News and Notes – 2/22/2008

Old math. Scientists have finally figured out how a 2,000-year-old mechanical computer salvaged from a Roman shipwreck actually works. The ancient device with 80 pieces of gear wheels, dials and clock-like hands was used to track the precise positions of the sun, several heavenly bodies and the phases of the moon. Computer scans show that the machine used a differential gear, which was previously thought to have been invented in the 16th century.

NFL reverses call. The National Football League has decided that churches may show the Super Bowl on large screens after all. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league would no longer object to “live showings – regardless of screen size – of the Super Bowl” by religious organizations. Many churches across the country cancelled their planned Super Bowl gatherings this past year when the NFL cracked down on churches showing the game on screens larger than 55 inches.

Working your way up. In a test of the American Dream, Adam Shepherd entered a homeless shelter with only twenty-five dollars and the clothes on his back. His goal was to have a furnished apartment, a car and $2,500 in savings within a year. After ten months he had moved into an apartment, bought a pickup truck and saved close to $5,000.

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