What I’ve Learned About Life


(Guardian Comments) – Suzanne Moore:

Never worry about what others think, as they will think it anyway, there is only one anti-ageing serum I would recommend … and don’t lie about how old you are. …

theguardian 2018/jul/17 60

Suzanne Moore


The Cosmic Ocean


(Planetary Blogs) – Adam Block:

I don’t know why, but I never tire of spiral galaxies and their grand sweeping displays. …

planetary cosmic-ocean

NGC 1398

Trump and Fascism


(Patheos::ATP) – Jonathan MS Pearce:

This was a recent piece by Fintan O’Toole in The Irish Times. After talking about the first step of rigging elections, as has been seen in the US and with Brexit to varying degrees, it goes on to say:

Fascism does not need a majority – it typically comes to power with about forty percent support and then uses control and intimidation to consolidate that power. So it doesn’t matter if most people hate you, as long as your forty percent is fanatically committed. That’s been tested out too.

And fascism of course needs a propaganda machine so effective that it creates for its followers a universe of “alternative facts” impervious to unwanted realities. Again, the testing for this is very far advanced.

tippling 2018/07/15 trump-and-fascism


Intelligent birds


(Guardian::Science) – Brigid Harrison-Draper:

Certain species of bird have surprised researchers recently with their ability to fashion tools and solve complex problems. …

theguardian 2018/jul/15 intelligent-birds

Tool-using rook

Staring Down The Barrel Of A Black Hole


(Discover Blogs::The Crux) – Erika K. Carlson:

Researchers announced that they’d caught a single, tiny, high-energy particle called a neutrino that had rained down on Earth from a supermassive black hole some 4 billion light-years away.

Astrophysicists are excited because this is only the third identified cosmic object they’ve managed to collect the elusive particles from — first the Sun, then a supernova that went off in a neighboring galaxy in 1987, and now a blazar.

So, what is a blazar, anyway? …

crux 2018/07/12 blazar

Centaurus A, by Chandra

The Loudest Sound Ever Heard


(Discover Blogs::The Crux) – Aatish Bhatia:

On 27 August 1883, the Earth let out a noise louder than any it has made since.

It was 10:02 AM local time when the sound emerged from the island of Krakatoa, which sits between Java and Sumatra in Indonesia. It was heard 1,300 miles away in the Andaman and Nicobar islands (“extraordinary sounds were heard, as of guns firing”); 2,000 miles away in New Guinea and Western Australia (“a series of loud reports, resembling those of artillery in a north-westerly direction”); and even 3,000 miles away in the Indian Ocean island of Rodrigues, near Mauritius (“coming from the eastward, like the distant roar of heavy guns.”) In all, it was heard by people in over 50 different geographical locations, together spanning an area covering a thirteenth of the globe.

Think, for a moment, just how crazy this is. …

crux 2018/07/13 krakatoa-sound-wave

1883 eruption of Krakatoa lithograph

Serena Williams’s Extraordinary Wimbledon and Ordinary Motherhood


(New Yorker) – Louisa Thomas:

By drawing attention to her struggles with motherhood, Serena Williams invites us to view her return with that much more awe: the harder the challenge, the more glorious the comeback. …

newyorker serena-williams

HBO: Being Serena

The Growth of Nonprofit News Media


(FTB) – Mano Singham:

The traditional news media, faced with filling in every single moment with content that will draw in viewers that can be sold to advertisers, has descended into the pattern that we see, of talking heads who are selected because it is already known what they will say and can be counted on to argue with each other without adding much useful knowledge. In this drive fro phony drama and confrontations, resources for real investigative reporting that requires a lot of digging and analysis, get squeezed out as being too expensive. …

If you want to hear real news, then it is worthwhile subscribing to the newsletters of organizations like The Intercept, ProPublica, the Center for Public Integrity, and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. You can also check out the member groups of the Institute for Nonprofit News to find lesser known groups that work locally in your area. …

singham 2018/07/12 nonprofit-news-media

Big Media

Less Defense Spending


(Atlantic) – Peter Beinart:

America’s NATO partners don’t need to spend 2 percent of GDP on defense, let alone 4 percent. And the fact that some of America’s most prominent progressive politicians and journalists think they should underscores just how detached liberal foreign policy has become from the values liberals supposedly prize. …

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Support the Pursuance Project


(FTB) – Mano Singham:

Pursuance is open source software that enables individuals to organize in the pursuit of shared goals.

Barrett Brown:

We’re building encrypted software to amplify the efforts of activists, journalists, & nonprofits — anyone fighting for social change.”

singham 2018/07/12 pursuance-project

Pursuance project