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14-Year-Old Graduates College, Joins SpaceX

Quote of the Week:

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.” –Dali Lama

Fact of the Week:

Despite consisting of 75% hydrogen and 25% helium (the two lightest elements known to man), the sun makes up for 99.86% of all mass in the solar system. The sun’s volume is 1.3 million times that of Earth’s and contains 330,000 times as much mass.

But while the sun might seem gargantuan, it pales next to the largest known star. UY Scuti, a hypergiant, has a radius of 1.188 billion kilometers—that’s 1,700 times larger than the sun. For reference, about 5 billion suns could fit inside UY Scuti. This star is located 9,500 light-years away near the center of the Milky Way. German astronomers discovered it in 1860 and noticed it grew brighter and dimmer over a 740-day period, leading to its classification as a variable star.

The size and intensity with which it burns means that this hypergiant will exist only for a few million years, a tiny lifetime compared to stars like the sun, which will burn for around 10 billion years.

USA Today and NASA contributed to this article.

News Update:

Via The Mercury News. Credit: Shae Hammond/Bay Area News Group

Sometimes you have to ask how. How can you know that? How did you figure that out?

Such as is the case with the above fact: How can anyone possibly know the number of suns that fit in a star 9,500 light-years away? The light we’re receiving from UY Scuti at this very moment left that star when the Earth was still in an ice age. So how are we sure about any of this?

Well, if you dig in to it, you’ll find a lot of good answers, most of which I don’t understand nor will I attempt to explain now. But one thing is for certain: the people who discover these things are much smarter than your average Joe. One such person who exemplifies extraordinary intelligence is 14-year-old Kairan Quazi.

While most 14-year-olds are wrapping up their last year of middle school, Quazi just graduated from Santa Clara University. He’ll be joining SpaceX in July as part of the Starlink team where he’ll work as a software engineer.

Quazi’s IQ is in the 99.9th percentile, but unlike many exceptionally smart individuals, Quazi is also socially gifted. He’s maintained friendships with peers at his local middle school and also has close friends at the university. He enjoys reading, tennis, and video games, and is a part of a number of clubs at Santa Clara, like the Student Government and the Association for Computer Machinery.

It hasn’t been easy all the way for Quazi, who was accepted at only three of the 98 full-time jobs to which he applied. But he has excelled beyond the normal realm and has the opportunity to make great advancements, like answering the question of how.

The Mercury News and The Santa Clara contributed to this article.

Sports Update:

Since the latest edition of this blog, several universities have gone on to claim the national titles in their respective sports.

Via NDInsider

In Men’s Lacrosse, #3 Notre Dame defeated #1 Duke 13-9 in an effort that saw six different players record 2 goals.

On the women’s side, top-seeded Northwestern rolled to victory, beating #3 Boston College 18-6. They finished the season with a 21-1 record, their only loss coming in the first game of the year when they fell 16-15 to Syracuse.

In tennis, the Virginia Men’s team won their second consecutive title while the UNC Women’s program won their first ever championship.

In baseball, the DI Super Regionals begin on Friday, with three out of the top six seeds failing to advance from Regionals.

And in softball, the 59-1 Oklahoma Sooners will attempt to capture their third straight championship against #3 Florida State in the College World Series Final.

This week, instead of a riddle, we’ve included the link to the latest strip of Cliff Notes Comics. For the most accurate representation of college, there’s no better place:

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