Shakespearean Vocabulary, part 3


(Good Tickle Brain) – Mya Gosling:

Time for another installment of slightly tricky Shakespearean words!

goodticklebrain vocabulary 3

Mya Gosling: Shakespearean Vocabulary, part 3

Ripples by Daphnis


(Slate::Bad Astronomy) – Phil Plait:

On Nov. 30, the Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn took on a new and risky mission. It began a series of orbits that are taking it over the planet’s north pole and then down just outside the main rings.

In mid-January it dipped through the ring plane on one of these orbits, passing a mere 28,000 kilometers from the tiny moon Daphnis when it took that shot with its narrow-angle (i.e. high-magnification) camera. …

bad_astronomy 2017/01/19 daphnis

Saturn's moon Daphnis

Shakespearean Vocabulary, part 2


(Good Tickle Brain) – Mya Gosling:

Time to clear up some more potentially confusing “Shakespearean” words! …

goodticklebrain vocabulary 2

Mya Gosling: Shakespearean Vocabulary, part 2

2016 Hottest Year on Record


(Slate::Bad Astronomy) – Phil Plait:

NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Science and Berkeley Earth also released their results, which agree with NOAA: 2016 is the hottest year ever recorded. …

bad_astronomy 2017/01/18 2016_hottest_year

2016 fire

Bush’s Countdown


(New Yorker::Borowitz Report) – Andy Borowitz:

Former President George W. Bush is eagerly counting down the days until he is no longer the worst President in U.S. history, Bush confirmed on Tuesday. …

borowitz-report bush-counting-down

George W. Bush

Not a Normal President


(Guardian Comments) – Jonathan Freedland:

From the US Congress to Theresa May, everyone needs to understand that when the next president takes office the usual rules will no longer apply. …

theguardian 2017/jan/14 donald-trump

Donald Trump: mask off

Dark Matter Detection


(Starts With A Bang!) – Ethan Siegel:

Just because we know it’s real doesn’t mean it’s easy to create in a lab. …

starts-with-a-bang 20b2bcf9fb40

Dark matter detection

The End of Ethics


(FTB) – Mano Singham:

There is a cliché that what is scandalous in Washington are not the things that are done that are illegal but the things that are legal.

The hard edges of this system is softened by so-called ethics guidelines that supposedly bind legislators and limit how much influence-peddling they can be the recipients of while in office and how much they can do after they leave, but those guidelines can be circumvented by those determined to do so.

But we are entering a new era when even that flimsy veneer of ethicality is going to be stripped off. Donald Trump and his family clearly do not believe that there is even such a thing as ethics or that any existing guidelines place any limits on what they can do. …

singham 2017/01/15 end-of-ethics


Shakespeare’s Missing Mothers, part 2


(Good Tickle Brain) – Mya Gosling:

Here are some more missing mothers, rightfully restored to their places. …

goodticklebrain missing-mothers 2

Mya Gosling: Good Tickle Brain: Shakespeare's Missing Mothers, part 2

Parting Words


(New Yorker) – George Packer:

In his farewell address from Chicago, President Obama had one overriding message: that American democracy is threatened – by economic inequality, by racial division, and, above all, by the erosion of democratic habits and institutions.

Politicians are always letting the public off the hook – it might be the most unforgivably dishonest thing they do. Obama was more candid than most, reminding Americans that the quality of our democracy depends on us – on our capacity to reason and to empathize, our attachment to facts, our willingness to get our hands dirty even when the political game seems sordid or futile. The key word of the speech was “citizen,” which Obama called “the most important office in a democracy,” …

newyorker 2017/01/23 parting-words

Tom Bachtell: Obama's parting words