Category Archives: Information

Teacher Pensions

Official Education Spending Figures Do Not Incorporate Full Cost of Teacher Pensions

“… Despite the centrality of pensions in debates over government budgeting and education policy, the NCES dramatically underestimates pension costs in its official education spending figures. States report to the NCES only the yearly contributions to teacher pension funds rather than the present value of accrued benefits. Since governments routinely contribute less than is needed to cover future pension benefits, correcting this accounting problem could add tens of billions of dollars to official education spending estimates—somewhere around $900 to $1,000 per pupil in ongoing year-to-year costs, plus roughly $700 to $800 per pupil in annual debt service. The NCES should join other federal agencies in measuring the cost of pensions with actual risk-adjusted pension liabilities rather than annual contributions. …” read more

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When Galaxies Collide

Galaxy Collisions: Simulation vs Observations
Images Credit: NASA, ESA; Visualization: Frank Summers (STScI); Simulation: Chris Mihos (CWRU) & Lars Hernquist (Harvard).

Explanation: What happens when two galaxies collide? Although it may take over a billion years, such titanic clashes are quite common. Since galaxies are mostly empty space, no internal stars are likely to themselves collide. Rather the gravitation of each galaxy will distort or destroy the other galaxy, and the galaxies may eventually merge to form a single larger galaxy. Expansive gas and dust clouds collide and trigger waves of star formation that complete even during the interaction process. Pictured above is a computer simulation of two large spiral galaxies colliding, interspersed with real still images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Our own Milky Way Galaxy has absorbed several smaller galaxies during its existence and is even projected to merge with the larger neighboring Andromeda galaxy in a few billion years. read more

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Batteries

Here’s a neat method for saving money on AA 1.5 volt batteries. Takes a little effort, but depending on how many of these batteries you use, you could save a lot. Watch the video.

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