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The dark future of American space exploration: NASA’s golden age is about to come to a thudding halt

I remember, as a kid, being thrilled by the images that came in from the Voyager flybys in the late 70s and 80s. I wrote a fan letter to NASA when I was about 11, and received a big stack of glossy publications on the Space Shuttle and commercial technologies spun off from NASA inventions. If NASAs New Horizons mission to Pluto is extended beyond 2017, the entire active human presence at…

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Ancient Sea Rise Tale Told Accurately for 10,000 Years

“It’s quite gobsmacking to think that a story could be told for 10,000 years,” Nicholas Reid, a linguist at Australia’s University of New England specializing in Aboriginal Australian languages, said. “It’s almost unimaginable that people would transmit stories about things like islands that are currently underwater accurately across 400 generations.” –Scientific American.

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Earth With Rings

Sure, Saturn’s rings are cool, but the Earth is pretty awesome too, what with the water, the oxygen, the life, the chocolate. So let’s imagine just how awesome Earth would be if it also had rings. Ron Miller’s illustrations show various views of the earth with what that lucky planet Saturn has. –Ron Miller/Black Cat Studios

THE LEARNING MAZE by Robert Bloch

I read this short story as a kid. Not sure how I came across it, but details from this story are burned pretty deep in my head. Jon’s orientation came from the screens. As he grew older, he became aware of the world beyond—the real world outside the Learning Maze. The world which had once existed without mazes of any sort and in which human beings had lived all their…

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Weaving: Breathing: Thinking: The poetics of Emerson’s Nature

Text derives from texere, which means “to weave” and “to construct.” As Emerson states later in the essay, nature weaves texts: “A life in harmony with nature . . . will purge the eyes to understand her text . . . so that the world shall be to us an open book . . . ” (CWI 23). As Emerson writes later in “Goethe,” “All things are engaged in writing…

Hole #2 looks bigger.
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Ground-nesting Yellowjacket Wasps

While my 16yo son was mowing the lawn with our push-reel mower, our neighbor on one side slowed down his rider-mower to a crawl, grinned at my son, and said, “That’s some ancient technology you have there, boy.” I bought the reel mower thinking it would provide me with some exercise, and it’s quiet enough that I can listen to an audiobook while doing the lawn. As it turns out,…

Water discovered deep beneath Earth’s surface

The water in the mantle rock, which could equal the amount of water in the world’s oceans, may be an integral part of sustaining water on the surface, Smyth said. It also implies that the Earth’s oceans likely formed from water stored deep beneath the Earth, rather than from a comet or asteroid, as other scientists have theorized, Smyth said. “Geophysicists have debated where…Earth’s water came from,” Jacobsen said. “From…