The Final Year


(Guardian Film) – Julian Borger:

Ben Rhodes spent 10 years as Barack Obama’s right-hand man. As a new film puts him in the spotlight, he talks high-stakes diplomacy and the chaos of Trump’s White House. …

theguardian 2018/jan/13 ben-rhodes

The Final Year, 2017 film


Why Is Ice Slippery?


(FTB) – Mano Singham:

Back as in 1850, the great scientist Michael Faraday did some experiments and found that even though cubes of ice seemed to have a surface water layer, when you held two cubes together, their common surface froze together to form a single ice block. This suggested to him the phenomenon of pre-melting, that says that the surface layer of ice is unstable because of the lack of molecules above it, and so becomes liquid at temperatures below the freezing point. But when two cubes are brought together, the common surface is no longer a surface layer and thus freezes, binding the two. …

singham 2018/01/12 ice

ice skates

Close, But No Caesar


(Good Tickle Brain) – Mya Gosling:

Phew, Julius Caesar is getting pretty heavy, isn’t it? Let’s take a brief moment for some comic relief before we move into Act 4. …

goodticklebrain close-but-no-caesar

Mya Gosling: Close, But No Caesar

Sorry for the Delayed Response


(New Yorker Daily Shouts) – Susanna Wolff:

Sorry for the delay! I put off answering your e-mail until I had an even more tedious task that I wanted to avoid. Thanks!” …

newyorker delayed-response

Snail mail



(Jesus and Mo) – Mo:

“I’m glad, you’re reading the Koran, Jesus. Did you know the beauty of its poetry is such that it can move listeners to tears of divine rapture?” …

jesusandmo doom

Jesus and Mo: Doom

Trump Warns That President Oprah Would Force Americans to Read


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

People were worried about Obama coming to their homes and taking away their guns,” Trump said. “Oprah will come to your homes and leave books there, which is far, far worse.” …

borowitz-report president-oprah

Oprah Winfrey

Julius Caesar: Act 3, Scene 3


(Good Tickle Brain) – Mya Gosling:

When we last left Julius Caesar, Mark Antony had just used the power of judiciously-applied over-the-top rhetoric to mobilize a mob of murderous citizens bent on revenge. Let’s see how that goes! …

goodticklebrain julius-caesar-33

Mya Gosling: Julius Caesar: Act 3, Scene 3

The Last Jedi and Losing Your Religion


(Patheos::Godless in Dixie) – Neil Carter:

The Last Jedi wasn’t at all what I went into the theater wanting to see, it was in fact a bold and iconoclastic move to create a more grown-up Star Wars universe for an audience who has aged far beyond the worship of its childhood heroes. …

godlessindixie 2018/01/06 last-jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Meltdown and Spectre


(xkcd) – Randall Munroe:

The Meltdown and Spectre exploits use ‘speculative execution?’ What’s that?” …

xkcd 1938

Randall Munroe: xkcd 1938: Meltdown and Spectre

Did ‘Oumuamua Come From a Dead Star?


(Syfy Wire::Bad Astronomy) – Phil Plait:

Late last year, an asteroid was discovered on a very unusual orbit: It was moving far too rapidly to be a member of our own solar system. Once enough observations were in, it became very clear that this was an object that came from another star, deep in interstellar space. It was a truly alien visitor.

A new paper makes an intriguing suggestion: It may have come from a white dwarf. …

syfy from-a-dead-star

‘Oumuamua asteroid