space, NASA, Webb telescope, Uranus, rings, new images
Photo credit: NASA's James Webb Space Telescope / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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Uranus Has ‘Never Looked Better’ in Spectacular Webb Telescope Image: NASA (Maria)

The author writes, “Saturn might be the planet in our solar system best known for its spectacular rings, but the icy giant Uranus also has a system of 13 nested rings. Eleven of those rings — nine main rings and two fainter dusty rings — are clearly visible in the latest spectacular image from NASA’s Webb Space Telescope. Future images should reveal the remaining two faint outer rings discovered with the Hubble Space Telescope in 2007. ‘Uranus has never looked better. Really,’ NASA tweeted.” 

Clarence Thomas and the Billionaire (Gerry and Reader Jim)

From ProPublica: “For over 20 years, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has been treated to luxury vacation by billionaire Republican donor Harlan Crow. He goes on cruises in far-flung locales on Crow’s yacht, flies on his private jet and keeps company with Crow’s powerful friends at the billionaire’s private resort. The extent of Crow’s largesse has never been revealed. Until now.”

20 Iranian Schoolgirls Hospitalized After New Poison Attack (Sean)

The author writes, “Twenty Iranian schoolgirls were hospitalized Tuesday after the latest in a mysterious wave of poisoning attacks that have sickened thousands of pupils, state media reported. The girls were treated after suffering shortness of breath, in Tabriz, capital of the northwestern province of East Azerbaijan, reported the news agency IRNA. … In a wave of cases since late November, more than 5,000 students have suffered fainting, nausea, shortness of breath and other symptoms after reporting ‘unpleasant’ odors, with some needing hospital treatment.”

Locking Down ISIS (Michaela)

From The Academic Minute: “The COVID lockdowns may have had unintended benefits. Dawn Brancati, senior lecturer in the political science department at Yale University, looks into one.”

In Atlanta, Proposed ‘Cop City’ Stirs Environmental Justice Concerns (Laura)

The author writes, “Preservationists say the facility would impact several predominantly Black neighborhoods and continue the erosion of the city’s distinctive tree canopy. A series of clashes between police and protesters have left one activist dead.”

When Is a Library Not a Library? When It’s Online, Apparently. (Al)

From the Columbia Journalism Review: ‘In March 2020, the Internet Archive, a nonprofit created by the entrepreneur Brewster Kahle, launched a new feature called the National Emergency Library. Restrictions linked to the spread of COVID-19 had made it difficult or impossible for people to buy books or visit libraries in person, and so the Archive removed limits on the digital borrowing of the books in its database … But some of the authors and publishers who owned the copyright to these books saw it not as a public service, but as theft.”

Flyby Drones Deliver Smoothies, Salads and Sushi for a $3 Fee (Dana)

The author writes, “Drone delivery is maturing. Tech giants are pushing forward with products like Alphabet’s Wing and Amazon Prime Air and startups are also reaching scale. Zipline has completed more than 500,000 deliveries since 2016, Flytrex hit 21,350 deliveries in 2022, and Manna Drone Delivery is expanding to the US. But a small startup named Flyby Robotics thinks there’s room for improvement. Its approach relies on smaller, lighter drones with a shorter delivery range but lower costs.”


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