When Professionals Rise Up, More Than Money Is at Stake

When Professionals Rise Up, More Than Money Is at Stake When 20,000 West Virginia teachers staged a rare statewide walkout, questions of pay and benefits dominated the headlines. But those concerns could not fully account for the teachers’ ferocious resolve. After all, stagnant wages and receding benefits have been an issue for workers for decades.
The missing variable appears to have been anxiety about their status as professionals.
Fred Albert, a math teacher and local union official in the Charleston area, said many felt that the Legislature had devalued their training and certification by proposing to let people teach a subject they hadn’t studied and had no experience in.
“If someone really wants to be a teacher, if they feel the call to be in the classroom with students, they need to go through the same programs we went through,” he said.
In that sense, Mr. Albert and his colleagues were in the mainstream of recent labor history. From doctors and nurses to government workers and ..

Boeing Possibly Hit by ‘WannaCry’ Malware Attack

Boeing Possibly Hit by ‘WannaCry’ Malware Attack Photo Boeing played down the cyberattack, saying it was limited in scope and that it had not affected the company’s production lines. Credit Matthew Ryan Williams for The New York Times Boeing said on Wednesday that it was hit by a cyberattack that some Boeing executives identified as the same WannaCry computer virus that struck thousands of computer systems in more than 70 countries around the world last year.
In an internal memo, Mike VanderWel, chief engineer of Boeing Commercial Airplane production engineering, said the attack was “metastasizing” and he worried it could spread to Boeing’s production systems and airline software.
“We are on a call with just about every VP in Boeing,” Mr. VanderWel wrote. The memo called for “All hands on deck.”
WannaCry is a particularly vicious form of what is known as ransomware — malware that locks up victims’ computers and data with encryption, until attackers’ extortion demands are met, often in ..

Your Cute Rubber Duck May Be a Haven for Bacteria

Your Cute Rubber Duck May Be a Haven for Bacteria Photo A study that tested 19 different bath toys found that the murky water released by rubber ducks can contain “potentially pathogenic bacteria” that can cause eye, ear and stomach infections. Credit Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images LONDON — There’s an ugly truth about the rubber duck, the popular bathroom toy that children put in their mouths and use to squeeze bath water into their siblings’ faces.
Something yucky is likely to be inside, scientists say: “potentially pathogenic bacteria” that can cause eye, ear and stomach infections.
A study by American and Swiss researchers found that toy ducks appeared to be a breeding ground for microbes. The murky water released from four out of every five ducks tested included Legionella along with Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria, often associated with infections acquired in hospitals, the authors of the study said.
The study, conducted by the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Te..

China’s Space Station May Crash to Earth on April Fools’ Day

China’s Space Station May Crash to Earth on April Fools’ Day Photo A rocket carrying China’s first space station, Tiangong-1, lifted off on Sept. 29, 2011. China lost control of the station about two years ago. Credit Lintao Zhang/Getty Images The sky is falling. Again.
China’s first space station, Tiangong-1, abandoned and out of control, is expected to drop out of orbit around this weekend, with pieces of it likely to survive the fiery re-entry and crash somewhere on Earth.
Don’t worry.
According to space debris experts, the chances that you personally will be hit by of a chunk of space metal are essentially zero — less than one in a trillion.
“It’s really very, very, very tiny odds,” said Andrew Abraham, an analyst leading efforts to track and predict the demise of the space station at the Aerospace Corporation, a nonprofit that performs research and analysis for the United States Air Force. “I certainly would worry about things like crossing the street far more than debris from Tia..

We Might Soon Resurrect Extinct Species. Is It Worth the Cost?

We Might Soon Resurrect Extinct Species. Is It Worth the Cost? Photo An illustration of an extinct rat kangaroo, published in 1825. Researchers recently analyzed the costs and benefits of re-establishing and maintaining 16 species in Australia and New Zealand that went extinct in the last millennium. Credit Florilegius, via Getty Images With enough determination, money and smarts, scientists just might revive the woolly mammoth, or some version of it, by splicing genes from ancient mammoths into Asian elephant DNA. The ultimate dream is to generate a sustainable population of mammoths that can once again roam the tundra.
But here’s a sad irony to ponder: What if that dream came at the expense of today’s Asian and African elephants, whose numbers are quickly dwindling because of habitat loss and poaching?
“In 50 years, we might not have those elephants,” said Joseph Bennett, an assistant professor and conservation researcher at Carleton University in Ontario. Dr. Bennett has spent his c..

Matter: Antarctic Ice Reveals Earth’s Accelerating Plant Growth

Antarctic Ice Reveals Earth’s Accelerating Plant Growth Photo A boreal forest in Quebec. A new study suggests the world’s plants capture an extra 28 billion tons of carbon each year. Credit De Agostini/Getty Images For decades, scientists have been trying to figure out what all the carbon dioxide we have been putting into the atmosphere has been doing to plants. It turns out that the best place to find an answer is where no plants can survive: the icy wastes of Antarctica.
As ice forms in Antarctica, it traps air bubbles. For thousands of years, they have preserved samples of the atmosphere. The levels of one chemical in that mix reveal the global growth of plants at any point in that history.
“It’s the whole Earth — it’s every plant,” said J. Elliott Campbell of the University of California, Merced.
Analyzing the ice, Dr. Campbell and his colleagues have discovered that in the last century, plants have been growing at a rate far faster than at any other time in the last 54,000 years. ..

More Than Just a Sell-Off in Tech?: DealBook Briefing

Supported by More Than Just a Sell-Off in Tech?: DealBook Briefing Photo Credit Paulo Whitaker/Reuters Good Wednesday. Here’s what we’re watching.
• Are we witnessing the end of the tech mania?
• Amazon has shed more than $50 billion in market value.
•Are investors waking up to Tesla’s real problem?
• Mark Zuckerberg agreed to testify before Congress.
• SoftBank and Saudi Arabia are planning the world’s largest solar energy project.
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Are we witnessing the end of a mania?Investors, always willing to believe in technology companies, spent the last three years piling into the shares of companies like Facebook, Amazon and Netflix with special abandon. Now the intellectual underpinnings of the tech rally are being seriously tested.
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Continue reading the main story Stocks in the best-known tech companies have plunged in recent days. The NYSE FANG+ index, which tracks the share price of 10 companies, including Facebook, App..

$9.5 Billion Purchase by Concho Is Latest Sign of West Texas Oil Boom

Supported by Energy & Environment $9.5 Billion Purchase by Concho Is Latest Sign of West Texas Oil Boom Photo A rig in West Texas, where production is threatening to outstrip the pipeline capacity. The Concho Resources purchase of RSP Permian comes at a precarious moment. Credit James Durbin/Midland Reporter-Telegram, via Associated Press HOUSTON — Two Texas oil companies joined forces on Wednesday in the biggest deal yet in the Southwestern oil patch, one that should add momentum to the rush to produce more oil as prices rise.
The creation of a shale-oil colossus comes at a precarious moment, when production in the region is expanding so fast that pipeline construction is barely keeping up. That may cap the potential of the deal, at least over the next year or two, to get oil to the market profitably.
The move by Concho Resources to purchase RSP Permian for $9.5 billion will make it the biggest shale oil and natural gas producer in the Permian Basin, the oil-rich area. With 27 ri..