This Week in Space

Two Dead Stars Collide In August, the collision of two dead stars was observed.  Two neutron stars in a distant galaxy –NGC 4993, some 130 million light-years from us– spun around each other, drawing closer and closer until they finally met in a violent explosion.  A ‘nova’ is the abrupt increase in a star’s brightness;…

The 2017 Nobel Prizes

Since 1901, Nobel Prizes have been awarded nearly every year in the categories of Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, Peace and Economic Studies.  The decisions, announced in Stockholm, Sweden (except for the Peace Prize, which is announced from Oslo, Norway), are always eagerly awaited by the international community.  Though the ceremony is not held…

The Independence Movement in Catalonia

Over the weekend, a region in northeast Spain voted to become independent.  Even so, it’s entirely possible that won’t happen. Catalan officials announced a staggering 90 percent of those who had voted had said ‘yea’ to the question of independence, according to the New York Times.  (To put that in perspective, about half of Catalonia’s…

Sexual Orientation to be Omitted from 2020 Census

Earlier this week, the U.S. government announced that questions about sexual orientation and gender identity will not be included on the 2020 U.S. Census or the American Community Survey. As required by Title 13 of the U.S. Code, the Census Bureau submitted a summary of the census to Congress on March 28.  Called “Subjects Planned…

Westminster: 48 Hours Later

As PM Theresa May delivered her statement on the Westminster attack Wednesday night, it was clear she had chosen her words carefully. “The United Kingdom’s threat level has been set at severe for some time, and this will not change,” May said in the statement. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who have…

Attacks in Westminster: What We Know

An attack Wednesday afternoon at several locations around London’s Houses of Parliament left several critically wounded.  Latest reports list the number killed as four, including the suspected attacker, though information is as yet unclear. Videos of the attack show pedestrians running, being ordered by police to get to cover and clear the area. A car,…

White House Bars Selected Media Organizations from Entry

The usual daily press briefing didn’t happen on February 24.  Instead, an untelevised briefing of a selected few media outlets took place at the White House. It is clear CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin is working to hide her shock as she broke the news at 2:01 p.m., Friday afternoon. “We have just learned here at…

The Decision in Bobigny: Police Brutality in France

On Monday, a French court determined a police officer should go to trial and face charges of rape. The decision comes after weeks of often violent rallies, sparked by “L’Affaire Théo”: the February 2nd arrest of Théo Luhaka, 22, which resulted in surgery and a hospital stay.  Three police officers involved were accused of unnecessary…