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Photo credit: NASA's James Webb Space Telescope / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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James Webb Space Telescope Captures Rare Image of Dying Star (Maria)

The author writes, “The James Webb space telescope has captured the rare and fleeting phase of a star on the cusp of death. The observation was among the first made by the telescope following its launch in late 2021, but the picture was not released until this week. Webb’s infrared eyes observed all the gas and dust flung into space by a huge, hot star 15,000 light years away. A light year is about 5.8 trillion miles. Shimmering in purple like a cherry blossom, the cast-off material once comprised the star’s outer layer. The Hubble space telescope snapped a shot of the same transitioning star a few decades ago, but it appeared more like a fireball without the delicate details. Such a transformation occurs only with some stars and normally is the last step before they explode, going supernova, according to scientists.” 

The Supreme Court Just Keeps Deciding It Should Be Even More Powerful (DonkeyHotey)

From The Atlantic: “By its own maneuvering, the modern Supreme Court has made itself the most powerful branch of government. Superior to Congress. Superior to the president. Superior to the states. Superior to precedent, procedure, and norms. In effect, superior to the people. Most talked about in this regard, of course, is the Court’s ending of long-established reproductive rights in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. But the assertion of extreme power extends well beyond the issue of abortion.”

DeSantis Has Promised to Make Every State Like Florida, but Iowans Say He’s a Little Late (Reader Jim)

From The Boston Globe: “[Ron] DeSantis, the governor of the Sunshine State, is road-testing a likely presidential campaign that seems all but certain to feature his home state as his wingman. His new memoir, which he is ostensibly traveling the country to promote, pitches the state as a ‘blueprint’ for the country — the conclusion is entitled ‘Make America Florida’ — and his truculent governing style as a model to be emulated. It is a novel strategy, and a risky one, even as Florida looms ever larger in the GOP imagination. No one has ever become president by playing up their status as a full-time Florida man.”

FBI Releases Revised Hate Crime Stats Showing 12 Percent Increase in 2021 (Mili)

The author writes, “More than three months after the FBI released incomplete data about documented hate crime incidents across the U.S., supplemental figures published Monday found that reports of bias-motivated attacks rose by nearly 12% in 2021. The FBI’s revised 2021 findings tell a different story than those originally released in December, which reported a slight decrease in the number of overall hate crimes. The new statistics show an 11.6% increase in reported hate crimes, nearly 65% of which were racially motivated.”

Russia’s Use of ‘Frankenstein’ Tanks and the Severity of Its Losses in Ukraine (Sean)

From the Kyiv Post: “Massive losses of armored vehicles have forced Russian commanders not only to draw out aging stocks of tanks dating from the 1960s but also to stitch together improvised ‘tanks.’”

Moooove Over: How Single-Celled Yeasts Are Doing the Work of 1,500-Pound Cows (Russ)

The author writes, “The first course was a celery root soup lush with whole milk. The last was a spice cake topped with maple cream cheese frosting served with a side of ice cream. And then a latte with its fat cap of glossy foam. In all, a delicious lunch. Maybe a little heavy on the dairy. Only this dairy was different. It was not the product of a cow or soybean or nut. The main ingredient of this milk was made by microbes in a lab, turned into tasty and recognizable food, and then served to a hungry reporter. Lab-grown meat is coming. But lab-grown dairy has already arrived.”

Cemetery Staff Take Out Personal Ad for Goose Whose Mate Died — And Find Her a New Match (Dana)

The author writes, “There are few things sadder than a love story cut short by tragedy. One such story comes out of a cemetery in Marshalltown, Iowa, where employees noticed that a goose, Blossom, was out of sorts after the death of her mate, Bud. Blossom and Bud had lived on the pond in Riverside Cemetery, but after he died in August 2022, Blossom’s behavior changed, general manager Dorie Tammen said. Blossom started spending time near the front office, looking at her reflection in glass windows and on model tombstones. ‘She wanted company,’ Tammen said.”


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