NASA, space study, Webb telescope, alignment, images
Photo credit: NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center / Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

PICKS are stories from many sources, selected by our editors or recommended by our readers because they are important, surprising, troubling, enlightening, inspiring, or amusing. They appear on our site and in our daily newsletter. Please send suggested articles, videos, podcasts, etc. to

Webb Telescope Alignment ‘Perfect’ Ahead of Debut Images: NASA (Maria)

The author writes: “All four science instruments on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope have achieved ‘perfect alignment’ in advance of the telescope’s official debut this summer, project officials said in a news teleconference on Monday. ‘I’m delighted to report that the telescope alignment has been completed with performance even better than we had anticipated,’ Michael McElwain, James Webb Space Telescope project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland said, according to CBS News. ‘We basically reached a perfect telescope alignment.’ … To illustrate the telescope’s readiness, NASA shared a teaser image taken by Webb’s Mid-Infrared Instrument, or MIRI.”

There Is No Liberal World Order (Sean)

From The Atlantic: “Liberal world order relied on the mantra of ‘Never again.’ Never again would there be genocide. Never again would large nations erase smaller nations from the map. Never again would we be taken in by dictators who used the language of mass murder. At least in Europe, we would know how to react when we heard it. But while we were happily living under the illusion that ‘Never again’ meant something real, the leaders of Russia, owners of the world’s largest nuclear arsenal, were reconstructing an army and a propaganda machine designed to facilitate mass murder, as well as a mafia state controlled by a tiny number of men and bearing no resemblance to Western capitalism. For a long time — too long — the custodians of the liberal world order refused to understand these changes.”

Ukraine War Speeds Greece’s Transition to EU Energy Gateway (Mili)

From Al Jazeera: “In about a month, Greece will finish building a pipeline to Bulgaria that will end Russia’s gas monopoly there and in southeast Europe. Russia has supplied 90 percent of Bulgaria’s gas until now, but on April 27, it cut Bulgaria off after Sofia said it would not renew its contract with Russian gas giant Gazprom at the end of the year. Poland said the same, and suffered the same fate. … Bulgaria is now looking to the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria, as the new pipeline is called, to supply it with gas from Azerbaijan, which Greece receives via the Trans-Anatolian pipeline that traverses the Caucasus and Turkey.”

Who Was Matthew Hale, the 17th-Century Jurist Alito Invokes in His Draft Overturning Roe? (Reader Steve)

From The Boston Globe: “In his leaked draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito leans heavily on the scholarship of 17th-century English judge Sir Matthew Hale to underpin his argument that prohibiting abortion has a long ‘unbroken tradition’ in the law. Not only have many legal scholars disputed Alito’s reading of history, they’ve also criticized his reliance on Hale because of what the jurist’s writings reveal about his attitudes toward women. Hale is notorious in the law for laying the legal foundation clearing husbands from criminal liability for raping their wives, and for sentencing two women accused of witchcraft to death, a case that served as a model for the infamous Salem witch trials 30 years later. Alito’s invocation of Hale has stunned some lawyers and historians, who say Hale’s discredited ideas have been used for centuries to subjugate women.”

Illinois College, Hit by Ransomware Attack, to Shut Down (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “Lincoln College is scheduled to close its doors Friday, becoming the first U.S. institution of higher learning to shut down in part due to a ransomware attack. A goodbye note posted to the school’s website said that it survived both World Wars, the Spanish flu and the Great Depression, but was unable to handle the combination of the Covid pandemic and a severe ransomware attack in December that took months to remedy.”

Dorset Ospreys Produce Egg for First Time in 200 Years (Laura)

The author writes, “A pair of ospreys have made the first breeding attempt in southern England for almost 200 years. Conservationists are delighted that a pair of the birds at Poole Harbour, Dorset, have produced an egg, which they are guarding at a nest in a secret location. Thanks to nest cameras, viewers can watch the female osprey incubate her egg on a livestream.”


Comments are closed.