Archive for Wednesday, November 19, 2003


November 19, 2003



Lawmakers consider dropping 12th grade

Colorado lawmakers have asked education officials to study the possibility of eliminating the final year of high school and establishing a year of preschool instead. They said it would better prepare students for college by giving them an early start and could save money.

"I'd really like to see if we might change the model," Republican state Sen. Ron Teck said Monday. "We've been operating under the same education model for the last 100 years."

Colorado is the first state to discuss the elimination of the senior year and its replacement with preschool, said Jennifer Dounay, a policy analyst with the Denver-based Education Commission of the States.

Florida has adopted a plan to let seniors skip their senior year by graduating early.


Sun sets on Barrow; will return in January

The sun is setting on America's northernmost city and won't be seen again for two months.

After Tuesday, residents of this city of 4,400 people on the Arctic Sea, about 330 miles from the Arctic Circle, may see a snippet of sun above the horizon for a few more days, depending on their elevation and the distorting effects of the atmosphere. But after that, the sun will not be seen again until Jan. 23.

"The sun is greatly overrated," said Bob Bolger, who works with computers.

To give people a chance to soak up the last few rays Tuesday, Barrow was planning a "Goodbye to the Sun" two-mile run, bike, ski and walk.

New York City

Chess master, computer end tournament in draw

World chess champion Garry Kasparov tied his computerized opponent X3D Fritz in a final match Tuesday, leaving the four-game series in a draw.

The match pitted Kasparov against a 12-year-old computer program that has recently been developed into a virtual reality game by X3D Technologies.

The previous three games in the series averaged more than three hours each; Tuesday's clocked in at under two hours.

"It looked like a short game, but for me it was not a game of chess, it was more of a gamble," said Kasparov, 40. "It's very, very important that we're learning. Machines are getting better but we're also learning."

The International Computer Games Assn. and the U.S. Chess Federation have sanctioned the match as the first official world chess championship in virtual reality.

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