Blind adventurer to share insights

A renowned mountaineer and kayaker speaks Monday in Aspen, but this adventure story has a twist.

Erik Weihenmayer has quite the resume. He’s the only blind person to climb Everest, has summited the highest peaks on all seven continents, and most recently, he kayaked the Grand Canyon.

He’s also written several books, and will be speaking in Aspen today about his latest, titled “No Barriers: A Blind Man’s Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon.”

“I think that our community in particular, the Aspen community will find his story really inspiring and relevant,” said Ellie Scott of Explore Booksellers, which is sponsoring the event.


Why Oil and Coal States Are Slashing Their Education Budgets

A crane-like machine drills into a field for oil

A pumpjack in Wyoming David Zalubowski / AP

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead signed legislation on Monday approving $34.5 million in cuts to the state’s K-12 education budget. The new spending plan also denies tax increases that would raise additional money for education, though it does establish a special committee to determine future modes of funding. Ultimately, the legislation seeks to address a shortfall in Wyoming’s education budget that could reach $1.8 billion by 2022.

“We’re going to need to think about funding education as a Chevy rather than a Cadillac in the future,” Jillian Balow, the state superintendent of public instruction, told The Casper Star-Tribune back in December.

Beyond overspending, there’s a larger explanation for why these budget cuts are necessary. The majority of Wyoming’s funding for public education comes from taxes and other revenue sources that depend on the state’s declining oil and coal industries.

In 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy reported that coal production had reached its lowest point in 35 years, forcing many coal companies to declare bankruptcy. Oil prices in the U.S. have also fallen from $99 a barrel in 2014 to $30 a barrel in January 2016.

As these industries struggle, states that depend on them like Wyoming, Alaska, and Oklahoma are forced to cut spending for education. According to data from 2011-2012, around 30 percent of Wyoming’s education spending comes from federal mineral royalties, while another 30 percent comes from property taxes often backed by these minerals.

A 2016 report from the Rockefeller Institute of Government identifies eight states whose economies have been severely impacted by the decline of oil and coal revenue in the U.S.: Alaska, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, and Wyoming. In each of these states, oil, natural gas, and mining account for around 10 percent of GDP.

Last year, statewide budget cuts in Oklahoma led to a $109 million loss in funding for public schools. As a result, many Oklahoma school districts were forced shorten their school weeks to reduce costs.

Last June, Alaska Governor Bill Walker also unleashed a series of cuts to schools and universities, which totaled $150 million. In the same year, North Dakota was forced to cut $172 million in spending for K-12 education, but this loss was supplemented by a special reserve fund for elementary and high schools.

Although education isn’t the only public sector to suffer from widespread budget cuts, it has certainly felt the burden within these struggling economies. Indeed, the future of educational programs in states like Wyoming may depend on the fate of oil and coal industries in the U.S.


BBC Two “Robot Wars” by BBC Creative

  • Advertiser

    BBC and  BBC Two

  • Agency

    BBC Creative

  • Sector

    Media / Entertainment Brands and  Television brands

  • Exposure

    United Kingdom

Robot Wars’ brutal house robots put on an impressive show of strength in a trailer for the new series of the BBC Two TV show.

Led by Sir Killalot, arguably the toughest of the bunch, the robots gang up on and destroy a vehicle in a car park.

The trailer was created by the BBC Creative team, which has previously made spots for BBC Sport’s “Six Nations” campaign and the BBC+ app, a film which featured two naturalists on a hike.



How to force quit apps on a Chromebook


Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

When things go sideways with Windows, there’s Ctrl-Alt-Delete to get you to the Task Manager where you can investigate what’s causing the problem and end any unresponsive apps. When something goes wrong on a Mac, there’s Command-Option-Escape to call up the Force Quit Applications window. But when an app freezes or starts acting sluggish on a Chromebook, where do you turn? Is there a keyboard shortcut that can put an end to your troubles?

I have good news for Chromebook users. There is such a keyboard shortcut, and it’s quite simple. When something is amiss on your Chromebook and you need to force quit an app, hit Shift-Escape. This keyboard shortcut calls up Chrome’s Task Manager. Since Chrome apps are the only kinds of apps that a Chromebook runs, Chrome’s Task Manager is the only task manager you need on a Chromebook. Just click on the app that’s giving you problems and hit the End Process button.

At the top of the Task Manager, you’ll see Chrome listed. You can’t select it and force quit it because Chrome OS isn’t anything more than the Chrome browser with a bit of window dressing, which means that quitting Chrome would amount to shutting down your Chromebook. If you are experiencing an issue that force quitting an app can’t solve, then shut down your Chromebook by clicking the system tray in the bottom-right corner of your display and then clicking the power button. Or if you’re really stuck, hold down the power button for 3 seconds to power down your system.

For more tips, learn how to print from a Chromebook, run Windows programs on a Chromebook and the best way to use Dropbox on a Chromebook.