Category Archives: History

Farewell, Oppy

The Washington Post: Opportunity, NASA’s record-setting Mars rover, is declared dead after 15 years. “A eulogy for the spacecraft that transformed our understanding of the Red Planet.” By Sarah Kaplan.

Opportunity’s historic mission, which uncovered signs of Mars’s watery past and transformed our understanding of the Red Planet, has finally come to an end after 15 years, NASA declared Wednesday.

The cause was system failure precipitated by power loss during a catastrophic, planetwide dust storm that engulfed the Mars rover last summer.

“It’s going to be very sad to say goodbye,” said John Callas, the mission’s project manager. “But at the same time, we’ve got to remember this has been 15 years of incredible adventure.”

Opportunity’s mission was planned to last just 90 days, but it worked for 5,000 Martian “sols” (which are about 39 minutes longer than an Earth day) and traversed more than 28 treacherous miles — two records for NASA.”

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The Heroes of the Thai Cave Rescue

Maclean’s: Into the dark – The inside story of an improbable team of divers, a near-impossible plan and the rescue of 12 boys from a Thai cave.

“We were foreigners and we weren’t going somewhere foreigners often go, so when I saw the blond man across the Bangkok airport shuttle bus on our way to the remote mountains of Chiang Rai, a one-hour flight away, I asked whether he was about to do the one thing or the other: “Are you rescuing the boys or covering the rescue?”

“Well, we’re hoping we can help rescue them,” he said. He didn’t seem hopeful. He seemed grim. We stepped off the bus onto the hot tarmac and walked toward the plane.

“You never know,” I said. “It could happen.” Save 12 children and their soccer coach who got stranded three kilometres inside a flooded cave in northern Thailand at the start of the rainy season with no known food, water or swimming skills: It could never happen.

He nodded. “You never know.””

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“Trump has evinced little respect for the rule of law”

The Atlantic: Impeach Donald Trump. “Starting the process will rein in a president who is undermining American ideals—and bring the debate about his fitness for office into Congress, where it belongs.” By Yoni Appelbaum.

“On January 20, 2017, Donald Trump stood on the steps of the Capitol, raised his right hand, and solemnly swore to faithfully execute the office of president of the United States and, to the best of his ability, to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. He has not kept that promise.

Instead, he has mounted a concerted challenge to the separation of powers, to the rule of law, and to the civil liberties enshrined in our founding documents. He has purposefully inflamed America’s divisions. He has set himself against the American idea, the principle that all of us—of every race, gender, and creed—are created equal.

This is not a partisan judgment. Many of the president’s fiercest critics have emerged from within his own party. Even officials and observers who support his policies are appalled by his pronouncements, and those who have the most firsthand experience of governance are also the most alarmed by how Trump is governing.”

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C-SPAN: Rep. Ocasio-Cortez Explains Our Broken System. (Video, 5:06min)

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Cold War 2.0 / Kalter Krieg 2.0?

Deutsche Welle: US announces withdrawal from INF missile treaty. “The US has begun its withdrawal from the INF treaty with Russia. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Berlin would continue talking with Moscow about its alleged violations until the withdrawal process was finished.”

Deutsche Welle: Pompeo verkündet Ausstieg der USA aus Abrüstungsvertrag INF. “Außenminister Mike Pompeo hat verkündet, was alle erwarten. Die USA steigen aus dem INF-Vertrag mit Russland zum Verzicht auf landgestützte atomare Mittelstreckenwaffen aus. Grund sind neue russische Marschflugkörper.”

Mirjam Pressler

Deutsche Welle: Schriftstellerin und Übersetzerin Mirjam Pressler ist tot. “Als Übersetzerin war sie international bekannt. Am berühmtesten: ihre deutsche Fassung vom “Tagebuch der Anne Frank”. Nach langer Krankheit ist die Jugendbuchautorin Mirjam Pressler mit 78 Jahren gestorben.”

Die Zeit: Schriftstellerin Mirjam Pressler ist tot. “Sie war eine der erfolgreichsten deutschen Kinder- und Jugendbuchautorinnen. Zudem übersetzte sie mehr als 300 Titel. Mirjam Pressler starb im Alter von 78 Jahren.”