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The cost of landing on a comet
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The cost of landing on a comet

By on Nov 13, 2014

Scientists and science geeks the world over got pretty excited when the space probe Rosetta’s landing craft, Philae, made contact with a comet this week. Here is a scientist whooping it up on the BBC. But traveling into space to land on a comet is a pretty expensive undertaking. Scienceogram came up with this fabulous […]

Airports, always big energy users, are turning to solar power
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Airports, always big energy users, are turning to solar power

Airports are big users of energy. They need power to run everything from runway lights to food concessions.  And that power is a big part of a facility’s budget. Two airports — California’s Fresno Yosemite International and Minneapolis-St. Paul International — have created solar power projects to help generate the energy needed to power their […]

Robert Snell: How I covered the Detroit bankruptcy
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Robert Snell: How I covered the Detroit bankruptcy

Last week, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes approved a reorganization plan for Detroit, bringing the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history to a close. Robert Snell led the team of reporters covering this once-in-a-lifetime story for The Detroit News. He also covers U.S. District Court and federal agencies in Detroit, including the Department of Justice, […]

Oh, those airline fees: more than half of us shell out
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Oh, those airline fees: more than half of us shell out

What difference has the Web made to air travel? And, how many passengers are ponying up for various kinds of fees? We’ve got some answers for you. The International Air Transport Association, the trade group that represents the world’s airlines, did an independent survey of passengers between July and September 2014, using social media, email […]

The backlash is growing against Thanksgiving Day sales
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The backlash is growing against Thanksgiving Day sales

I worked retail during high school and college. The two toughest days for us were the day after Thanksgiving, which has come to be known as Black Friday, and the last day of sales before Christmas. On those days, I rode home like a zombie, my feet hurting, my eyes blurring. So, I can’t even […]

Major League Baseball becomes a year round business
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Major League Baseball becomes a year round business

The World Series ended on Wednesday night, and on Thursday afternoon, I was attending a Major League Baseball game. Not one involving a big-league team, but rather, a game involving two teams in the Arizona Fall League. I’ll admit that before I moved to Phoenix, I thought of the AFL as the old football league. […]

Animal fat in airplanes: could biofuels help airlines’ bottom lines?
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Animal fat in airplanes: could biofuels help airlines’ bottom lines?

In 2006, jet fuel became the biggest expense on the balance sheets of U.S. airlines.  And airlines have been battered by volatile fuel prices in the past 10 years, even when they buy hedges to protect against cost spikes. Right now, oil prices are down, but nobody expects them to stay there. That is why […]

Awash in spending: 2014 U.S. Senate election races
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Awash in spending: 2014 U.S. Senate election races

Voters across the country go to the polls on Tuesday to vote in mid-term election races that will decide the future makeup of the U.S. House and Senate. 2014 is likely to set a record for mid-term election spending, with as much as $4 billion in outlays, as we wrote earlier this fall. The spending […]

Dropping oil prices pose a difficult situation for Russia
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Dropping oil prices pose a difficult situation for Russia

Oil prices have fallen 29 percent since June, according to Bloomberg News.  This may be welcome news for the developed world, but it creates a particularly difficult situation for Russia, which is already faced with sanctions by the West. In the short term, economists believe its accumulated reserves and floating ruble are enough to cushion […]