Bill would allow fatal drugs for terminally ill
7:46 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Conn. legislators hear emotional testimony for and against aid-in-dying bill

Sara Meyers, who has ALS, testified in favor of the bill
Credit CT-N

The Public Health Committee of the Connecticut State Legislature is heard emotional testimony on Monday on legislation that would allow terminally ill people in the state to be prescribed life ending drugs. If the bill were to pass, adult patients who are considered mentally competent and are told by two doctors that they have less than six months to live, would be able to get the life ending drugs. Terminally ill people testified in favor of the bill, and some with disabilities testified against it.

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Proposed Conn. ban on GMO grass seeds
6:01 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Proposed Conn. ban on sale of GMO grass meets some resistance

Conn. Senate President Donald Williams discussing with fellow Democrat state Senator Andrea Stillman outside the state Senate Chamber
Credit Ebong Udoma

A proposal by state Senate President Donald Williams to ban the sale of genetically modified grass in Connecticut met some resistance on Monday in the state legislature’s environment committee. Opponents complain the proposal is vague and they don’t know what it would actually cover.

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Traffic fees & borrowing in the offing
4:01 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Needing a windfall, Suffolk eyes suing big tobacco

Cigarette seller Victoria Edwards outside her shop on the Poospatuck reservation in Mastic. 2009
Credit Charles Lane

As they continue to deal with a troubled budget Suffolk County lawmakers are meeting Tuesday to consider a number of revenue generators including hikes to traffic and parking fees and also suing big tobacco.

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David Bouchier 3/17/14
7:46 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Things Are Against Us

Do you ever get the impression that life is a perpetual struggle against things? The French have a phrase for it: "Les choses sont contre nous" or things are against us.   

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Understanding the Newtown shooting
7:27 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Sandy Hook shooter's father breaks his silence

Writer Andrew Solomon, whose article about Peter Lanza appears in the New Yorker
Credit AP Photo/Scribner, Annie Leibovitz

Peter Lanza is the father of Adam Lanza, the young Newtown Connecticut man who killed his mother, 20 children and six educators at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, and then himself.

Peter Lanza has avoided the press, but granted long interviews to writer Andrew Solomon last Fall. Solomon’s article on Peter Lanza is in this week’s New Yorker.

Andrew Solomon is the author of ‘Far from the Tree,’ which explores the relationships in families where children and parents are exceptionally different from each other. He also has a Ph.D. in psychology.

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Vintage Radio
2:49 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Regeneration Under Glass

1923 National Browning Drake “Regenaformer” table top radio
Credit P. Litwinovich collection

The rare 1923 National Browning Drake "Regenaformer" table top radio is rich in the history of the early art, a story of collaboration, litigation, competition  and excitement. This particular radio is built in an all glass case which is what makes it so rare. I’ll get into the reasons behind the glass case shortly, but first, who was the National Browning Drake company and what is a Regenaformer?

If you are a long time radio enthusiast or an amateur radio operator all three of those names are probably familiar, but they are not usually thought of together.

The National Company began as Stone and Webster Engineering Inc., a supplier of sheet metal materials to the growing power plant industry at the turn of the century. Looking for an additional source of income and already having shops capable of turning out sheet metal products, Warren Hopkins, president of Stone and Webster, along with associates Walter Balke and Rosewell Douglass, incorporated the National Toy Company in October of 1914. They landed their first order with retail giant Woolworth’s and soon secured a patent for the manufacture of talking toys. By 1916 the company was highly successful, supplying toys to F.A.O. Schwarz, Gimbels and others. By the early 1920 the company added radio components to its product line. Tuning capacitors in particular, are made from plates stamped from aluminum or brass sheet metal.  Soon after, the company dropped the word “Toy” from its name and became “The National Company”.  (*1) The company was located in Cambridge Massachusetts.

In the early 1920s, Fred H. Drake and Glenn Browning, both Harvard engineering graduates, were conducting research at the university on methods to improve the efficiency of radio frequency transformers (note 1), then typically only 20 to 30 percent efficient.    Mr.  Drake suggested (and I quote from his own paper) that they should use “a mathematical treatment of a tuned radio frequency transformer, in order to determine the proper constants necessary for maximum amplification”.  The results when built and tested in the lab proved to work better than he and Mr. Browning had hoped for. (*2)

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Education
9:53 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Simulator shows students the dangers of distracted driving

University of New Haven student Nick Sullivan in a simulator showing the dangers of distracted driving
Credit Craig LeMoult

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2012, 3,328 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers. This week, at the University of New Haven, students are getting the chance to see just how hard it is to drive when they’re distracted.

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"Enhanced" communication, but same outage system
9:34 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

NY reviews PSEG-LI storm plan

PSEG-LI updated LIPA's existing plan with additional communication staffing
Credit Charles Lane

New York’s Department of Public Service held public hearings Thursday on PSEG’s new storm emergency plan for Long Island electric customers. The updated plan is largely the same as LIPA's but with an improvements to customer communication.

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Domestic Worker Bill of Rights
7:56 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Conn. domestic workers want a special bill of rights

Carla Goyes, a former Greenwich nanny from Ecuador. One of several domestic workers advocating for a state Domestic Workers Bill of Rights
Credit Ebong Udoma

Some domestic workers in Connecticut want a special bill of rights. 

    

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Illegal offshore accounts
7:38 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Conn. tax officals want to go after illegal offshore income

Connecticut ‘s Department of Revenue Services wants to go after taxpayers with incomes in illegal offshore tax shelters, even if they no longer live in Connecticut. The department made the case to state lawmakers on Thursday.

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