Open thread

This week’s Science Friday is definitely worth a read.  It’s about cats!

Finally, common sense in the planetary debacle.  A second proposal on redefining planets would demote Pluto and stop the nonsense of calling every little round astronomical object a real planet.  It would reduce our solar system to eight planets — eight real planets — and the rest would be called what they are: asteroids, commets, dwarfs, and so on.  It looks as though the majority of those involved in the decision also like this idea — the vast majority, in fact.  Let’s hope that puts an end to the notion that they’re all planets and our solar system would have hundreds of them in the next few years.

Smell My Breath: That’s what a real conservative proposes the Republicans make their new motto.  Read the post.  It’s quite good and short enough to be a quick read.  It’s always great to see someone who still holds on to the true conservative ideologies that I admire.

Remember the swallowtail butterfly with two different color sets on its wings?  It was a mystery plenty of people were trying to figure out.  Now we have an answer as to why each wing demonstrated vastly different colors and markings.  It’s called a gynandromorph, and it means an error during the first cell division caused it to become “a butterfly that is literally half male and half female.”  You can see more photographic examples of this trait at this page, and you’ll also find a good explanation of how the abnormality works.

It’s Friday Ark #100 Centennial Edition!  As always, visit throughout the weekend for “links to sites that have Friday (plus or minus a few days) photos of their chosen animals (photoshops at our discretion and humans only in supporting roles). Watch the Exception category for rocks, beer, coffee cups, and….?”

More news on the oil spill on the Lebanese coast.  This includes a satellite photo and new information showing it now covers at least half of the shoreline.  Thanks, Israel.

The moon and three planets “will be putting on an ever-changing display in our morning twilight sky this week.”

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