Friday News Bites: Space! History! Internetting!

This week’s news stories are quite a bit about reconciling the past with the future. It’s a mixed bag of good and bad, as per usual, but there were a lot of interesting links to catch my eye. Let’s get started.


The Tenth Circuit Court has decided it will not block same-sex marriages in Kansas. Kansas is in the same court circuit as Utah and Oklahoma, which have already struck down their bans. Woo!

Supreme Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor also weighed in on the case, denying a stay on the case pending appeal, effectively making it easier for the state to move towards issuing same-sex marriage licences.

A new book by Barrie Wilson and Simcha Jacobovici, The Lost Gospel, supposedly proves that Jesus Christ married Mary Magdalene and that the two had children together. Somewhat predictably, some people don’t like this idea.


You probably heard about the Rosetta spacecraft Philae, launched by the European Space Agency, which landed on a comet this week. There are already photos beamed back, and they’re really interesting.

Here’s a really good article about the challenges pregnant transgender men face when it comes to healthcare and social interaction.

According to a new study from the University of Amsterdam, the Spice Girls “Wannabe” is the catchiest song in the UK. Computational musicologist Ashley Burgoyne discusses how catchy songs become lodged in our brains.


Senator Ted Cruz is being stupid about net neutrality. The Oatmeal discusses why and also explains the concept to the rest of us.

Meanwhile, the New York Times frames the debate in electricity vs. cable terms.

(By the way, here’s the President Obama-endorsed petition that supports net neutrality, if you were interested in signing it.)

Here’s a Letter to the Editor that’s been floating around: A baffled Canadian doesn’t understand all the flack Obama gets.

November 9, 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Here are some fascinating photos detailing the wall’s history.

As the grand jury decision approaches for the case against Darren Wilson, the officer who shot teenager Mike Brown in Ferguson, this Salon article details just how much the officer failed his legal duty.


Carol Ann Susi, perhaps best known for playing unseen Mrs. Wolowitz on The Big Bang Theory, died this week after a brief battle with cancer. She was 62.

Big Bank Hank, from the legendary group The Sugarhill Gang, died on Tuesday at age 58. Some reports suggest he died from cancer complications, but those are not yet confirmed.

Here’s the story of how The Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” was recorded in just one take.

In Other News:

Here’s the story of Barbara Bowman, a woman who says she was raped as a teenager by Bill Cosby. She asks, “Why did it take 30 years for people to believe my story?

Keira Knightly posed topless with the caveat that the publication not airbrush her breasts to appear larger. “I think women’s bodies are a battleground and photography is partly to blame,” she says.

London’s Globe Theatre has launched an on-demand video service for its Shakespeare productions:

It’s sort of like Netflix for Shakespeare, but instead of paying a monthly fee, users pay for each video they watch — about $6.00 to rent for a week and $12.00 to own. Through GlobePlayer.TV, video downloads are DRM-free, which means those who buy performances will be able to share them with friends as well as upload them to a variety of mobile devices, assuming they fit: Each MP4 file is 3GB.

And finally, if you’d like to hear Sir Ian McKellen read you Sherlock stories, BBC Radio 4 has got you covered.

See you next week, Unicorns!


By Sara Habein

Sara Habein is the author of Infinite Disposable, a collection of microfiction, and her work has appeared on The Rumpus, Pajiba and Word Riot, among others. Her book reviews and other commentary appear at Glorified Love Letters, and she is the co-manager of Electric City Creative.

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