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Obama restates commitment to health care, science

In his inaugural address today, Pres. Barack Obama underscored his campaign promises to reform health care and develop alternative energy. Here are some excerpts, from the prepared text:

“Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet … ...

January 20, 2009 — Jordan Lite

Obama's inauguration: Tech and enviro impact

Chomping at the bit to Twitter, text and make cell phone calls from tomorrow's inauguration? You might want to limit your expectations: telecom providers say they're expecting record wireless and Internet traffic in the nation's capital, and are asking mobile users to wait until after the big event to start tweeting and calling, lest their messages get delayed and their calls met by busy signals...

January 19, 2009 — Jordan Lite

Driver's med: Rearview mirror, sans the blind spot

A mathematician with a passion for optics has devised a rearview mirror that he says eliminates that bane of lane-changing, the blind spot. Andrew Hicks, an associate math professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia, designed a convex driver's side mirror that gives a wide field of view without significantly distorting the reflected image...

January 19, 2009 — John Matson

Suspended animation

Editor's note: Marine geophysicist Robin Bell is leading an expedition to Antarctica to explore a mysterious mountain range beneath the ice sheet. Following is the eighteenth of her updates on the effort as part of ScientificAmerican.com's In-Depth Report on the "Future of the Poles."

AGAP SOUTH CAMP, ANTARCTICA—For much of the past two months, our collection of tents in the middle of East Antarctica has been buzzing with activity and nervous energy. 

At the peak of our work, four hot meals were served every day...

January 19, 2009 — Robin Bell

Did bad weather kill, sicken California Brown Pelicans?

Bird experts suspect that California Brown Pelicans that have been mysteriously dying and turning up ill may have become sick and disoriented in a severe winter storm last month off the coast of Oregon that forced them to fly south in search of food and warmth...

January 19, 2009 — Jordan Lite

FDA warning: Do not eat peanut butter products

Health officials yesterday advised consumers not to eat cookies, crackers, cereal, ice cream, candy or other products containing peanut butter that may have been contaminated with salmonella, which has sickened more than 470 people in 43 states and has been linked to six deaths...

January 18, 2009 — Lisa Stein

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