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oupacademic:

Very Short Fact: On this day in 2003, Mars makes its closest approach to Earth in nearly 60,000 years, passing 34,646,418 miles (55,758,005 km) distant.

The planets and their mutual gravitational pulls are continuously changing configuration. Chaos theory says it is therefore impossible to predict planetary positions more than a few million years ahead. However, it can be shown that the Solar System is sufficiently stable that no planet is likely to collide or be ejected in the next few billion years. We are probably safe for at least 5 billion years, which is when astronomers expect the Sun to swell up into a red giant, whereupon the wanderings of Mars will be the least of the problems faced by any far future Earthlings.

[p. 23, 24, Planets: A Very Short Introduction, by David A. Rothery]
Like the Very Short Introductions on Facebook for more from the series.
NASA Mars landing gif via giphy.com

oupacademic:

Very Short Fact: On this day in 2003, Mars makes its closest approach to Earth in nearly 60,000 years, passing 34,646,418 miles (55,758,005 km) distant.

The planets and their mutual gravitational pulls are continuously changing configuration. Chaos theory says it is therefore impossible to predict planetary positions more than a few million years ahead. However, it can be shown that the Solar System is sufficiently stable that no planet is likely to collide or be ejected in the next few billion years. We are probably safe for at least 5 billion years, which is when astronomers expect the Sun to swell up into a red giant, whereupon the wanderings of Mars will be the least of the problems faced by any far future Earthlings.

[p. 23, 24, Planets: A Very Short Introduction, by David A. Rothery]

Like the Very Short Introductions on Facebook for more from the series.

NASA Mars landing gif via giphy.com

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kingjaffejoffer:

Reactions to Barack Obama’s statement on Ferguson

looks like Obama trying to be impartial backfired hard

(via shortformblog)

Photoset

yahoonewsphotos:

Photos of the day - August 18, 2014

Workers hang outside the clock face as they clean the Big Ben clock tower of the Houses of Parliament in London, a dancer waits for the start of a cultural parade marking the country’s 69th Independence Day celebration in Indonesia and Katinka Hosszu competes in the 400m Medley Preliminary at the 32nd LEN European Swimming Championships 2014 in Berlin are some of the photos of the day. (AP/EPA/Reuters)

Find more news related pictures on our photo galleries page.

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"The hazard of engaging with the history of race in the United States is the difficulty of distinguishing the past from the news of the day. On Saturday afternoon, under hazy circumstances, an eighteen-year-old named Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. Brown was unarmed. Police have confirmed that he was shot “more than just a couple of times.” The story that witnesses tell is disturbing not only in its details but in the ways in which those details blur into a longer narrative. It’s one we’re all familiar with if we have paid even passive attention, and yet, despite its redundancy, we have yet to grasp its moral. A trivial incident sparks a confrontation, followed by a disproportionate response, then the tableau of grieving parents struggling to maintain composure and the social-media verdicts rendered in absentia, many asking about the culpability of the deceased. Invariably, some self-ordained truth teller will stand up to quote non sequiturs about black-on-black violence."

The Anger in Ferguson - The New Yorker (via newsweek)

(via newsweek)

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mapsontheweb:

Block shaped counties in the contiguous United States

mapsontheweb:

Block shaped counties in the contiguous United States

(Source: reddit.com)

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thepoliticalnotebook:

