aww nasa has a page for space technology terms you can use in science fiction


This is actually pretty frickin’ incredible. I love you, NASA. 

Source gaymergirls


"In the weeks after the Army engineers announced they would return Kennewick Man to the tribes, Owsley went to work. ‘I called and others called the corps. They would never return a phone call. I kept expressing an interest in the skeleton to study it—at our expense. All we needed was an afternoon.’ Others contacted the corps, including members of Congress, saying the remains should be studied, if only briefly, before reburial. This was what NAGPRA in fact required: The remains had to be studied to determine affiliation. If the bones showed no affiliation with a present-day tribe, NAGPRA didn’t apply.

But the corps indicated it had made up its mind. Owsley began telephoning his colleagues. ‘I think they’re going to rebury this,’ he said, ‘and if that happens, there’s no going back. It’s gone.’”

The Kennewick Man Finally Freed to Share His Secrets

This article was fascinating, and reads like an episode of the X-Files.  The roles of Mulder and Scully are played by a group of archaeologists and anthropologists, and the US government conspiring against them is played by…itself.

This story awakened my long dormant obsession with forensic anthropology.

Human skull donated to Austin Goodwill store

Only animal skulls go to Goodwill. Human skulls go in the yard sale pile.

And if Michael Brown was not angelic, I was practically demonic. I had my first drink when I was 11. I once brawled in the cafeteria after getting hit in the head with a steel trash can. In my junior year I failed five out of seven classes. By the time I graduated from high school, I had been arrested for assaulting a teacher and been kicked out of school (twice.) And yet no one who knew me thought I had the least bit of thug in me. That is because I also read a lot of books, loved my Commodore 64, and ghostwrote love notes for my friends. In other words, I was a human being. A large number of American teenagers live exactly like Michael Brown. Very few of them are shot in the head and left to bake on the pavement.

The “angelic” standard was not one created by the reporter. It was created by a society that cannot face itself, and thus must employ a dubious “morality” to hide its sins. It is reinforced by people who have embraced the notion of “twice as good” while avoiding the circumstances which gave that notion birth. Consider how easily living in a community “with rough patches” becomes part of a list of ostensible sins. Consider how easily “black-on-black crime” becomes not a marker of a shameful legacy of segregation but a moral failing.

Ta-Nehisi Coates, being amazing. (via politicalprof)

Source politicalprof


so sorry for my delayed response to this email, i have been very swamped being a confused and frightened idiot who can’t do basic life tasks like respond to her emails

Source threelisabeth

Today’s belief in ineluctable certainty is the true innovation killer of our age. In this environment, the best an audacious manager can do is to develop small improvements to existing systems— climbing the hill, as it were, toward a local maximum, trimming fat, eking out the occasional tiny innovation— like city planners painting bicycle lanes on the streets as a gesture toward solving our energy problems. Any strategy that involves crossing a valley— accepting short- term losses to reach a higher hill in the distance— will soon be brought to a halt by the demands of a system that celebrates short- term gains and tolerates stagnation, but condemns any-thing else as failure. In short, a world where big stuff can never get done.

Hieroglyph - Neal Stephenson

Neal Stephenson’s foreword to the new collection Hieroglyph is excellent.

We aren’t doing big things badly, we’re just not doing them.

(via tbridge)