• Asteroid samples escaping from overstuffed NASA probe Osiris-Rex that grabbed lots of Bennu rubble

    NASA's asteroid sampler spacecraft Osiris-Rex managed to stuff itself so full of so much asteroid dust during this week's grab-and-dash maneuver, it's now jammed open, and precious asteroid dust particles are just drifting off into space, said NASA scientists on Friday.

    The news comes just three days after the Osiris-Rex spacecraft briefly touched — booped, if you will? — asteroid Bennu, to capture samples.

    This is NASA's first attempt at such a mission, reports the Associated Press:

    The mission's lead scientist, Dante Lauretta, said Tuesday's operation 200 million miles away collected far more material than expected for return to Earth — in the hundreds of grams. The sample container on the end of the robot arm penetrated so deeply into the asteroid and with such force, however, that rocks got sucked in and became wedged around the rim of the lid.

    Scientists estimate the sampler pressed as much as 19 inches (48 centimeters) into the rough, crumbly, black terrain.

    "We're almost a victim of our own success here," Lauretta said at a hastily arranged news conference.

    Lauretta said there is nothing flight controllers can do to clear the obstructions and prevent more bits of Bennu from escaping, other than to get the samples into their return capsule as soon as possible.

    So, the flight team was scrambling to put the sample container into the capsule as early as Tuesday — much sooner than originally planned — for the long trip home.

    Read more at AP.

  • Senate panel to grill Facebook, Twitter CEOs on 'anti-conservative bias' because they blocked Hunter Biden laptop disinfo stories

    The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee said Friday that Twitter and Facebook's CEOs will testify before the panel on November 17. The panel is demanding to know why both platforms decided to block stories that made claims about Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden. Those stories, dear reader, are ginned up Russian disinformation to improve the odds of Donald Trump winning on November 3.

    The Judiciary committee voted on Thursday to subpoena the two CEOs, reports Reuters:

    The executives will testify on allegations of anti-conservative bias, the committee said. The companies have come under heavy criticism from conservatives over their decision to flag two New York Post stories as spreading disinformation.

    The CEOs of Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet Inc will also testify before the Senate Commerce Committee on Oct. 28 about a key law protecting internet companies.

    Republican President Donald Trump and many Republican lawmakers have continued to criticize tech companies for allegedly stifling conservative voices. Both hearings are aimed at discussing the issue.

  • Bon Jovi to campaign with Joe Biden in Pennsylvania Saturday October 24

    The '80s rock icon Bon Jovi is set to campaign this weekend with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in Pennsylvania, reports the Biden campaign late on Friday.

    Bon Jovi's new album '2020' is out now.

  • Trump and Biden face off for final Presidential Debate

    Donald Trump and Joe Biden faced off tonight for the final presidential debate.

    President Trump began his remarks by saying that the coronavirus spikes will soon be gone. "I was in the hospital, I got it, I got better… I got better very fast… and now they say I'm immune."

    "It's going away," Trump said. "We're rounding the corner, it's going away"

    Joe Biden: "220,000 Americans dead. If you hear nothing else I say tonight, hear this… Anyone who's responsible for that many deaths should not remain as president of the United States of America. There are over a thousand deaths every day, and over 70 thousand new cases every day. The expectation is another 200,000 Americans dead by the end of the year."

    Trump: Vaccine within "a matter of weeks," he says.

    Biden: "This is the same fellow who told you this would end by Easter. We're about to go into a dark winter, and he has no plan."

    Trump: I don't think we're going to have a dark winter at all. Then Trump pumps up a scare about H1N1.

    Then Trump started to ramble about Joe Biden living in a basement, and the wheels came off.

    Biden: He says people are learning to live with it? They're learning to DIE with it. Because he's never said it's dangerous.

    Trump: Excuse me, I take full responsibility. It's not my fault that it came here, it's China's fault. It's not Joe Biden's fault either, It's China's. They kept it from going in other parts of China. Nancy Pelosi. She was dancing on the streets in Chinatown.

    Biden: I'm going to shut down the virus, not the country.

    "These are businesses that are dying," Trump says, about restaurants in New York, citing the cost of plexiglass. Nothing about the people who are dying.

  • Russia is attacking U.S. elections, targeting state and local government networks, say feds

    Russia-sponsored hackers have been trying to break into United States local government computer networks — and two of those Russian hacking attacks on city and state network were successful, said U.S. government agencies on Thursday.

    "Since at least September 2020, a Russian state-sponsored … actor … has conducted a campaign against a wide variety of U.S. targets," the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security said.

