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On this day in 1958, the National Aeronautics & Space Administration began operations.

On July 29th, 1958, ten months after Sputnik 1 was launched into orbit, President Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act establishing NASA as a civilian space agency. The new agency absorbed the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, including its budget, resources and personnel. Prior to the formation of NASA, space exploration was considered to be largely military enterprise. NASA would begin operations on October 1, 1958.

Celebrate NASA’s birthday by telling Congress to increase NASA’s budget:


Image: Coronal Mass Ejection from the sun.

An older image but still interesting - NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, or STEREO, shows the eruption from its base out into space.

Coronal mass ejections are giant, expanding clouds of solar material that take one to three days to reach Earth.

The base of the CME near the sun is seen in extreme ultraviolet light emitted directly from the solar material; the growing loop is seen in visible light.


Curiosity Drills First Hole Into The Base Of Mount Sharp

After more than two years roving the Red Planet, Curiosity has taken its first bite from the base of a large mountain it was sent to Mars to investigate.

Curiosity arrived at Mount Sharp, a three mile high mountain that lies inside Gale Crater, earlier this month after spending more than a year traveling to its prime destination. The rover began its investigations in a small outcrop at the base of the mountain known as Pahrump Hills.

On Wednesday, Curiosity drilled about 2.6 inches deep into the outcrop collecting a sample of powdered rock. The sample will soon be deposited into a scoop on the rover’s arm for observation to determine whether it is safe to deliver to the rover’s onboard suite of instruments for examination.

“This drilling target is at the lowest part of the base layer of the mountain, and from here we plan to examine the higher, younger layers exposed in the nearby hills,” said Curiosity deputy project scientist Ashwin Vasavada. “This first look at rocks we believe to underlie Mount Sharp is exciting because it will begin to form a picture of the environment at the time the mountain formed, and what led to its growth.”

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Emma Watson Speech…is it really profound?

Is it just me or did Emma Watson say nothing really new or enticing about gender inequality? Yes she made good points about inequalities between both the genders and that you can only end gender inequality by tackling issues on both sides, but these are the same issues though anyone who’s cared about gender inequality have also brought up. The main problem though is her whole campaign of #HeForShe which is about getting men to advocate for women (As if men aren’t already doing that) and only for women’s issues. Setting it up so men’s only role in the gender inequality debate is to advocate and support women.

Also it seems to be to only raise awareness, but no solutions. She briefly mentioned women being sold into arranged marriages and despairingly low numbers of girls being educated in Africa, but once again it’s not just women. People and both genders globally are suffering from lack of education (even in your modern western cultures). There’s clear instances where women are clearly treated as second class citizens (I’m looking at your Iran) and how is this #HeForShe trend suppose to change that? I just don’t see how a naive hashtag campaign is going to fix issues like this.

Last point, she defined feminism as equality between genders when historically and even modern day feminism isn’t that. Feminism started out as a movement of white, heterosexual, Christian women who only wanted rights for their group and excluded those who weren’t. Since then its changed to mostly include all women (as long as you agree with all feminist ideals), but still excludes men and specifically dealing with men’s gender issues.

I’m left feeling honestly disappointed with her speech in front of what is arguably the largest organization with the most influence over global issues, as well as the bandwagon jumping on the internet (Especially Tumblr) that she’s made some profound change.

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