SCIENCE! I love this stuff. My Bad Astronomy blog: I use likes for bookmarks; no endorsement implied. He/him.
Oh my. This made me a little teary. This is the kind of thing that motivates a lot of us to do outreach.
Yes, THIS. There is no working with the GOP any more on almost every issue. They have proven this over and again, and piercingly loudly with the impeachment vote.
8/8 So when the time comes, I will fight hard for taking the Senate away from the GOP. McConnell is a monster, in many ways worse than Trump, and he *must* go. Turning the Senate blue takes away all his power. So let’s go! We are quite literally all in this together. /fin
7/ Also — and this is critical — turning the Senate blue is just as important as getting a Dem President. Without it there will just be gridlock, and if Trump wins a blue Senate means he won’t be in office long. And you can bet a blue Congress will turn a keen eye on Pence, too.
6/ In the end, I pledge I WILL VOTE FOR WHOEVER GETS THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION. I urge you to as well. Once the primaries are over, it doesn’t matter who it is as long as it isn’t Trump. Don’t stay home because your fave didn’t make it. READ THIS:
5/ I will not give credence to the media complaining about electability, likability, or any other BS that generates controversy for them. What counts are the issues, and how well the candidate will campaign.
4/ Your kilometerage may vary, of course. I urge you to really look at the way they’re covering issues and their history, and choose your fave that way.
3/ Behind her is Bernie. After that I don’t really have much preference. I’m happy with whoever gets the nod… except to say Biden is second to last on my list, and Bloomberg *dead* last. We don’t need to have an election between two racist billionaire misogynists.
2/ I’ve felt this way a while, but last night’s debate performance certainly supported it. We have a kleptocracy running our country, and we need someone who will go in and clean house.
1/ I have looked at the candidates and read where they stand on issues. Taking into account what I know of their histories as well, my first choice is @ewarren. Her stance is closest to what I want to see happen.
(oops. thread got messed up. hang on…)
Endorsement time!
Hey, me droogs, set yer DVRs for tonight: A new "How the Universe Works" is airing! Featuring me, and my buddy @HakeemOluseyi, quoted below.
Guess what con just got WAY cooler?
Heh. I disagree, for many reasons, including price point. If you can afford 1/4 million but not many millions, then suborbital is your option. Also, lots of science can be done on suborbital missions for tons less money.
My pal @Stonekettle has commented on this many times. Here are a few:
Just an FYI: Please don’t ask any thread apps to unroll my tweet threads. They basically steal my content off this site and put it on theirs, with ads. I number and thread my stuff very carefully to make it easy to read, and so I ask you to keep it here. Thanks.
I’m really looking forward to reading Amy’s book.
(embarrassed mumbling) me too
I wonder how common that is with Dune? It took me a half dozen tries at least to get past the box of pain scene. I finally did, read the whole book, and really liked it, but it took a lot of false starts.
12/12 Until then, the Sun is still there, still providing warmth and light and energy for us. That’s good! But we have to be aware that it also can rage, and when it does we need to be ready for it. /fin
11/ We can do a lot to mitigate this, but we have to acknowledge it 1st and then commit to it. It could be bundled with a green energy bill, for example. Anything we do to upgrade our power grid (more lines, more transformers, more local generation) would be helpful in any case.
10/ I’d love for politicians to take this seriously, but I also know we have other existential threats we face now, like climate change and the GOP. Perhaps we can table this for now. But it *will* come back to bite us if we ignore it long enough.
9/ I don’t have a ready, easy solution to this, though there have been MANY studies, easily available to political advisors. Like this one. The executive summary tells you what you need to know:
8/ We can’t keep dodging these bullets forever. I do wonder if distributed power helps; local sources like wind and (ironically) solar. The less electricity flowing through power lines the better. Storms add juice to power lines, overloading them. Reducing the load helps.
7/ So it’s not like every year has the same chance of a storm. We’re at solar minimum now. It’ll be 5 years or so before the next peak. We may be fine this time, but there’s another peak 11 years later. And 11 after that… And THAT’S why we need to take this seriously.
6/ Smaller but still significant storms happen more often, 42 times out of 150 years, a chance of 28% per year. The reality is little more complicated than that. Storms tend to happen at or just after the peak in the Sun’s 11 year magnetic cycle.
5/ How often do storms like this occur? New research extrapolates how Earth has reacted to such events back to 1868 to get some statistics. The researchers found big storms happened 6 times in 150 years - a chance of 4% per year.
4/ In 2012, an equally powerful storm erupted from the Sun… but it missed the Earth by a bit. Had it hit, it would have been a global emergency.
3/ The first such modern storm was in 1859, when telegraphs could be used without a power source due to the current induced by Earth’s magnetic field, and strong aurorae were seen at low latitudes. Were something like this to happen today, it would be catastrophic.
2/ These worry me more than asteroid impacts. A huge blast of subatomic particles from the Sun can fry satellites and take down power grids across a large area. It’s happened before on smaller scales, like in Quebec in 1989.
Normally when it comes to cosmic dangers to Earth, I’m in the role of debunking people who overstate the danger. Now I find myself trying to convince people that some dangers are real, and we need to take them very seriously. Like, say, solar storms.
YeGADS. Imagine how she'll be against Trump. Or Putin. That kind of fierceness in really protecting our people instead of selling them out and squeezing them dry.
Oh cool. I'll have to remember to look at the real-time sat images from GOES.
2/2 Here’s a press release with more info about Asteroid Day in general, too:
Hey, Colorado science outreach folks/groups: The Asteroid Day ppl are looking to get more activities in our state. Interested? They have a toolkit that makes it easy: And a press briefing that’ll help:
Sunrise on a frosty rectilinear world.
I just realized that Thor’s ax hit Thanos in the thorax.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well, I’m following @AJamesMcCarthy now.
I’ll note that on IG he talks about how this image was made, and it’s an HDR composite from several exposures, but still, dang.
Did anyone else get a shot of the Moon occulting Mars Monday night/Tuesday morning? This is the only one I saw in my TL (and it's a REALLY good one!).
11/11 But science as a method, when used properly, helps us minimize those impacts. That’s why it’s so nifty. And also because it helps us find planets orbiting other stars in really weird and delightful ways. /fi n
10/ Scientists are human, and subject to all the dumb things our brains do just like anyone else. But that’s why we have science, so we can short-circuit those biases and get a more real view of things. It doesn’t always work, of course, and scientists are still biased.
9/ Once faced with evidence — really solid evidence — scientists not only changed their minds, but also *changed the basis of the way they see the Universe*, accepting these new objects as part of our standard catalog of Things Out There.
8/ You’d still meet skepticism today - that’s science - but now the idea it might be a planet is entirely plausible. We’ve seen them. Since we know they’re out there the idea of a stellar aurora from one isn’t so far-fetched.
7/ You still need good evidence now but the basic assumption’s changed. Now we know they exist and are everywhere and are incredibly diverse. 30 years ago, if you said you found a planet due to it causing an aurora on its host star you would’ve met a wall of skepticism.
6/ 30 years ago, the basic paradigm was that planets might exist, but finding them was ridiculously hard. If you claimed you found one, the evidence you brought had to be really, really solid.
5/ Point is, we’re getting really good at finding them. We now know planets may outnumber stars on the sky. Not every star has planets, but ones that do have lots. This flips the search paradigm on its head. Think of it this way…
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