Author Archives: Andrea

“So, is that actually about to occur?”

National Geographic: A giant star is acting strange, and astronomers are buzzing. “The red giant Betelgeuse is the dimmest seen in years, prompting some speculation that the star is about to explode. Here’s what we know.”

“[Villanova University’s Edward] Guinan suspects that Betelgeuse is dramatically dimmer now because two of its cycles are overlapping at minimal brightness. In essence, the star is approaching the dimmest points in both its six-year and 425-day cycles, an intersection that makes the star’s normal fluctuations appear much more sinister. After looking through 25 years’ worth of prior data, Guinan suspects that the star will continue to fade for another couple of weeks before gradually turning back on.

But, he says, “if it keeps getting fainter, then all bets are off.””

Link via Garret.

Liebe für alle!

WDR Doku Menschen hautnah:

  1. Drei ungewöhnliche erste Dates
  2. Was bedeutet Liebe mit Down-Syndrom?
  3. Das Model und der Fußballer

(YouTube, je 44min)

“Die Serie “Liebe für alle!” stellt Menschen in den Mittelpunkt, die eher am Rand der Gesellschaft stehen. Die Doku-Reihe begleitet Singles zu ihren ersten Dates und zeigt in drei aufeinanderfolgenden Filmen Höhen und Tiefen, Erfolge und Misserfolge der Protagonisten. Menschen, die in ihrer Sehnsucht, ihren Träumen und Hoffnungen nicht anders sind, als alle anderen auch.”

Return of the blog

Garret is back in the blogging-saddle over on dangerousmeta!

“Blogs have been largely relegated in the face of the instant-satisfaction social media. Those that are being linked on commercial news services regurgitate universal knowledge, inspirational quotes, and ‘best practices’ boilerplate. In addition, we are now tracked, tabulated, diced, sliced and served to corporate interests on a golden platter. I don’t need to tell you why or how – we all know we’ve signed our souls away for the terrifyingly bad user interfaces of services like Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram and others. Did I say bad? I mean purposely bad, to encourage you to do what they want, while making it truly difficult to do what you want.
[…]
[W]e all need a kick in the ass to stop with the easy-to-consume poison Kool-Aid, and start caring about this. Others of my blog generation have made the move, it’s past time for me to do so.

I call “time” for the renaissance of the independent self-hosted weblog. I don’t care what you use, or how you use it, but get the hell off the commercial social services and get an independent weblog.

Own your information. Control your information. “

Welcome back Garret. We’ve missed you!

“[T]he evidence pointing to the harms of e-cigarettes is starting to pile up”

NPR: New Study Offers First Evidence Of Vaping’s Long-Term Risks. “The study finds that e-cigarettes are linked to increased risk of chronic lung diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis and COPD, as well as weakened immune defenses.”

NPR: Vaping Nicotine Linked To Increased Risk Of Chronic Lung Disease. “The extreme cases of lung injury caused by vaping have raised awareness of the potential harms of electronic cigarettes. […] Many of these acute illnesses are linked to black market THC products, but a growing body of evidence points to the risks associated with vaping nicotine.”

See also this podcast:

CBC Podcast White Coat, Black Art: ‘It was terrifying’: Teen who collapsed after vaping nicotine is now warning her peers. “Vaping-related severe lung illnesses tracked, but not lower-level incidents, including nicotine poisoning.”

“Dr. Hassan Nemeh […] has seen the worst of those dangers up close. In September, he performed what may be the first double-lung transplant on a person whose lungs had been severely damaged by vaping. The patient was 17 years old.”

‘Der Idiot hat befohlen. Was können wir anderes als zu gehorchen?’

Deutsche Welle: Gedenken an die Ardennenoffensive vor 75 Jahren. “Sie war der letzte größere Versuch Hitler-Deutschlands, die drohende militärische Niederlage und damit den Untergang doch noch abzuwenden. Für Bundespräsident Steinmeier kann das sinnlose Unterfangen nur eines lehren.”

Der Überlebende der Ardennenoffensive. “Vor 75 Jahren versucht Nazi-Deutschland mit einer letzten verzweifelten Schlacht im Westen den Zweiten Weltkrieg noch zu drehen. Doch die Ardennenoffensive scheitert. Die DW traf einen der letzten Zeitzeugen.”

Update: MetaFilter of course has a thread about the Battle of the Bulge today.