Here is some stuff in the news today...
[Content Note: Video autoplays at first link] The first official trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been released!!! WOOT! Are you so excited?! I am so excited! Here are six things we (sort of) learned (maybe?!) from the trailer.
[CN: Racism; antisemitism] And a seventh thing we learned (hahahasob we already knew this!) is that white supremacists are the fucking woooooooorst: "The #BoycottStarWarsVII hashtag, which started appearing on Twitter Sunday night, expresses objection to the fact that The Force Awakens features lead characters who aren't white males, with its users accusing the movie of pushing a sinister multicultural agenda. '#BoycottStarWarsVII because it is anti-white propaganda promoting #whitegenocide,' read one tweet from an account calling itself 'End Cultural Marxism.' (A subsequent tweet from the same account read 'A friend in LA said #StarWarsVII is basically 'Deray in Space,''—a reference to civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson. 'Jewish activist JJ Abrams is an anti-white nut.') Another Twitter account, calling itself 'Captain Confederacy,' similarly griped that 'SJWs [Social Justice Warriors] complain about White artists 'misappropriating' culture created by blacks but then celebrate a non-White Star Wars.' Yet another complaint read that the movie should be boycotted 'because it's nothing more than a social justice propaganda piece that alienates it's [sic] core audience of young white males.'" Go to hell!
[CN: Drones] Good: "The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) pressed ahead on Monday with a lawsuit to compel the CIA to turn over basic details about the US program of clandestine drone warfare, a week after startling contours of the program emerged in a new leak by an anonymous intelligence source. The ACLU lawsuit seeks summary data from the CIA on drone strikes, including the locations and dates of strikes, the number of people killed and their identities or status. The ACLU also is seeking memos describing the legal reasoning underpinning the drone program. None of the summary strike information is currently available to the public, which instead must rely on estimates compiled by analysts and journalists, based on reports on the ground."
[CN: Racism; police misconduct] This is amazing: "Ferguson Traffic Fines Reform Is Having a Surprising Side Effect: A tiny Missouri town disbanded its police department last week, acknowledging that its old way of operating was untenable under a new state law restricting towns in St. Louis County from using cops, courts, and speed traps as a money mill. ...Charlack isn't the first town to dissolve its force in recent months, and it likely won't be the last either." Wow.
[CN: Violence; death; guns] Fucking hell: Oscar Pistorius "was released on parole late on Monday, just short of a year into his five-year sentence for killing [Reeva Steenkamp, who was dating him at the time of her death] on Valentine's Day 2013. [Pistorius] must serve the rest of his sentence under house arrest and still faces an appeal on Nov. 3 by prosecutors who argue that he should have been convicted of murder, not culpable homicide." Not only was he released from prison after only one year, but he was released a day early: "Pistorius had been expected to leave prison on Tuesday, and his early release took media by surprise." Sure. We wouldn't want him to be disgraced in the media for killing someone.
This is a must-read piece by Ian Millhiser: "The Future of the Democratic Party Will Be Decided by the Supreme Court."
[CN: Video may autoplay at link] LOVE: "President Obama hosted 300 students, 11 astronauts, and Bill Nye (the Science Guy) on the south lawn of the White House on a clear Monday night for the second 'Astronomy Night.' And in the third row, among the students, was Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old Texas boy who became an international celebrity after police investigated the clock he invented for a school project as a possible explosive device. Mohamed did not bring his clock, despite an invitation from Obama to do so."
[CN: Video may autoplay at link] COOL: "You can now marvel at a dozen new shots of Earth every day. NASA has launched a new website this week showcasing beauty shots of Earth as it rotates over a 24-hour period. The photos are taken from the vantage point of the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), which is positioned a million miles away from Earth. Every day, visitors to the new website can expect to see at least a dozen gorgeous color images of our planet that NASA said will have been taken anywhere from 12 to 36 hours earlier from the Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC). Because the images will be taken over the course of the day, it will show Earth as it rotates, providing a look at the entire globe." YES!
A new study done by an international team of scientists reveals that "the origins of modern dogs 'extremely messy'" but it appears as though dogs may have originated in Central Asia. Still: "Adam Boyko of Cornell University and one of the study's researchers [cautioned] that it was very possible that dogs were domesticated elsewhere before arriving in Central Asia and diversifying into modern canines. Regardless, the study's large population sample, including village and feral dogs, is remarkable, representing a clearer picture of dogs and where they come from. As Boyko quipped, 'The great thing about working with dogs is that if you show up with food you don't usually have trouble recruiting subjects. Usually.'" LOL aww.
Oh my heart: "A little girl who was adopted by her family celebrated her 8th Gotcha Day by adopting a kitten from a rescue center for pets displaced by the recent severe flooding in South Carolina. Kayla Hodge visited the Beck recreation Center in Georgetown County with her family on Saturday. The rec center is being used as a temporary shelter for animals displaced or lost due to the flooding, as well as some pets from the St. Frances Animal Center. The family say they had not planned to go home with new pet but Kayla was drawn to an unclaimed kitten named Kermit. Saturday was Kayla's 8th adoption Gotcha Day and ended up being Kermit's Gotcha Day, too, as he got adopted into Kayla's family."
And finally! Goats on a trampoline! I repeat: Goats on a trampoline!