall on March 20 in all but the most easterly longitudes). In astrology, the day of the equinox is the first full day of the sign of Aries. It is also the traditional first day of the astrological year.

On this day in 1804, the Napoleonic Code approved in France.

After four years of debate and planning, French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte enacts a new legal framework for France, known as the “Napoleonic Code.” The civil code gave post-revolutionary France its first coherent set of laws concerning property, colonial affairs, the family, and individual rights.

In 1800, General Napoleon Bonaparte, as the new dictator of France, began the arduous task of revising France’s outdated and muddled legal system. He established a special commission, led by J.J. Cambaceres, which met more than 80 times to discuss the revolutionary legal revisions, and Napoleon presided over nearly half of these sessions. In March 1804, the Napoleonic Code was finally approved.

The Napoleonic Code, or Code Napoléon (originally, the Code civil des Français), is the French civil code, established under Napoléon I in 1804. The code forbade privileges based on birth, allowed freedom of religion, and specified that government jobs go to the most qualified. It was drafted rapidly by a commission of four eminent jurists and entered into force on March 21, 1804. The Napoleonic Code was not the first legal code to be established in a European country with a civil legal system, it was preceded by the Codex Maximilianeus bavaricus civilis (Bavaria, 1756), the Allgemeines Landrecht (Prussia, 1794) and the West Galician Code, (Galicia, then part of Austria, 1797). It was, however, the first modern legal code to be adopted with a pan-European scope and it strongly influenced the law of many of the countries formed during and after the Napoleonic Wars. The Code, with its stress on clearly written and accessible law, was a major step in replacing the previous patchwork of feudal laws. Historian Robert Holtman regards it as one of the few documents that have influenced the whole world.

Contents of the Code

The preliminary article of the Code established certain important provisions regarding the rule of law. Laws could be applied only if they had been duly promulgated, and only if they had been published officially (including provisions for publishing delays, given the means of communication available at the time); thus no secret laws were authorized. It prohibited ex post facto laws (i.e., laws that apply to events that occurred before them). The code also prohibited judges from refusing justice on grounds of insufficiency of the law-therefore encouraging them to interpret the law. On the other hand, it prohibited judges from passing general judgments of a legislative value (see above).

With regard to family, the Code established the supremacy of the husband with respect to the wife and children; this was the general legal situation in Europe at the time. It did, however, allow divorce on liberal basis compared to other European countries, including divorce by mutual consent.

Mar 21 2011

AT&T’s Revenge

The big business news that hit the “airways” yesterday was the announcement that AT&T’s plan to gobble up T-Mobile for a mere $39 billion which would create the largest wireless carrier in the US and leave just three major cellular companies in the country: AT&T, Verizon and the much smaller Sprint Nextel. Hold on, was I dreaming, or did we taxpayers spent a fortune of are hard earned tax dollars to break-up AT&T? Are those ten years of litigation and the consequent pain in the royal tuchas for consumers that it created a mere practical joke?

The deal still must pass muster with the from both the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission. as has been pointed out in the NYT:

Unlike the merger of Comcast and NBC Universal, which consolidated a transmission company and a content provider, the proposed AT&T and T-Mobile deal is a “horizontal merger” that would combine two companies that had been direct competitors.

As part of their assessment, antitrust lawyers must determine whether the deal might undermine efforts to encourage broadband service competition between wireless and landline providers. AT&T and Verizon both control a major segment of the landline market, so by allowing them to dominate wireless services as well, the merger could effectively hurt competition for broadband delivery options.

All in all, the consumer is the one who bears the brunt of these mega-mergers with increased rates and diminished service. Remember AT&T’s penchant for hidden charges?

How about jobs? What happens to all those T-Mobile employees? The newly merged company would save $3 billion a year with the expected  closing of hundreds of retail outlets in areas where they overlap, as well as the elimination of overlapping back office, technical and call center staff.

Everything old is new again.  

Mar 21 2011

Six In The Morning

Allies Target Qaddafi’s Ground Forces as Libyan Rebels Regroup



By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK and ELISABETH BUMILLER

Published: March 20, 2011


TRIPOLI, Libya – American and European militaries intensified their barrage of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces by air and sea on Sunday, as the mission moved beyond taking away his ability to use Libyan airspace, to obliterating his hold on the ground as well, allied officials said.

Rebel forces, battered and routed by loyalist fighters just the day before, began to regroup in the east as allied warplanes destroyed dozens of government armored vehicles near the rebel capital, Benghazi, leaving a field of burned wreckage along the coastal road to the city. By nightfall, the rebels had pressed almost 40 miles back west toward the strategic crossroads city of Ajdabiya, witnesses and rebel forces said. And they seemed to consolidate control of Benghazi despite heavy fighting there against loyalist forces on Saturday.

Mar 21 2011

DocuDharma Digest

Featured Essays for March 20, 2011-

DocuDharma

Mar 21 2011

Pique the Geek 20110320: How Nuclear Reactors Work Part the First

With the news about the horrible failure of the nuclear reactors in Japan, it occurred to me that many people do not really understand how nuclear reactors work.  This is the first part of a short series designed to demystify how nuclear reactors work.

All methods for generation of usable amounts of electricity require some sort of energy source.  In photovoltaic units, the electromagnetic energy in solar (or other) photons is the energy source.  In geothermal plants, the interior heat energy from the earth is used, whilst in wind plants the kinetic energy of moving air is used.  Hydroelectric plants use the kinetic energy of moving water.

Fossil fuel fired plants use the potential energy contained in coal, oil, or gas by converting it to heat by combustion.  Finally, nuclear electricity uses the potential energy of a very few heavy elements’ nuclei that is released as heat in the reactor.