‘Super-Earth’ discovered orbiting Sun’s nearest star
— A “super-Earth” has been discovered orbiting the closest single star to our Sun, scientists said Wednesday in a breakthrough that could shine a light on Earth’s nearest planetary neighbours.
— Astronomers studied Barnard’s Star, a red dwarf just six light years away — practically in our back garden, galactically speaking — and noticed the presence of a “frozen, dimly lit world” at least 3.2 times heavier than Earth.
— The planet, known for now as Barnard’s Star b, is the second nearest to Earth outside the solar system and orbits its host star once every 233 days.
— “It’s important because it’s really our nextdoor neighbour and we like to meet our neighbours in general,” Ignasi Ribas, from the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia and Spain’s Institute of Space Sciences, told AFP.
— Despite being relatively close to its parent star, the planet receives less than two percent of the energy Earth gets from the Sun, and the team estimates it has a surface temperature of -170 degrees Celsius (-274 Farenheit) — far too cold to support life as we know it.
Don’t Be Evil!
Google ‘betrays patient trust’ with DeepMind Health move
— Google has been accused of breaking promises to patients, after the company announced it would be moving a healthcare-focused subsidiary, DeepMindHealth, into the main arm of the organisation.
— The restructure, critics argue, breaks a pledge DeepMind made when it started working with the NHS that “data will never be connected to Google accounts or services”
It took a while to wash up, but yes, it was a big blue wave
— Votes are still being counted in several House races. But the AP has called another race in California, projecting Democrat Josh Harder the winner in the Modesto-area 10thCongressional District over incumbent Republican Jeff Denham.
— That means, more than a week after Election Day, Democrats have increased their House gains to a net of 33 seats – and, when all the vote is counted, they may get to 39.
— Make no mistake: That is a very big wave.Yes, It’s Almost Decision Time For 2020 Democratic Presidential Hopefuls
— How big? It’s the most House seats gained by Democrats since the wave election following Watergate. Nixon resigned in August of 1974, leading to Democrats’ pick up of 48 seats that fall.
Despite all the headlines, Chicago is far from the nation’s “murder capital”
— No major American city has come close to Chicago’s soaring murder total in the past few years. The Windy City recorded nearly 1,900 homicides between 2015 and 2017, a period during which the next-closest city, Baltimore, registered around 1,000.
— However, when adjusting for its large population, Chicago is by no means the nation’s “murder capital.” For decades, in fact, it has had fewer murders per capita than many other U.S. cities with smaller populations, according to FBI data going back to 1985.
— St. Louis led the nation with 66.1 murders per 100,000 people in 2017, according to the FBI’s most recent yearly statistics, released in September. It was followed by Baltimore (55.8 per 100,000), Detroit (39.8 per 100,000), New Orleans (39.5 per 100,000) and Baton Rouge, Louisiana (38.3 per 100,000).
Idiot who made fatal “swatting” call going bye bye for a while
— Tyler Barriss, 26, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to making a false report resulting in a death, after he placed a hoax call late last year that resulted in police fatally shooting an unarmed man in Wichita, Kan.
— Barriss pleaded guilty to a total of 51 charges as part of a plea deal. He will be sentenced in January, The Associated Press reports.
— Prosecuting U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister told The Wichita Eagle he will recommend that Barriss be sentenced to 20 years in prison, providing he writes apology letters to police, dispatchers and the family of Andrew Finch, a 28-year-old father of two who was shot by police who responded to the hoax call in December.
Chinese-style social control under construction in Venezuela
May I see your Fatherland Card?
— The ID transmits data about cardholders to computer servers. The card is increasingly linked by the government to subsidized food, health and other social programs most Venezuelans rely on to survive.
Today’s Drudge Screamer:
878,000 millionaires added in year
It links to a credible Washington Examiner report that in turn is based on a Credit Suisse analysis. Drudge strongly implies that Trump deserves the ahem “credit” for shifting wealth away from the working class. However that may be, it strongly implies that the American sickness known as Trumpism is just fine as long as it shows a profit.
From the story:
“Our research indicates that the United States added 878,000 new millionaires – representing around 40 percent of the global increase – to its already sizable stock,” the bank said.
The report showed that U.S. wealth grew at 6.5 percent, higher than the world average of 4.6 percent, and has extended a pattern that started during former President Obama’s administration.
CITY OF RUBES?
— New York City may be the nation’s capital of boasting, but perhaps it’s a city of rubes after all. The NY Post points out that the city and state had to bribe Amazon with $3 billion taxpayer dollars in order to get half a loaf of the ballyhooed HQ2.
From the Post editorial:
“Most important, Amazon simply isn’t that big a “get.” As Nicole Gelinas notes, it’s offering to create 2,500 jobs a year — a drop in the bucket of the city’s employment growth since 2008. Meaning “the city, as a whole, will barely notice these new jobs.”
√ The courts and the Congress could end these taxpayer-financed giveaways, but they dare not betray their patrons in corporate America.
USA TODAY WATCH
Let’s wander over to see what those underpaid wretches at Gannett are doing today. Hmmm.
* Worthwhile stories linked.
* Crap stories = no link.
Of their top 10 stories, 5 are not worth reading, including the big one…
Their big headline:
DOJ: Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker ‘unquestionably’ authorized to lead department
(No link, bullshit story)
√ Most people do not read beyond the headline. This one says there’s no question that Whitaker is legit. That’s FAR from established … But sometimes American news outfits seem to think their purpose is to re-write government press releases.
FROM USA TODAY’S CURRENT REPORT:
Nope, we don’t care whether the Pornographic First Lady is mad at somebody. Next!
Serena Williams’ GQ magazine cover draws controversy from her fans.
American woman on South Pacific cruise dies after fall from boat platform.
Wisconsin company to buy gun for every employee this Xmas
How long before the workplace shooting?
Pink’s husband Carey Hart threatens California wildfire looters ‘will be shot on site’
(Oh yeah, that guy. Who’s he again? Some guy posted a picture on Instagram…)
‘Blue wave’ very real in California: Democrat Katie Porter takes late lead over incumbent
(And this from Raw Story)
California GOP leader writes party’s obit
— “The California Republican Party isn’t salvageable at this time,” she writes. “The Grand Old Party is dead – partly because it has failed to separate itself from today’s toxic, national brand of Republican politics.”
Relocating Chiefs-Rams game from Mexico City creates big mess for NFL
√ Some enterprising young writer(s) must already be documenting the downfall of American football. Right?
Last night’s lame PBS News hour: