The midnight premier of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colorado took a bad turn when a gunman opened fire on the crowds waiting to enter the theater. It was not suspected to be a terrorist incident, but police are unsure of what motivated the suspect, 24 year old James Holmes, to open fire on the audience, killing 12 people and injuring 38 more. The ages of the victims range from 3 months to 45 years old.
Witness report that the gunman appeared in the front of the theater, threw some kind of smoke bomb, suspected to be tear gas, and then opened fire. There was initially a lot of confusion as some audience members thought the gas was some kind of special effect to entertain the crowds. Some reported that they were not aware what was happening until people began to scream and run away. Hospitals in surrounding areas had their hands full, as all of those who were wounded were suffering from gunshot wounds, some minor, some critical, and some deadly.
Warner Bros. expressed their sympathies for the occurrence and for the suffering of the victims and their families. They canceled the films premier in Paris, and encouraged the New York Police to closely monitor screenings to prevent any copycat shootings.
This event certainly doesn’t help Colorado’s record of senseless massacres since Aurora is a mere 13 miles from Littleton, Colorado,the location of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting in which two teenagers killed 13 students and faculty members, and wounded an additional 23, before taking their own lives. Additionally, Colorado has recently suffered from terrible forest fires that have destroyed many homes and lives. Let’s hope this is the last tragedy that have to suffer this summer.
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Boston Globe – An Uncertain Line Between Fantasy’s Lure, Nightmare
Huge Aquifer Discovered in Namibia
A new water source was found in Namibia that could really change the quality of life for many people living in the country.
The word ‘new’ isn’t entirely accurate, as the source is more than 10,000 years old, but the quality of the water is still good—in fact it is better than the common water supplies currently used.
Even better, this aquifer is quite vast. At the current rates of consumption it could provide water to those dwelling in northern Namibia for over 400 years. Another positive point is that the current usage is also sustainable. They will not be extracting more water than is being recharged annually. This means that not only will the aquifer last a long time, but this also reduces the risk of contaminating the source by overdrawing from it.
There are a few worries for government officials, however. The pressure that this water source is under makes it quite easy and cheap to extract, which is great for the government, but it also raises fears that unauthorized sources might try to tap in. Random drilling, especially by those without knowledge of this specific aquifer, could be quite dangerous because the aquifer sits below a smaller, salty aquifer. There is a good possibility that someone not complying with the regulations of the government could cause the two aquifers to leak into each other. If the salt water found a way into the non-salt water, it would completely contaminate the source, and would be a huge loss. Hopefully the severity of this risk will be realized, and people will decide to follow the rules.
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Improved School Lunches
When we think back on public school lunches, we recall those red plastic trays—one side filled with some sort of fried meat (God I hope it was actually chicken) and the other side filled with vegetables, although it was often a source of entertainment to try and discern what type of vegetable was actually in the mushy, yellow-ish green pile provided. While the food was hardly ever edible, it was always a point of solidarity. We all suffered together, and now we can look back and joke about it.
But during the past year the Department of Agriculture has passed a new law requiring school breakfasts and lunches to improve, calling for fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads, and low fat milks.
This week the School Nutrition Association held a conference where they taught vendors how to cook with certain herbs, and how to make some foods from scratch. These changes are all part of the requirements to meet certain caloric and sodium levels, levels that were not attainable with the standard throw-it-in-the-fryer technique that has dominated schools for so many years.
Nutrition experts are optimistic that these changes will not only help kids eat healthier lunches, but it will also open them up to more fruits and veggies, and encourage them to eat these foods outside of the cafeteria. While lunchtime might now be an affair in which children eat, I’m sure much of the entertainment I recall from my school days will be lost. I guess kids won’t be playing “bounce the “patty””, “identify this “vegetable””, and “name this meat” anymore.
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New York Times- School Menus Get a Fresh Look