Monday, February 1, 2016


1. Bob the Engineer's heartbreaking story (NPR)
The night before the launch, Ebeling and four other engineers at NASA contractor Morton Thiokol had tried to stop the launch. Their managers and NASA overruled them. 
That night, he told his wife, Darlene, "It's going to blow up." 
When Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff, Ebeling and his colleagues sat stunned in a conference room at Thiokol's headquarters outside Brigham City, Utah. They watched the spacecraft explode on a giant television screen and they knew exactly what had happened.
2. Don't be stupid! Keep your wisdom teeth, unless they are troubling you. (Fusion)
As of 2011, 10 million wisdom teeth get hacked out of the back of Americans’ mouths a year. 
For decades, the procedure was performed only when the teeth, also known as third molars, were causing real trouble, like in the case of appendectomies. After World War II, however, the ranks of dentists exploded, and with them recommendations that people get their third molars removed as a precaution. As dental care got more advanced—and the financial incentive to perform the procedures increased—wisdom teeth removal began to become as routine as getting braces.
3. A Noam Chomsky interview (SmashingInterviews) Nearly 90, but amazing faculties!
About half of the history of the country, there were two major problems that required guns. One was eliminating the indigenous population. They had to be eliminated or exterminated. They fought back which meant you needed guns. 
The other was that the United States was running the most hideous slave labor camps in human history in the South, which is a large part of the basis of their economy. It was not done just for the wealth of the plantation owners, the manufacturing system was based for a long time on textile production that was largely cotton based. The banks were developing credit for cotton. Cotton was the main commodity of the early part of the Industrial Revolution. Same in England. A large part of their economic wealth and power developed from the slave labor camps. Well, you know, running slave labor camps means you’ve got to be afraid of the slaves. Maybe they’ll erupt.
 4. A fascinating portrait of Bernie Sanders (Politico). Regardless of how you feel about his politics, his integrity is unimpeachable!
It’s always been that way with Sanders. The issues. The issues. Stick to the issues. The rich are too rich. Those with power have too much. The middle class is withering. Inequality is a crisis, and the system is rigged. With Sanders, what you see is what you get, insist the people who know him best — and that’s almost all you get. 
But if his positions are well known, the person, it turns out, is less known. Before Sanders was a U.S. senator, before he was a congressman, before he was mayor of Burlington — before he won one shocking election, then 13 more — he was a radical and an agitator in the ferment of 1960s and '70s Vermont, a tireless campaigner and champion of laborers who didn’t collect his first steady paycheck until he was an elected official pushing 40 years old.

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