Marc Dion: Pokemon at Auschwitz (Creators Syndicate)
The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, on the site of the World War II Nazi death factory, has banned visitors from playing Pokemon Go in the camp where more than 1 million people were murdered. What stubborn, silly creatures we are, how forgetful and beautiful and foolish. I'm on the side of the people who did the banning. Playing Pokemon Go at Auschwitz takes the bland office accusation of "inappropriate behavior" to new heights. But look at us, we humans, so quick to heal from our terrible hurts, so fast to forget, so determined to play in a terrible world.
Susan Estrich: Ginsburg v. Trump (Creators Syndicate)
"I can't imagine what this place would be - I can't imagine what the country would be - with Donald Trump as our president," Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in The New York Times this week.
NATALIE FINN: "In Defense of Taylor Swift: Her Songwriting, Her Timing, Her Terms" (ENEWS)
First it was Taylor Swift 's latest romance, the singer having moved on too quickly for some people's tastes after her last relationship. That always gets the gears grinding, when the popular girl swoops in and steals your pretend boyfriend.
Jonathan Jones: The whole truth about Van Gogh's ear, and why his 'mad genius' is a myth(The Guardian)
A new exhibition claims Vincent Van Gogh's mental illness hampered his work, rather than drove his singular vision - and presents fresh medical evidence about his notorious self-mutilation.
Jonathan Jones: Brooklyn Beckham's Burberry campaign - the art critic's verdict (The Guardian)
Brooklyn Beckham has shot the new Burberry campaign. It's not the first time a model has gone behind the camera, but do experience and famous parents make you the next Juergen Teller?
Jonathan Jones: "Stanley Kubrick and me: designing the poster for A Clockwork Orange" (The Guardian)
Philip Castle's airbrushed art features on album covers for David Bowie and Pulp but his lurid imagery for A Clockwork Orange remains his most infamous work - he remembers his friendship with the director.
Tom Lamont: "Celebrity lookalikes: 'One minute they want your picture. Next, you're finding the back door'" (The Guardian)
John's been a Tony Blair lookalike since 1997. Barry still has his Jimmy Savile costume. What happens when your double falls out of favour?
Clive James: 'My daydream of being Roger Federer' (The Guardian)
'It's more what he can do, and not how gorgeous he looks while doing it, that I so envy. Honest.'
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Michelle in AZ
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, VOTE FOR A REPUBLICAN!
FUCK THIS SHIT!
"GOD FORGIVE THEM FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO"
JESUS IS A CAPITALIST!
"I'M OUT OF HERE"
THE DEMOCRATS SHOULD PROPOSE GETTING RID OF THE GOP!
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Neighbors are having a very noisy party.
Route 66, the historic U.S. highway made famous for attracting gas-guzzling Chevrolet Bel Airs and 1957 Cadillacs traveling from Chicago to Los Angeles, is turning green.
The Mother Road has seen in recent months a growing number of electric car charging stations along the 2,500-mile path, and some states even are pushing for solar panels and electric buses.
In Illinois, where Route 66 begins, the state has installed a network of electric vehicle charging station from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River. BMW, Mitsubishi, and Nissan are supporting the $1 million effort with technical help from the University of California at Davis. Officials say it the project will cover eight cities, and each site will have at least one fast-charging station.
Earlier this year, Missouri's highway department announced it was eying a project to cover a portion of its Route 66 with road-ready solar panels. Under the experiment, roadways would be embedded with solar panels to provide energy to nearby rest stops.
The electronics of the panels would be inside glass-covered, hexagonal sections weighing about 70 pounds each. Solar Roadways, an Idaho-based company developing solar panels, said the formulated tempered glass would support the weight of semi-trucks and has a traction surface like asphalt.
Heat Wave Shatters Records
A massive heat wave struck Alaska this week, with the town of Deadhorse witnessing a high of 85 F. This has been the warmest ever in Deadhorse, where average temperatures tend to be 57 F at this time of the year. The temperatures were in the 80s across the region.
The highest ever temperature record in Alaska was in 1915 when it reached 100 F in Fort Yukon on June 27. This year Alaska has witnessed a freakishly warm first six months with the state's temperature averaging 30.4 F, 9 F higher than normal. As a result, the state's fire season had an early start this year and more wildfires are feared due to the heat wave.
1.2 Million Galaxies
3D Map Of The Universe
The largest ever 3D map of the universe has been developed thanks to the collaborative efforts of hundreds of scientists. The map which captures 1.2 million galaxies is aimed at aiding scientists to better understand and measure dark energy - a mysterious source of power which is believed to be the driving force behind the increasing rapid expansion of the universe.
Numerous teams of scientists from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS-III) project collaborated in efforts to make the map. "We have spent a decade collecting measurements of 1.2 million galaxies over one quarter of the sky to map out the structure of the Universe over a volume of 650 cubic billion light years," said Jeremy Tinker of New York University, a co-lead of the scientific team that led this effort.
The project relied on the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) program, which analysed "pressure waves" to measure the expansion rate of the universe. The BOSS program was original developed at a time when dark energy had already been attributed as the force behind the expansion of the universe. The program functioned by analysing the size of the baryonic acoustic oscillations (BAO), which are the periodic fluctuations that occur in matter that help cosmologists better comprehend the nature of dark energy. BOSS was specifically designed to measure the BAO feature through the evolution of the universe - seven billion years ago to near the present day.
The new map also uncovers the characteristic signature of the movement of the galaxies, which shows how areas of the universe containing more matter are invariably drawing galaxies closer because of the attractive nature of the gravitational force.