This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism.
Four Egyptian protesters were killed on Thursday when security forces clashed with demonstrations to honor the one year anniversary of the crackdown on protesters in Rabaa which left a thousand dead. 
The police chief in Tripoli, Libya, has been assassinated.
The US sent $10 million in Pentagon emergency spending money to assist France’s fight against terrorism in northwestern Africa. 
The appointment of the Central African Republic’s first Muslim PM, Mahamat Kamoun, has been rejected by rebel group Seleka.
Israel and Gaza began a five day ceasefire on Thursday.
Rahed Taysir Al-Hom, who headed northern Gaza’s sole bomb disposal unit, died defusing an unexploded 500kg bomb on Wednesday.
AP videojournalist Simone Camilli and his freelance Palestinian translator Ali Shehda Abu Afash were killed when a previously unexploded bomb detonated in Gaza.
For Gaza’s wounded, and its overwhelmed hospitals, an excruciating battle continues.
Canadian law professor William Schabas has been appointed head of the UN’s commission to investigate Israel for war crimes in Gaza — to Israel’s vocal displeasure.
Assad’s forces have retaken Mleiha, a key Damascus district.
The Islamic State has seized a number of towns in Aleppo.
After weeks of struggle, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki agreed to step down, accepting Haider al-Abadi’s candidacy.
The rise of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and of the Islamic State/ISIS and its inextricable connection to US involvement in Iraq.
The Islamic States is putting effort into establishing cells outside of Syria and Iraq.
IS seizes on wheat supplies as an economic weapon.
Watch Vice’s full-length documentary on ISIS here.
The situation with the Yazidis stranded on Mount Sinjar seems to have both markedly improved and been overestimated in the first place… did US intelligence misjudge the humanitarian situation? Yazidi leaders strongly resist the claim that the crisis is over.
A helicopter delivering aid on Tuesday in northern Iraq crashed, killing the pilot, and injuring New York Times reporter Alissa Rubin.
EU foreign ministers are holding an emergency meeting in Brussels today to discussing arming the Kurds.
Attah Mohammed Noor — Balkh province’s governor, former warlord, and powerful ally of Abdullah Abdullah — has warned of “civil unrest” should the vote recount be biased.
Pakistan foiled a militant attack on an airbase on the outskirts of Quetta.
Pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk on Wednesday ambushed a Bush carrying Ukrainian soldiers — twelve of whom were killed. An unknown number were taken captive.
Russian Alexander Borodai has resigned as prime minister of the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic, ceding the title to a Ukrainian named Alexander Zakharchenko. Its military leader, Igor Girkin — AKA Strelkov — has also resigned.
Tensions between Russia and Ukraine are aggravated by a Russian aid convoy to the separatists.
Putin sought to act as peacemaker between Azerbaijan and Armenia after renewed fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh territory has resulted in dozens of deaths recently. Both Azerbaijan and Armenia, however, are skeptical of Russian intentions — both agreeing that Russia should not send in peacekeeping forces.
Azerbaijan has detained four of its most prominent human rights activists and advocates. 
NATO is close to an agreement to bolster its presence in Eastern Europe.
WIRED profiles Edward Snowden.
Former DARPA head Regina Duggan reportedly violated internal ethics regulations in discussing products sold by the company she founded with Pentagon officials during her tenure. 
I wrote a feature article for The Atlantic online about a war photograph from Desert Storm. 
Photo: Al Shaaf neighborhood of Gaza City. A Palestinian man surveys the destruction. Alessio Romenzi for TIME.

thepoliticalnotebook:

This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism.

Photo: Al Shaaf neighborhood of Gaza City. A Palestinian man surveys the destruction. Alessio Romenzi for TIME.

(via humanrightswatch)

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mapsontheweb:


The Centers for Disease Control’s quarantine stations in the United States
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mapsontheweb:

The Centers for Disease Control’s quarantine stations in the United States

Read More

(Source: cdc.gov)

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fastcompany:

Square, the payments startup from Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey, has prototyped a Square credit card. The plastic card is all black, and save for the card holder’s name emblazoned on the face, features no logos—not even Square’s. Over the past year, multiple sources indicate Square employees have been carrying the card—seen here below, partially blurred to protect the card holder’s identity—around in their wallets.

However, despite buzz about the potential of a Square credit card, other company sources indicate the project was recently killed.
Details of the rumored prototype came to light during reporting for Fast Company's profile of Square, published this week. As Square seeks to unearth new sources of revenue beyond its core business of payments processing, the company has launched a slew of new products, including Square Market, Cash, Feedback, Invoices, Capital, Dashboard, and on Monday, August 11, Appointments. Some insiders expected the Square credit card would be a promising addition to the mix, potentially opening the company up to a swath of lucrative consumer loyalty and rewards services. But after pressing the company multiple times about the project, Square finally confirmed that it’s not launching a credit card. Or, should we say, the company is no longer launching one. And the reason why highlights the difficulties Square faces in the immensely complex financial space.
Read More>

fastcompany:

Square, the payments startup from Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey, has prototyped a Square credit card. The plastic card is all black, and save for the card holder’s name emblazoned on the face, features no logos—not even Square’s. Over the past year, multiple sources indicate Square employees have been carrying the card—seen here below, partially blurred to protect the card holder’s identity—around in their wallets.

image

However, despite buzz about the potential of a Square credit card, other company sources indicate the project was recently killed.

Details of the rumored prototype came to light during reporting for Fast Company's profile of Square, published this week. As Square seeks to unearth new sources of revenue beyond its core business of payments processing, the company has launched a slew of new products, including Square Market, Cash, Feedback, Invoices, Capital, Dashboard, and on Monday, August 11, Appointments. Some insiders expected the Square credit card would be a promising addition to the mix, potentially opening the company up to a swath of lucrative consumer loyalty and rewards services. But after pressing the company multiple times about the project, Square finally confirmed that it’s not launching a credit card. Or, should we say, the company is no longer launching one. And the reason why highlights the difficulties Square faces in the immensely complex financial space.

Read More>

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WHO: Ebola Outbreak Is International Public Health Emergency

breakingnews:

The World Health Organization declared an international public health emergency Friday over the Ebola outbreak in western Africa that has killed almost 1,000 people.

The outbreak of the deadly virus is “extraordinary event” and a public health risk to other countries, it said.

Read more here

(via humanrightswatch)