    The alert is the second such warning in as many days, and concern over hacking is rising, with the U.S. presidential election just 2 weeks away now, on Nov. 3.

    From Reuters:

    In an alert less than two weeks before the U.S. election, the agencies said that a Russian group, sometimes called Berserk Bear or Dragonfly by researchers, had targeted dozens of state, local, tribal and territorial U.S. governments as well as aviation networks. (…)

    The hackers successfully broke into an unspecified number of networks and, as of earlier this month, had stolen data from two of them, the agencies said in a posting on the website of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, an arm of the Department of Homeland Security.

    The names of the targeted governments were not disclosed. DHS did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The FBI provided no further details but said in a statement that it was "shining a spotlight on Russia's nefarious behavior."

    More: Russian hackers attack U.S. state and local government networks, U.S. government says

  • 'I'm NOT a politician,' Trump lies

    Impeached and manifestly unfit President Donald Trump claims to not be a politician, in a tweet to fans urging them to click on his fundraising site.

    "If I do not sound like a typical Washington politician, it's because I'm NOT a politician. If I do not always play by the rules of the Washington Establishment, it's because I was elected to fight for YOU, harder than anyone ever has before!"

    Big strong clenched fist.

  • NASA's Osiris-Rex spacecraft touches asteroid Bennu, sends rubble flying, high hopes it grabbed sample

    The NASA Osiris-Rex spacecraft "crushed rocks and sent rubble flying as it briefly touched an asteroid, a strong indication that samples were collected for return to Earth, officials said Wednesday," reports AP.

    More at the OSIRIS-REX Sample Return Mission site: "OSIRIS-REx TAGS Asteroid Bennu."


    Captured on Oct. 20, 2020 during the OSIRIS-REx mission's Touch-And-Go (TAG) sample collection event, this series of images shows the SamCam imager's field of view as the NASA spacecraft approaches and touches down on asteroid Bennu's surface, over 200 million miles (321 million km) away from Earth. The sampling event brought the spacecraft all the way down to sample site Nightingale, touching down within three feet (one meter) of the targeted location. The team on Earth received confirmation at 6:08 pm EDT that successful touchdown occurred. Preliminary data show the one-foot-wide (0.3-meter-wide) sampling head touched Bennu's surface for approximately 6 seconds, after which the spacecraft performed a back-away burn.

  • Trump calls Rep. Adam Schiff a 'watermelon head' who 'should be locked up'

    Impeached and manifestly crazy U.S. President Donald Trump today called Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) a "watermelon head."

    "That guy should be locked up," Trump says of Rep. Adam Schiff after referring to him as a "watermelonhead." [via]

    That's exactly where we are.

    Please go vote.

  • Facebook dating launches in Europe, after long delay

    • After a long delay, Facebook's dating service has launched in Europe, to rival Tindr and the like

    Facebook said Wednesday in a company blog post that it is launching Facebook Dating in 32 European countries, after the launch was delayed over regulatory concerns.

    From Reuters:

    The social media company postponed the rollout of the service in Europe in February after Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner (DPC), the main regulator in the European Union for a number of the world's biggest technology firms including Facebook, raised concerns about the launch.

    Facebook Dating announced the launch of the services in the United States in September last year. It is currently available in 20 other countries.

    More at Reuters, and here's the official Facebook announcement.

  • NASA spacecraft touches asteroid surface to grab rubble

    PHOTO [NASA]: The asteroid Bennu as seen from the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. After nearly two years circling the asteroid, OSIRIS-REx will try to descend to the boulder-spiked surface to grab up some rubble on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020. (NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

    From the Associated Press:

    A NASA spacecraft descended to an asteroid Tuesday and, dodging boulders the size of buildings, momentarily touched the surface to collect a handful of cosmic rubble for return to Earth.

    It was a first for the United States — only Japan has scored asteroid samples.

    "Touchdown declared," a flight controller announced to cheers and applause. "Sampling is in progress."

    Confirmation came from the Osiris-Rex spacecraft as it made contact with the surface of the asteroid Bennu more than 200 million miles away. But it could be a week before scientists know how much, if much of anything, was grabbed and whether another try will be needed. If successful, Osiris-Rex will return the samples in 2023.

  • Trump: 'Nobody wants me'

    First honest thing Donald Trump has said at a campaign rally all month: "Nobody wants me."

    Impeached U.S. President Donald Trump, October 20, 2020: "China doesn't want me. Iran doesn't want me. Nobody wants me."