3D Map Of The Universe
Super Radio Telescope
Even operating at a quarter of its eventual capacity, South Africa's MeerKAT radio telescope showed off its phenomenal power Saturday, revealing 1,300 galaxies in a tiny corner of the universe where only 70 were known before.
The image released Saturday was the first from MeerKAT, where 16 dishes were formally commissioned the same day.
MeerKAT's full contingent of 64 receptors will be integrated next year into a multi-nation Square Kilometre Array (SKA) which is is set to become the world's most powerful radio telescope.
The images produced by MeerKAT "are far better that we could have expected," the chief scientist of the SKA in South Africa, Fernando Camilo said at the site of the dishes near the small town of Carnarvon, 600 kilometres north of Cape Town.
When fully up and running in the 2020s, the SKA will comprise a forest of 3,000 dishes spread over an area of a square kilometre (0.4 square miles) across remote terrain around several countries to allow astronomers to peer deeper into space in unparallelled detail.
T-rump Kisses Ted
When conservatives flock to Cleveland next week for the Republican National Convention, many may be shocked by a new billboard posted on West 25th Street featuring the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump, poised to kiss onetime campaign foe Ted Cruzalongside this message: "Love Trumps Hate. End Homophobia."
The group behind the campaign is Planting Peace, a global nonprofit founded "for the purpose of spreading peace in a hurting world," focused on a diverse roster of issues including humanitarian aid, environmental initiatives, LGBTQ advocacy and rainforests preservation. Its headquarters are listed as the Equality House, a rainbow-colored home in Topeka, Kansas, located directly across from the Westboro Baptist Church.
A rep for Planting Peace tells The Hollywood Reporter that the billboard will remain up for one month at a cost of $3,700.
The organization posted a lengthy blog post Thursday, which according to a rep is attributed to Planting Peace president Aaron Jackson, that targets Trump, Cruz and the entire Republican party for its exclusive rhetoric, challenging leaders to change the party platform. "Never again shall a negative, hateful message be uttered in the name of 'religious freedom,' " the post reads. "We are calling for action that brings full fundamental rights to the LGBT community, and a narrative that empowers LGBT people to live and love freely."
T-rump Kisses Ted
Western Land Fight
Laminated sheets of paper held in place by rocks rest inside ancient cliff dwellings nestled underneath a spectacular red rock overhang in southeastern Utah.
"Don't erase the traces of America's past," the signs read. "Please do not enter interior rooms."
The weathered signs and a similar warning at the trailhead are the only protections in place for these easily accessible ruins along a canyon hiking path.
The cliff dwellings are part of an estimated 100,000 archaeological sites within a 1.9 million-acre area that a coalition of American Indian tribes wants President Barack Obama to designate a national monument to ensure protections for lands considered sacred.
The issue has become the latest battleground in the debate over public lands in the West.
Worker Fired-Then Rehired
A Disney worker was fired and then rehired after she tweeted a photo of a sign asking employees not to tell guests they had seen alligators on the property.
"I was very offended by it and I was pretty vocal about it," said Shannon Sullivan, who is working in Magic Kingdom restaurants through the Disney College Program, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
The poster told employees that the "correct and appropriate response" to questions about whether there are alligators in the water is: "Not that we know of, but if we see one, we will call Pest Management to have it removed."
"Please do not say that we have seen them before," read the sign shared by Sullivan. "We do not want our guests to be afraid while walking around Frontierland."
Disney has since removed the sign, which had not been authorized by the company, theSentinel reported. Sullivan was fired around the same time, but on Friday, Magic Kingdom Vice President Dan Cockerell offered her the job back until her internship is scheduled to end later this month.
Much of Northeast US
Federal authorities say much of the Northeast is experiencing drought conditions, with sections of New York and Massachusetts among the driest.
The U.S. Drought Monitor said Thursday that western New York, the state's Finger Lakes region, as well as much of central and northeastern Massachusetts are experiencing severe drought conditions. The severe conditions extend into southern New Hampshire and southwestern Maine.
"Severe" is the third most serious of five drought intensity levels.
Most of the rest of New England as well as New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are considered either abnormally dry or under moderate drought conditions.
The Boston Globe reports that more than 120 towns across Massachusetts have put mandatory water restrictions in place, and are eyeing further measures if rain doesn't arrive.
'Extinct' Volcano Rumbles to Life
A volcano outside Rome, long thought extinct, is rumbling to life. But don't panic: The volcano isn't likely to blow its top for at least another 1,000 years.
Colli Albani is a volcanic complex of hills located 19 miles (30 kilometers) from the center of Rome. There are no historical records of eruptions from Colli Albani, so it was long thought to be extinct, according to the American Geophysical Union (AGU). Now, researchers have reported in the journal Geophysical Research Letters that Colli Albani just doesn't erupt that often. In fact, it enters an eruptive phase every 31,000 years or so.
A team of researchers, led by volcanologist Fabrizio Marra of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in Rome, used ground-based observations of rising land, earthquake swarms and steam vents alongside satellite data to track Colli Albani's recent activity. An analysis of rocks from the volcano revealed a history of past eruptions, the most recent of which occurred 36,000 years ago.
Now, the ground underneath the volcano is inflating, rising at a maximum of about 0.08 inches (2 millimeters) per year in areas where steam vents are emerging, Marra and his colleagues reported. During the past 200,000 years, the area has risen by about 164 feet (50 meters) in elevation, they found. This suggests that magma is entering fractures beneath the volcano, they said.
The reason for the change has to do with the subsurface geology of Colli Albani, Marra told the AGU. Until about 2,000 years ago, the surrounding land held together a fracture under the volcano, preventing magma from bubbling to the surface. More recently, however, the subsurface stresses have changed so that the rock on one side of the fracture is moving and sliding against the rock on the other side, according to the AGU.