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.

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.

Unanimous Ninth Circuit Decision on Travel Ban

I just finished reading the order. It was clearly a rush job on the part of the Ninth Circuit, but it was well drafted. The panel of judges clearly anticipated that their order would be taken up by the USSC. Because of their diligence, I don’t think that a divided USSC wants to take up review of what is effectively a preliminary injunction. I suspect that the USSC will let the Federal District Court in Seattle actually try the case through to a permanent injunction.

The one really interesting take away from the decision was the court’s decision to focus on 45’s “Muslim Ban” rhetoric (yes, I have taken to referring to him as “45”; get over it).

By characterizing this as a Muslim Ban and a “campaign promise kept”, 45 has basically hung himself on the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. I’m not sure how to handicap what will happen next, but my suspicion is that this won’t be taken up by the USSC right now.

It Used To Be That Robots Couldn’t Do Everything

For the longest time, in the clothing industry, you needed some actual human to actually sew a garment together. That was because fabric was flexible and a robot couldn’t manage it into and through a sewing machine.

All that just changed.

Oh and did you see the video showing the robot teaching itself how to play a children’s ball in cup game? It’s terrifying.