How it Could Be

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez expresses the messages behind an urgent video on climate change released Wednesday by The Intercept.

“Before we can win a Green New Deal, we need to be able to close our eyes and imagine it. We can be whatever we have the courage to see.”

The video, A Message From the Future with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, was produced by The Intercept‘s Naomi Klein. Narrated by AOC, the short film is presented as a look back to the present day from a future in which the Green New Deal passed Congress and reshaped America and the planet for the better.

The video features art from Molly Crabapple and was written by Ocasio-Cortez and Avi Lewis. It was co-directed by Kim Boekbinder and Jim Batt.

Check the video:

It’s Getting Hot on Jupiter

Observations with the Subaru Telescope, a Japanese 8-m telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, show that the aurorae at Jupiter’s poles are heating the atmosphere of the gas giant, and that it is a rapid response to the solar wind.

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Aurorae at Earth’s poles occur when the energetic particles blown out from the Sun, the solar wind, interact with and heat up the gases in the upper atmosphere.

The same thing happens at Jupiter, but the new observations show the heating goes 2-3 times deeper down into its atmosphere than on Earth, into the lower level of Jupiter’s stratosphere (upper atmosphere).

Understanding how the Sun’s outpouring of solar wind interacts with planetary environments is key to better understanding the nature of how planets and their atmospheres evolve.

What is startling about the results is that scientists were able to associate the variations in the solar wind and the response in Jupiter’s stratosphere, and that the response to these variations is so quick for such a large area.

Within a day of the solar wind hitting Jupiter, the chemistry in its atmosphere changed and its temperature rose, the astronomers found.

Such heating and chemical reactions may tell us something about other planets with harsh environments, and even early Earth.

The results appear in the journal Nature Astronomy.

Notre Dame de Paris 1163-

Authorities responded to a massive fire at Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday that spread rapidly through the historic monument, toppling its spire and appearing to spread inside one of its two towers.

While authorities feared in the fire’s early hours that the entire historic monument could be destroyed, city officials confirmed around 11 p.m. local time that the main structure was “saved and preserved.”

By early Tuesday morning, Paris firefighters said in a tweet that it took nearly 400 firefighters more than nine hours to extinguish the blaze. Two police officers and a firefighter were slightly injured.

The gravity of the fire is still to be determined, but firefighters said the blaze began in the cathedral’s attic. About two-thirds of the building’s roof was destroyed.

The fire is “potentially linked” to renovation work in the building, firefighters told Agence France-Presse.

Instead of showing pictures of the devastated Notre Dame, I thought I’d share some of the pictures from my visit to the cathedral during my trip to Paris in August 2011:

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Approximately 13 million people visit the monument every year.

Rise

The next Star Wars movie of the epic nine-film arc has some big expectations to meet, and the first trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker took the first step.

It begins with Daisy Ridley’s Rey on yet another desert planet activating her lightsaber and sprinting into a sick back-flip toward a pursuing craft. It proceeds to show some of the other main characters, including John Boyega’s Finn, Oscar Isaac’s Po, Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren, and Billy Dee Williams reprising his role as Lando Calrissian in this highly anticipated final chapter.

And then there’s Carrie Fisher’s General Organa in a deep embrace with Rey. Just to hit everyone in the feels.

The trailer shows a lot of neat images of battles but doesn’t give away a whole lot outright, but there’s plenty of morsels for theory-craters to chew over. Not the least of which is a familiar sounding cackle at the very end.

Behold:

This hype train goes to 11.

The Madness from the Sea

Paleontologists have discovered a real-life version of one of the most feared monsters in fiction… only smaller. And probably not an eldritch horror from beyond the stars.

An international team of researchers unveiled the fossilized remains of an ancient relative of the sea cucumber. It had 45 tentacles and lurked at the bottom of the seas some 430 million years ago.

They have dubbed it Sollasina cthulhu, after the tentacled Great Old One of H.P. Lovecraft’s tales, a study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B said.

Unlike the massive Cthulhu of fiction, the creature unveiled by scientists this week was quite tiny, with the fossil measuring about an inch across. However, the researchers said those 45 “tube feet” extended out in every direction and would make it seem much larger as it sat on the ocean floor, waiting and dreaming…

Sleep well…

Despite its diminutive size, the creature still manages to pack a lot of nightmare fuel. Those 45 tentacles were used to snatch up food, creep along the ocean floor, and scare off predators.

Oh, and those “tubes” also had their own armor.

The tube feet of living echinoderms are naked, but in the ophiocistioids they were plated, strongly suggesting that ophiocistioids diverged from the line leading to modern sea cucumbers.