Cassini’s ‘Grand Finale’ Saturn portrait


(Planetary) – In the early hours of April 13, 2017, Cassini captured this breathtaking and unique visage of the Saturnian system as it coasted through space in the shadow of the gas giant.

All components of the main ring system are visible, seen here illuminated from behind: a vantage point technically known as a ‘high-phase angle’. In this geometry, a peculiar reversal happens: the thinner and more translucent rings shine out brightly, while the more opaque and thicker regions are relatively dark.

Only two moons — Janus and Mimas — can be picked out in this uncalibrated and compressed data, in addition to a red-giant star in the constellation of Gemini: Tejat (μ Gem). …

planetary finale-portrait

Cassini's 'Grand Finale' Saturn portrait (April 13, 2017)

Better Call Bob!


(The Intercept) – Trevor Aaronson:

When Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III as special counsel to investigate possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, he called on Washington’s consummate clean-up man. …

theintercept 2017/05/18 better-call-bob

Robert S. Mueller iii

Romeo and Juliet: Act 3, Scene 3 (part 2)


(Good Tickle Brain) – Mya Gosling:

When we last left our hero, he was lying on the floor of Friar Laurence‘s cell, being overly melodramatic and self-indulgent. As usual. …

goodticklebrain romeo-and-juliet-332

Mya Gosling: Romeo and Juliet: Act 3, Scene 3 (part 2)

Is Trump Suffering from Dementia?


(FTB) – Mano Singham:

The allegation of Trump having loose lips brings back to the fore the increasingly discussed question of whether Trump is losing control of his cognitive faculties or is ‘merely’ suffering from narcissistic personality disorder.

Kali Holloway thinks that there are signs of a real problem of the first kind.

David Pakman also marshals the evidence in favor of the first possibility (cognitive decline) and against the second one (NPD). …

singham 2017/05/16 what

clueless Donald Trump

March of the Milky Way


(National Geographic::No Place Like Home) – Nadia Drake:

Photographer Christian Sasse captures rare views of the galaxy as it spirals over southern Australia. …

nationalgeographic 2017/05 space-galaxy

Christian Sasse: Milky Way march over Australia

My Family’s Slave


(Atlantic) – Alex Tizon:

She lived with us for 56 years. She raised me and my siblings without pay. I was 11, a typical American kid, before I realized who she was. …

theatlantic 524490

Eudocia Tomas Pulido

Led by a Child


(NYTimes Opinion) – David Brooks:

We’ve got this perverse situation in which the vast analytic powers of the entire world are being spent trying to understand a guy whose thoughts are often just six fireflies beeping randomly in a jar.

“We badly want to understand Trump, to grasp him,” David Roberts writes in Vox. “It might give us some sense of control, or at least an ability to predict what he will do next. But what if there’s nothing to understand? What if there is no there there?” …

nytimes 2017/05/15 trump

Donald Trump childish

Scott Adams embarks on the Johnny Hart road


(FTB) – PZ Myers:

I don’t normally read Dilbert — I’ve seen far too much of the benighted ignorant psyche of its creator — but this one was just laid out on a table at the coffee shop, and I knew I’d have to deal with it. In this one, Dilbert goes full climate science denialist. This might be fun, to dissect Dilbert, because even though it will kill what little humor is present in it, at least we’ll have a good time laughing at Scott Adams. Let’s dissect the shit out of this thing. …

pharyngula 2017/05/14 scott-adams

Scott Adams: Dilbert comic strip on 2017-05-14

Angela Chen: “Dilbert creator Scott Adams issues bad-faith ‘climate challenge’

Keith Pickering: “A detailed reply to Scott Adams on climate science

Sukanya, an Indian Opera


(Guardian Music) – Anoushka Shankar:

From his deathbed, Ravi Shankar composed Sukanya, an opera for his beloved wife. A Hindi myth, a British orchestra, and the sitar and shennai have formed a coherent and moving whole. …

theguardian 2017/may/15 sukyana

Sukanya opera

How Google Took Over the Classroom


(NYTimes Tech) – Natasha Singer:

The tech giant is transforming public education with low-cost laptops and
free apps. But schools may be giving Google more than they are getting. …

nytimes 2017/05/13 google-education

Pupils with Chromebooks