Another random selection, this time hewing more closely to the daily news, so you may have seen most of it already.
Saturn's rings are made of water
I sent you an earlier article about the discovery that Saturn’s rings are disappearing fast. This new discovery is a neat twist on the story: the rings are very young and made of nearly pure water ice. They must have formed long after the planet did…so where did all the water come from? No-one knows.
A bit of much-needed levity in one of the least funny political shows in town: Brexit. This is the Speaker of the House of Commons, who has been there since 2009 (why haven’t we heard about him before? Apparently the Brits think it’s normal). Two very short clips of him maintaining order give you a feeling for what a circus the Parliament is: https://youtu.be/EY7EIZl4raY and a video that a German paper made of him: https://twitter.com/tagesschau/status/1085610253922828289.
A very, very tough woman
A nursing mother took a week off from her PhD to beat everyone, including all of the men, in a 268-mile winter race with 43,000 feet of elevation gain along the spine of the Scottish highlands. She broke the record by 12 hours, essentially by only sleeping 2.25 hours in 3 ½ days. The media got really excited about her because she had a 14-month old that she was still breastfeeding, and she expressed breast milk (to avoid mastitis) at aid stations. A friend of mine wrote, “She had an advantage because she probably hasn’t slept more than 2 hours from her 8th month of pregnancy all the way through the 14 month of her child’s life.”
Young women infatuated with marine biology
This one loves large sharks. Amazing videos of her free diving with a huge white shark. Not my cup of tea, and the whole Instagram communication thing leaves me a bit cold. I mean, a) how about using full sentences, people? And b) OK, you’re a model, but do you really think we want to know what you’re wearing?)…but to be fair, I am sure that she’s a hell of a lot more effective at communicating with the public than I am, and she seems to have her head screwed on relatively straight in her comments about swimming with sharks (OK, maybe at a 45-degree angle or so. At least when she kicks, she moves forward, even if she corkscrews a bit). https://www.instagram.com/oceanramsey/
Fools rush in
A friend sent me this with the two-word comment "So proud". The growing number of people who deny climate change, the efficacy of vaccines, the spherical earth, the moon landing, and even (most grotesquely) the experiences of shooting victims must be truly upsetting to people who have to deal with them. Although I decry violence (well, mostly), I found it oh-so-satisfying to think how shocked the young fool must have been to realize--a little too late--that a man who grew up in the 50s would have a very different idea of how to conduct a heated argument. Turn the volume up to understand what’s going on. https://twitter.com/MeredithFrost/status/1086968219238318080
And a more peaceful ending: a lovely essay from Jennifer Finney Boylan about being up in Maine in the dead of winter, when the power goes out.