Archive for February, 2017

Sieben auf einen Streich

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

NPR the two-way: Astronomers Find 7 Earth-Size Planets Around A Nearby Star.

“A small, faint star relatively close by is home to seven Earth-size planets with conditions that could be right for liquid water and maybe even life.

The discovery sets a record for both the most Earth-size planets and the most potentially habitable planets ever discovered around a single star.

The strange planetary system is quite compact, with all of these worlds orbiting their star closer than Mercury orbits the sun, according to a newly published report in Nature.

“If you were on the surface of one of these planets, you would see the other ones as we see the moon, or a bit smaller,” says Michaël Gillon, an astronomer at the University of Liège in Belgium. “The view would be very impressive.””

Trump wants to get along better with Putin.

Monday, February 20th, 2017

Last Week Tonight: Putin: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO). (YouTube, 20min)

“Vladimir Putin is known as a ruthless leader and master manipulator. John Oliver enlists a group of singing dancers to explain that to Donald Trump.”

See also The Concept of Reality Itself.

Link via MetaFilter.

What do you do after surviving your own lynching?

Friday, February 17th, 2017

Buzzfeed: On August 7, 1930, three black teenagers were lynched in Marion, Indiana. James Cameron was one of them. He lived. By Syreeta McFadden.

“The photo of the lynching of two Indiana teenagers would never grace the pages of the local paper. But the image is everywhere.
[…]
“Did you know that there was a third boy they tried to lynch that night?” our museum guide, a tall but frail older man, asked us, his voice warm and gravelly. We didn’t. Our guide went on to explain that there were actually three ropes strung up on the maple tree in Marion on August 7, 1930. A third teenager had been dragged from his jail cell to the courthouse square. His name was James Cameron and he was the only known person to have ever survived a lynching in America.
We were standing in front of him.”

Link via MetaFilter.

Today’s Press Conference

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

The Washington Post: Donald Trump’s combative, grievance-filled press conference, annotated.

“A solemn President Trump turned his Thursday afternoon announcement of a new labor secretary nominee into a screed against the media and large-scale defense of his first four weeks as president.

It was remarkable. Trump hit all the usual points: The polls, the electoral college, the media, etc. He even said that he inherited a “mess” four separate times. There were grievances galore.

Below is the transcript, which we’ll update as it comes in, along with our analysis and annotations.”

The New York Times: Full Transcript and Video: Trump News Conference.

“President Trump on Thursday announced his new nominee for labor secretary, Alexander Acosta, during a news conference at the White House. Following is a transcript of that event, as prepared by the Federal News Service.”

NPR: Trump Press Conference On Labor Secretary And Russia, Annotated.

“President Trump began his press conference Thursday afternoon naming his new nominee for labor secretary, R. Alexander Acosta. He also announced his decision to issue a new executive action while his travel ban is held up in court.

The president said “nobody that I know of” on his staff was in contact with Russia during the campaign. He also said he did not direct Michael Flynn, who resigned as national security adviser this week, to discuss U.S. sanctions during a pre-inauguration phone call with Russia’s U.S. ambassador.

Trump also touted new approval numbers — citing one in his favor and leaving out a number of other polls that how him with a lower rating — and claimed to have “inherited a mess” in regards to the economy, though unemployment figures contradict that claim.”

Audio Book

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

Moby Dick Big Read.

Open Culture: Hear Moby Dick Read in Its Entirety by Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, John Waters, Stephen Fry & More.

Also available on iTunes and Soundcloud.

This was posted back in March 2016, but I found out about it today via Audrey.