SEVEN Planets Around the Trappist-1 Red Dwarf Star. SEVEN!

Image Credits: NASA-JPL/Caltech

The discovery is just astounding. All of these planets are likely candidates for water. At least three are in the “goldilocks” zone — meaning those planets might have surface water in liquid form.

Of course, they are 40 light years away…which means we’re probably not visiting there anytime soon.  Nevertheless, on a celestial scale, those planets are the same thing as down-the-block neighbors.

More info on the NASA site.

xkcd

Don Quixote

SpaceX Just Landed a Booster Rocket

Yesterday, SpaceX launched a Falcon9 rocket in the morning on a resupply mission to the International Space Station. Nine minutes later, the same rocket landed at a nearby landing pad. This is a video of the recovery and successful landing of a primary stage booster for a spaceship. This is just amazing.

Reusing is way better than recycling….

A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on

Full article is here. via @HuffPostScience

Huizinga & Coulter — Bach Remixed

This is what I am listening to right now. Their concert this last Friday was amazing.

Ryancare in Place of Obamacare: Is This What the Working Class White Trump Voter Really Wanted?

From an Editorial in yesterday’s New York Times:

In a half-baked policy paper released on Thursday, the House speaker, Paul Ryan, trotted out washed-up ideas for “improving” the country’s health care system that would do anything but. For example, the paper calls for reducing spending on Medicaid, which now provides insurance to more than 74 million poor, disabled and older people. Many millions of them would be cast out of the program. The Republican plan would also force most people who don’t get their health insurance through an employer to pay more by slashing subsidies that the A.C.A., or Obamacare, now provides. The proposal would allow families to sock away more money in health savings accounts, which may sound good at first but would primarily benefit affluent people who can afford to save more.

If even half of these assertions are true, this modification of Obamacare looks like a disaster for the stereotypical Trump voter. And, just so no one is misled, I am not trying to set up an “I told you so” taunt.  I’d much rather that the Trump voters force their President to actually work for his voters.

Notwithstanding the possibility that I likely will financially benefit from the repeal of Obamacare, 45 is clearly NOT creating a society in which I want to live.

And I will not be appeased until 45 actually starts helping people (other than himself) — and yes, I want him to help people even if that help is a financial drain on the affluent portion of society.