News Briefs

Today's top news stories for November 14, 2007

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Mars Ahoy!
In an attempt to understand a planet 35 million miles away, a Western researcher studies craters a little closer to home.

Dr. Gordon Osinski, assistant professor of earth sciences and physics and astronomy at Western, has spent the last nine summers working with the Houghton-Mars Project.

The project is based near the Houghton Crater on Devon Island in Nunavut. It studies similarities between the crater and Mars.

“We study the Houghton crater because it has the unique combination of a dry environment as well as the presence of an impact crater.”

The research in the Arctic allows Dr. Osinski to field test equipment that may one day be used in a manned mission to Mars.

“If the mission to the moon in 2020 goes well, we could have a manned mission to Mars as early as 2030.”

While Dr. Osinski studied the crater in hopes of gaining insight about the Red Planet, he also learned a great deal about Earth.

“Not only do we learn about Mars, but we also have learned about the effect of impact craters on Earth,” he said.

The number two liberation movement
With the state of satirical toilet humour in jeopardy, Beijing restaurant patrons will now have to find a new theme restaurant to fulfill their daily need for “liberation.”

A new restaurant in Beijing, China has caused a stir with its People’s Liberation Army theme and Beijing officials are hurrying to clean up the image.

The restaurant, called Times Gone Past, uses PLA uniforms for its staff and decorates its walls with heroic photos and maps of military campaigns.

In keeping with the communist theme, the restaurant labelled the washrooms “Liberation Zones,” a title used during the revolution to refer to enemy zones taken by revolutionary forces.

The local commerce bureau has forced Times Gone Past to cover up the “Liberation Zone” signs. It believed the signs were counter-productive to the revolutionary culture.

Professor of political science Marta Dyczok commented, “What kind of capitalist business could operate when the government is able to censor their operation? It all sounds a little ridiculous.”
"Michael Wojtowicz

Atari is in the Hall of Fame
To the delight of many adults " and some children " three new toys have been added to the Toy Hall of Fame.

Last week, the kite, Atari 2600 and Raggedy Andy were given the highest honour when they were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York.

The museum currently has 38 members in the Hall of Fame, including Barbie. Toys are chosen based on four principles: icon-status, longevity, discovery and innovation.

The kite, a toy present in childhoods across the globe, is a long awaited addition to the Hall.

The youngest of the new inductees is Atari, a primitive video game system used by our ancestors in the ‘80s.

“I played it,” the museum’s curator, Patricia Hogan conceded. “I’m better at it than I am bowling.”
"Dale Williams

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