Why doesn’t the Times just say what they want to say? Why resort to doofy photos and strings of negative quotes cushioned between pillows of pointless prose? Well, see, that wouldn’t be “objective” — and by “objective” I mean keeping it boring enough that you won’t scare off advertisers who, if they had their way, would place images of their cars and clothes and jewelry next to complete pablum that would never offend anyone or create any kind of controversy. Ever wonder why there aren’t many ads in the parts of the paper where they cover politics? Um, yeah.
So we get this kabuki theater and they call it journalism. And then newspapers wonder why they’re losing their audience. To put this another way: Try to imagine what this story would have sounded like if Ashlee Vance, the guy who wrote it, had published it on his personal blog, where he could say exactly what he wanted to to say and didn’t have to worry about scaring off advertisers meeting the high standards of “objectivity” espoused by the New York Times. And which would you rather read? Yeah, me too.
Coal industry lobbyists and coal-state politicians like to remind us that coal is a relatively cheap source of energy.
But in a major new report out today, the National Academy of Sciences details some of the huge “hidden costs” of coal: More than $62 billion a year in “external damages” — that is, premature deaths from air pollution.
As long as these costs can be externalized, nothing will change…
Checking in with NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, our current emissary to Saturn, some 1.5 billion kilometers (932 million miles) distant from Earth, we find it recently gathering images of the Saturnian system at equinox. During the equinox, the sunlight casts long shadows across Saturn’s rings, highlighting previously known phenomena and revealing a few never-before seen images. Cassini continues to orbit Saturn, part of its extended Equinox Mission, funded through through September 2010. A proposal for a further extension is under consideration, one that would keep Cassini in orbit until 2017, ending with a spectacular series of orbits inside the rings followed by a suicide plunge into Saturn on Sept. 15, 2017. (23 photos total)
The moon Prometheus and its nearby disturbance of Saturn’s F ring. Prometheus periodically gores the F ring, drawing out streamers of material from the ring. The image was taken in visible light at a distance of approximately 950,000 km (590,000 mi) from Saturn. (NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute) #