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Xeni Jardin

Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: xeni@boingboing.net.

Dark Side of the Pluto revealed in new NASA image from New Horizons mission

NASA


NASA

Today, NASA's New Horizons mission team revealed a slew of new data including this breathtaking “farewell” to our spacecraft, by Pluto.

From the NASA briefing:

Backlit by the sun, Pluto’s atmosphere rings its silhouette like a luminous halo in this image taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft around midnight EDT on July 15. This global portrait of the atmosphere was captured when the spacecraft was about 1.25 million miles (2 million kilometers) from Pluto and shows structures as small as 12 miles across. The image, delivered to Earth on July 23, is displayed with north at the top of the frame.

Pluto haze! In my brain. Lately, things, they don't seem the same.

Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

How to name an exoplanet, by XKCD

Randall Munroe has a hot take on the recent space news around Kepler 452-B and Pluto.

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NASA unveils gorgeous new false-color image of Pluto

NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI


NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

It may be 'shopped, and we can tell by the pixels, but it's just the most beautiful image of Pluto mankind has ever seen. It's also 2.2 km/pixel, and the most detailed ever.

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'Death comes soon' to U.S., wrote Facebook user believed to be Louisiana gunman

A police officer stands at the entrance to a movie theatre, near flowers left for victims of a Thursday night shooting, in the theatre in Lafayette, Louisiana July 24, 2015. John Russell Houser, an Alabama drifter, opened fire inside the crowded movie theater, killing two women, police said, in the latest act of random gun violence to shock the United States. REUTERS/Lee Celano.


A police officer stands at the entrance to a movie theatre, near flowers left for victims of a Thursday night shooting, in the theatre in Lafayette, Louisiana July 24, 2015. John Russell Houser, an Alabama drifter, opened fire inside the crowded movie theater, killing two women, police said, in the latest act of random gun violence to shock the United States. REUTERS/Lee Celano.

God hates rampage killers.

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Deformed mutant daisies photographed near Fukushima nuclear disaster site in Japan

Photo: @san_kaido


Photo: @san_kaido

These snapshots of “deformed mutant daisies” are making the rounds online this week, four years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.

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China gives outlaw artist Ai Weiwei his passport back. Finally. For now.

Ai Weiwei posted this picture on Instagram on Wednesday after the Chinese authorities returned his passport.


Ai Weiwei posted this picture on Instagram on Wednesday after the Chinese authorities returned his passport.

Ai Weiwei, the Chinese art-provocateur whose work so very consistently pisses off the Chinese government, says he was given back his passport this week after being barred from traveling abroad since he was detained in 2011 in Beijing.

“Today, I received a passport,” he told the world via Twitter and Instagram, attaching a selfie with the document.

From the New York Times:

Mr. Ai, who was a design consultant on the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing and exhibited his sculptural installation “Sunflower Seeds” at the Tate Modern in London, was detained in 2011 while trying to fly to Hong Kong from Beijing. He was held and interrogated for 81 days and later prosecuted on a charge of tax evasion. A court ruled against him and said his studio owed $2.4 million in penalties and back taxes.

He has said the case against him was retaliation for his political activism, including his memorializing the thousands of children who died in schools that collapsed during a 2008 earthquake in Sichuan Province.

Ai Weiwei, Chinese Artist and Provocateur, Is Given Back His Passport [nytimes]

今天,我拿到了护照。

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on

First near-Earth-size planet in “habitable zone” around sun-like star confirmed by NASA

Space truth, more awesome than fiction.Read the rest

Need a new reason to hate Donald Trump? His speaker fee is a quarter million bucks

trump

Donald Trump earns roughly $250,000 per speech, and owes $265 million (maybe more) in debt.

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NYC decides not to nuke Uber from orbit just yet

An Uber sign is seen in a car in New York June 30, 2015. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz


An Uber sign is seen in a car in New York June 30, 2015. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

In New York, the administration of mayor Bill de Blasio administration “has backed away from its fight with the app company Uber, agreeing on Wednesday to drop for now its plan to place a cap on the number of vehicles operated by Uber in New York City,” the New York Times reports.

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“I taught my dog and cat both how to fistbump!”

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You can teach a dog to fistbump. It appears that you cannot actually teach a cat to do so.

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Don't drink and drive, kid

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“Drop the cup, ma'am.”

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“Nominal” Soyuz launch sends Expedition 44 crew of three to International Space Station

soy

Expedition 44 Soyuz Commander Oleg Kononenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), NASA Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren and Flight Engineer Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched on the Russian Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft earlier today.

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Man calls 911 to try and trick medics into fixing his air conditioner

chic_2

A 26-year-old Pennsylvania man with a history of making bogus emergency calls to 911 dispatchers recently complained of chest pains so he could ask medics to help him fix his air conditioner.

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World's most dedicated hunter of Loch Ness monster says he's not about to give up

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Steve Feltham gave up his job, house and girlfriend 24 years ago to dedicate his life full-time to looking for Nessie. Recent news reports said he has abandoned his long quest for the Scottish cryptid, causing ripples among monster-lovers across the world. Feltham tells Reuters that's not true.

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Sony Pictures Animation plans animated “emoji movie,” starring emoji characters

emo

My emoji choice for this entertainment news would have to be “poop” or “frown.”

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Why "All Lives Matter" instead of "Black Lives Matter" is such a stupid thing to say

Image: Wikipedia.


Image: Wikipedia.

Reddit has been in the news of late for hateful, harrassing content--mobs of trolls piling on people and ruining their lives, under cover of anonymity. That happened, yes, but so do threads of greatness. Here's one: in the very interesting “Explain it Like I'm Five” subreddit, a thread titled “Why is it so controversial when someone says "All Lives Matter" instead of "Black Lives Matter"?.” A wonderful and useful response.

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Lawrence Lessig on how to fix America's campaign finance corruption problem

lessig_forehead

“Real reform will require changing the way campaigns are funded — moving from large-dollar private funding to small-dollar public funding,” writes professor Lawrence Lessig in a New York Times op-ed today. Basically, what if elections relied more on lots of little contributions from lots of different regular working people, instead of relying on a small number of huge donations from the rich and powerful, or the big and powerful institutions that serve their interests.

Democrats, for example, have pushed for small-dollar public funding through matching systems, like New York City’s. Under a plan by Representative John Sarbanes, Democrat of Maryland, contributions could be matched up to nine to one, for candidates who agree to accept only small donations.

Republicans, too, are increasingly calling for small-dollar funding systems. The legal scholar Richard W. Painter, a former “ethics czar” for President George W. Bush, has proposed a $200 tax rebate to fund small-dollar campaigns. Likewise, Jim Rubens, a candidate in the Republican primary for Senate in New Hampshire last year, proposed a $50 tax rebate to fund congressional campaigns.

Either approach would radically increase the number of funders in campaigns, in that way reducing the concentration of large funders that especially typifies congressional and senatorial campaigns right now.

The Only Realistic Way to Fix Campaign Finance [nytimes.com]