Phobos crosses the sun.


The apparent diameter of Phobos is about a third that of Earth’s moon, so no full solar eclipse is possible from that configuration, despite the fact that the sun itself appears smaller from Mars. It’s still mighty spooky, because Phobos is not very close to spherical.


It’s one of the great marvels of our existence on this planet that our moon and our sun are so similar in size when viewed from Earth, thus creating solar eclipses of dramatic beauty (and, to the ancients, impenetrable mystery).

The U.S. Immigration System May Have Reached a Breaking Point

“Experts say the president is not wrong when he says that ‘legal loopholes’ in America’s immigration system are partly responsible for encouraging migrants to bring children on a dangerous journey that in some cases ends in tragedy.”

Of course, Trump is not correct about the fact that these people are drug lords, terrorists and criminals. They are almost all just poor people, often ill people, desperate for a better life. The only real danger they represent consists of the diseases they carry.

“The majority of our agents get sick. Infectious disease is everywhere. There’s always scabies in there. Usually we have chickenpox. We have tuberculosis in there. You name it, it’s probably been through that building. So it’s dangerous. It’s dangerous for our agents. It’s dangerous for the detainees that don’t have anything.”

The distinction between Trump’s perception and reality seems irrelevant, because the real point is just that there are too many of them and our system can no longer process them effectively. As the FNYT reports: “The flow of migrant families has reached record levels, with February totals 560 percent above those for the same period last year.” Trump may be confused about the nature of the danger, but he seems to be correct that the danger is real.

And the most depressing element of this situation is that nobody seems to have a solution, and the few ideas that might be tried are rejected by one side of the aisle or the other, so the backlog just keeps piling up.

Heads-up in advance: I am not kidding …

“Filings by the department since June 2017 reveal a new interpretation that ‘would permit the president – and all federal officials – to accept unlimited amounts of money from foreign governments, as long as the money comes through commercial transactions with an entity owned by the federal official.'”

Yup, that’s right. Our government officials can take all the foreign bribes they want as long as the foreign governments don’t actually hand them the checks. According to this interpretation, it is literally true that if Joe President owned a bank, he could accept unlimited amounts of “interest payments” from foreign investors.

This one is only for my fellow baseball fanatics …

When I was a kid, all the record books and all the keepers of baseball lore reported that Old Hoss Radbourn won 60 games in 1884. This was later revised to 59, but that decision has now been reversed and he’s back up to 60. This article explains why this keeps changing.

A bit of background is provided in the “continue reading” section:

Continue reading “Old Hoss Radbourn is back to 60 wins”