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  1. "Reminder: Humanity Has Made The Moon into a Garbage Pile, Wants To Keep Doing It" by Tim Herrera on washingtonpost.com The one, three-word question: Does anybody care? If we could take the entirety of human waste (including radioactive waste) generated throughout history, and successfully launch it to the Moon, would it matter? There must come a point where the universe is considered "a bunch of mass," and that both we and our garbage are nothing more than subatomic specks, eventually to be annihilated by the Sun exploding. Does polluting the Moon reach that point, or is there some degree of urgency that I'm not seeing? I suppose that, for people who hope to colonize the Moon in the future, this might be something more than an academic issue, but I'm not in that camp just yet. Bonus! Here is the first picture ever taken of the Earth from the Moon, on Aug 23, 1966, by the Lunar Orbiter I, as the grapes were ripening in the second-most successful Bordeaux vintage of the decade: What makes this seemingly uninteresting picture so philosophically fascinating is that, at the time it was taken, the photograph contained every single known thing ever to have lived. I'm assuming that the actual photo didn't clip off the top part of Earth, and that no skeletons or ashes had previously been shot into space; I'm also discounting any microscopic particles on the orbiter, and noting that most of everything is blocked either by darkness, or by the Earth itself. Am I missing anything, other than, say, sanity, or a brain that's larger than a walnut?
  2. Here's a weird one. I can't believe that the science isn't totally settled on this. I always thought that the reason the moon appears larger when it's close to the horizon was because of a magnification effect of the atmosphere. Boy, was I way behind the times. Aristotle thought the same thing, but the moon occupies the same half of an angular degree in the sky regardless of it being on the horizon or straight over your head. Dec 13, 2016 - "Why the Moon Looks Bigger Near the Horizon" by Nadia Drake on news.nationalgeographic.com
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