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Scientists worried about Arctic ice level

The Dalai Lama plans to recuperate in the north Indian hill town of Dharmsala.

The Dalai Lama plans to recuperate in the north Indian hill town of Dharmsala.

A 21-year-old mother of two who survived five days in her wrecked pickup truck was in serious condition Wednesday after being pulled from a 100-foot ravine in North Carolina.

Amber Pennell called her husband, Mitchell, just before 10 p.m. last Wednesday as she clocked out of Hannah's Bar-BQ. When she didn't get home by 11:30, he started looking for her. At 2 a.m., he went to the police.

Over the next five days, their children kept asking for Mommy. Pennell didn't know what to say. "I couldn't tell them their mommy was gone."

Friends joined officials in looking for her, and a searcher who saw tire tracks heading off U.S. 321 looked over the embankment and almost left when a glint of chrome caught his eye through the kudzu on Monday. She was airlifted to the hospital, where she was treated for a broken leg and dehydration. She is expected to be fine.

"If you don't believe in miracles, you should," Caldwell County Detective BJ Fore said.

The Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, is suffering from exhaustion and has canceled two planned international trips to undergo medical tests, his office said Wednesday. The 73-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner had been "experiencing some discomfort in the past couple of days," a statement from his office said, adding that his doctors had diagnosed "exhaustion." The Dalai Lama just returned from an 11-day trip to France, capping an intense few months since the violent uprising against Chinese rule in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, in March and the subsequent harsh Chinese crackdown. Instead of Mexico and the Dominican Republic, he will go to Bombay, India, for medical tests, then rest for three weeks. While he is thought to be in good health, this is not the first time exhaustion has laid him low. In 2006, the exhausted Buddhist leader was grounded by his doctors.

Israeli and American scientists are bringing the oldest known version of the Hebrew Bible into the 21st century. They're digitally reproducing the Dead Sea Scrolls online. The ancient manuscripts date back more than 2,000 years and were discovered by a Bedouin shepherd who was looking for a stray sheep in 1947. The Israeli Antiquities Authority said Wednesday that reproducing the thousands of scroll fragments will take about five years. Special imaging cameras are being used to record the manuscripts without damaging them.

Scientists with the National Snow and Ice Data Center report that the Arctic Ocean is covered in 2.03-million square miles of ice, which is the second-lowest level in 30 years. The lowest level was last September, when it was 1.65-million square miles, and with three weeks left in the Arctic summer, that mark could be passed. The Arctic melts in the summer and refreezes in the winter, but over the years, more melts and less refreezes, and there is concern that within a decade, the sea could be ice free in the summer. "We could very well be in that quick slide downward in terms of passing a tipping point," said senior scientist Mark Serreze. "It's tipping now."

How states teach evolution

The science standards that govern how public schools teach biological evolution — the idea that life in all its forms has evolved over billions of years through mutation and natural selection — have improved in many states since 2000, according to the National Center for Science Education. But most states' standards do not explicitly require teachers to explain that humans evolved from earlier life forms.

States where biological evolution is . . .

States where human evolution is . . .

Mentioned briefly, unclearly

Note: Iowa does not have curriculum standards at the state level.

Sources: National Center for Science Education; Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, Good Science, Bad Science: Teaching Evolution in the States by Lawrence S. Lerner

Mentioned briefly, unclearly

Not mentioned in standards

Treated straightforwardly and/or thoroughly

Implied, but not mentioned explicitly

Not mentioned in standards

Mentioned directly

2000

2008

2000

2008

Dalai Lama is just too tired to travel

Scientists worried about Arctic ice level 08/27/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 2:22pm]

    

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