Brief asides


POSTED: Friday, October 09, 2009


UH astronomers supply good news for Earth

Earthlings can rest easier, thanks to some Hawaii astronomers. NASA has downgraded the odds of the 885-foot asteroid Apophis slamming into the planet on April 13, 2036, from one in 45,000 to one in 250,000. NASA scientists were able to recalculate the asteroid's path after Dave Tholen and colleagues at the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy analyzed previously unreleased images that gave a better read on Apophis' position. The asteroid, bigger than two football fields, is slated to come within 18,300 miles of Earth's surface in 2029.



Calling all would-be fashionistas

Talk about making it work. Atari Inc. is developing a video game for Nintendo's Wii gaming system based on the popular reality TV fashion competition “;Project Runway.”; The game will cast players as aspiring fashion designers tasked with creating clothes, outfitting models and showcasing virtual fashions on the catwalk using the Wii Balance Board controller. Anything that gets couch potatoes up and strutting their stuff sounds fashionable.



Good hygiene goes a long way

U.S. health officials are urging parents to get their children vaccinated against swine flu, but some simply aren't buying the government's safety assurances. An Associated Press-GfK poll found that about 38 percent of parents don't want their kids vaccinated at school; some are concerned about potential side effects from the new vaccine, while others think the health threat from the virus itself is overblown.

With that large a percentage of kids opting out of the free vaccine program, it's more important than even that schools emphasize good hygiene to deter the flu's spread.

No one can object to soap and water, right?