A&S in the News – Dec. 3–9

  1. Trump: A new kind of president
    Florence Times Daily – Dec. 4

    President-elect Donald Trump’s grasp of the Constitution might not be very good, or he might simply be saying what his supporters want to hear. Trump a week ago said those who burn the United States flag should be punished with jail time or banishment. That might appeal to many people on a certain level, but it is protected political speech that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld twice in the past. “It shows a gap in his knowledge,” said Bill Stewart, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Alabama.
  2. An X-Ray Surprise! When Black Holes Stop Eating, Galaxies Fade Away
    Forbes – Dec. 5

    Most large galaxies are illuminated by billions of stars, but some cosmic monstrosities have an even greater source of light: an active, supermassive, feeding black hole … The bright emissions extending past the edge of the galaxies are evidence of prior AGN activity, but the central black holes are too dim now. Image credit: NASA / ESA / W. Keel, University of Alabama.
  3. Statewide burn ban lifted
    Tuscaloosa News – Dec. 5

    Recent rains have prompted Gov. Robert Bentley to lift the statewide burn ban that has been in effect since early November. Bentley and Interim State Forester Gary Cole on Monday rescinded the statewide Drought Emergency “No Burn” Order. Officials with the Alabama Forestry Commission said the state has received enough rainfall over the last few days to reduce the threat of dangerous wildfires … This reflects the modeling conducted by earlier this year by a team of UA researchers including Sagy Cohen, a University of Alabama assistant professor of geography who specializes in global hydrology. Cohen said that data also indicated that drought-like conditions could extend throughout the winter.
  4. How should the news media talk about the ‘alt-right’ movement?
    Christian Science Monitor – Dec. 8

    Comedian Seth Meyers joined the chorus of voices calling for an end to the term “alt-right” Wednesday night, urging the media to instead refer to members of the movement as “white supremacists” or “Nazis.” “Since the election of Donald Trump and the ascension of his right-hand man, Steve Bannon, there have been fears about the rise of white supremacy,” the host of NBC’s “Late Night” said. “Yet the media seems to be bending over backwards to normalize the so-called alt-right movement.” … George Hawley, a professor of political science at the University of Alabama who is working on a book about the alt-right, doesn’t believe the term “white nationalist” is necessary an oversimplification of the alt-right’s views, as it is, “at its core…a racial movement.”

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