Bridge-playing honors students find fun is in the cards
MINNEAPOLIS — On a recent Monday night in a common room of Middlebrook Hall on the University of Minnesota’s West Bank, about a dozen honors students sat at tables, most with their heads down, intensely focused on deciphering what they held in their hands.Yet, there wasn’t a single phone to be seen. The students pored over playing cards — 13 each — as they tried their hands at what for many has been their grandparents’ game: contract bridge.Offered every spring since 2017 as a way to gather away from the pressure of grade-point averages and 4000-level term papers, the weekly class not only is ...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Tech Q&A: How to make iPhone's Siri less intrusive
Q: When I start to type an address into a new e-mail, my iPhone makes “suggestions” about which address I might want. That would be fine if the suggestions came just from my contacts list. But the suggestions also include several addresses that I’ve never sent an e-mail to. At the top of this unfamiliar e-mail list is the message “Siri found in apps.” How can I prevent these unwanted e-mail addresses from showing up as suggestions?—Chester Rorvig, St. Cloud, Minn.A: Siri, the iPhone digital assistant, has been given considerable freedom to search through your phone’s apps for information you m...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Taxing internet ads could raise lots of money, but doubts persist
Leading Maryland lawmakers seeking a way to help pay for a $4 billion, 10-year education plan came up with what they consider an innovative idea of where to get the cash: deep-pocketed internet companies.The Democratic proposal would tax Facebook and Google for every ad the companies run on the computer screens of Maryland residents visiting their sites. If passed, the plan would make the Old Line State the first in the nation to raise revenue by taxing online advertising.“Massive technology corporations have ballooned in size and influence over the last two decades,” wrote Maryland Senate Pre...
Study says herbal supplements may not be effective for weight loss
If you’ve relied on taking herbal supplements to aid in weight loss, a recently published study has news for you.Researchers at the University of Sydney conducted the first worldwide study of herbal medicines for weight loss in nearly two decades. Their findings suggest there isn’t enough evidence to recommend present treatments.These findings come despite some herbal medicines showing statistically more weight loss than placebos. The weight loss was less than 5.5 pounds, meaning it’s not of clinical significance, according to a news release from the University of Sydney.“This finding suggests...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf nominated to Boeing's board
Boeing Co. has nominated Qualcomm Chief Executive Steve Mollenkopf to serve on the aerospace giant’s board of directors.Mollenkopf, 51, became Qualcomm’s CEO in 2014 and led the wireless technology firm through a series of disputes, including a failed hostile takeover attempt by Broadcom, a nasty two-year legal fight with Apple and anti-monopoly sanctions from regulators worldwide.Most of these battles are now behind Qualcomm, with the exception of the pending appeal of a monopoly ruling in a case brought by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.Boeing is wrestling with the fallout from sensor sys...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
'He never gets sad': Connor has 'Childhood Alzheimer's,' and his little buddies are his rock
PHILADELPHIA — They call themselves “Connor’s Crew” at West Vincent Elementary School near Philadelphia: BFFs who can’t get enough of the one pal who, at just 11 years old, may be gone before any of them graduate from high school.To see them in action is like watching a rainbow cross a clouded sky.Elle Greco holds Connor Dobbyn’s hand through the library; Connor wraps his fingers tightly around hers. Another fifth-grade friend, sitting on the floor in front of them, turns her head back every few minutes to throw Connor a fetching smile as librarian Laura Vanemon reads excerpts from “Crenshaw,”...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Commentary: Fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral can be 'saved' another way: digitally
New reporting about last spring’s devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris — and, specifically, how the world-renowned structure is still at risk of collapse — offers yet another reminder of the fragility of humankind’s greatest creations and the stark reality that centuries of culture and history can be wiped out in minutes.Several years ago, in spring 2016, I was at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, one of the oldest and most renowned art museums in the world. I was there to announce the 3D digitization of the museum’s entire collection of 1,250 pieces of irreplaceable classica...
Why Madison Bumgarner's rodeo hobby should concern Diamondbacks so much
Madison Bumgarner was able to keep his identity more or less a secret while competing in rodeo, but there’s no hiding the dangers associated with the former Giants pitcher’s preferred hobby of roping calves.Using the alias of “Mason Saunders,” Bumgarner has been surreptitiously participating in team roping events — and doing quite well, even winning $26,560 in a December competition — The Athletic reported Sunday. Not that the man who signed a five-year, $85 million deal with the Diamondbacks needs the extra cash — roping runs much deeper than that for Bumgarner, who said “it’s just part of wh...
The Mercury News
Climate study shows methane 'burp' from melting Arctic tundra is unlikely
New research by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the University of Rochester eases long-standing fears that thawing Arctic permafrost could belch out mass amounts of climate-warming methane gas.Scientists had warned of a scenario in which the thawing tundra could release enough methane to sharply accelerate global warming. However, the study published Friday in the journal Science found that permafrost that melted during a previous warm period between 18,000 and 8,000 years ago released little of the greenhouse gas. So it’s likely that the permafrost won’t contribute much methane du...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Katherine Johnson, legendary NASA Langley mathematician, dies at age of 101
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Katherine Johnson, the NASA Langley Research Center mathematician who went from “hidden” to hero in her late 90s, died Monday morning at the age of 101.In the early days of the space program, before the advent of modern computers, Johnson’s precise trajectory calculations – done with pencil and paper, or chalk and blackboard – put John Glenn and other astronauts into orbit and brought them safely home. She was part of a team of “human computers” who inspired Margot Lee Shetterly’s best-selling book “Hidden Figures,” which was subsequently adapted into an Oscar-nominated mov...
Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)