The search for the best observatory site in the world has lead to the discovery of what is thought to be the coldest, driest, calmest place on Earth – a place where no human is thought to have ever set foot. The researchers pinpointed a site, known simply as Ridge A, that is 13,297 feet (4,053 meters) high up on the Antarctic Plateau on the continent at the bottom of the world. The study revealed that Ridge A has an average winter temperature of minus 94 degrees and an extremely low amount of water in the air. The site is also extremely calm, which means that there is very little of the atmospheric turbulence that elsewhere makes stars appear to twinkle. “It’s so calm that there’s almost no wind or weather there at all,” said study leader Will Saunders, of the Anglo-Australian Observatory in Australia. ***MARLAR: So if you’re looking for the easiest job on the planet, move to Ridge A in the Antarctic and be a meteorologist.
Be careful how you write your next email… Vicki Walker was fired by her former employer ProCare Health for causing “disharmony in the workplace” by sending emails with words in bold, in red and in capital letters. Walker tells us that this is ridiculous! In her defense, the Employment Relations Authority declared that she was not fairly terminated. Walker was awarded only $17,000 and plans to appeal for more compensation. ***MARLAR: Meantime, students are calling lawyers to sue their teachers for using red pen while grading papers.
A New Jersey social studies teacher has been charged with accepting cash from students looking to improve their grades. Thirty-year-old Megan Laboy is accused of collecting more than $1,400 from Colts Neck High School students during the 2008-09 school year. Police say the Howell resident told students she’d give them extra credit and the money was for charity. But they say she kept the money for herself. She’s charged with third-degree theft by deception. ***MARLAR: Third-degree theft by “deception?” So if she had given the money to charity then everything would be hunky-dory?
The top-selling Bible in North America will undergo its first revision in 25 years, modernizing the language in some sections and promising to reopen a contentious debate about changing gender terms in the sacred text. The New International Version of the Bible will be revised to reflect changes in English usage and advances in Biblical scholarship. The revision is scheduled to be completed late next year and published in 2011. The NIV was first published in 1978 and more than 300 million NIV Bibles are in print worldwide; its publishers and distributors say the translation accounts for 30 percent of Bibles sold in North America. ***MARLAR: So, can you still call it the New International Version of the bible when it’s over 30 years old? And what do we call the old New version when the new New version comes out? Is the new version the New New version, or is the old one now the Old New version? And what happens thirty years from now? Do we go through this again and call the new version the New New New Version while making the previous New New version the Old New New version, and making the original version the Old Old New Version? How about we come up with a new name, hmm?
The Portsmouth City Council recently banned the staff of 4,500 at its town hall from using Facebook, after discovering that employees spent an average of 413 hours per month on the site. Not only were these people spending a jaw-dropping amount of time logged-in, but they were also logging in often — about 270,000 times a month. Things really spiraled out of control this past July, when the staff totaled 572 hours and 38 minutes, or 71 working days, on Facebook, even though they were only supposed to visit the site during lunch or after work. ***MARLAR: If you’re as angry about this as other tax payers, feel free to remove them from your friends list.
A survey shows most Americans have fewer close friends than ever. ***MARLAR: Have they tried Facebook?
You have to wonder about the reason for this study. In a Macquarie University study in Australia, new moms were asked to sniff unlabeled soiled diapers, and it was found that they preferred the smell of their own babies’ diaper-messes ***MARLAR: Fathers who were asked to sniff the soiled diapers preferred to punch out the researchers.