Day: February 27, 2014

What Louis Armstrong Really Thinks

‘To the country at large, he insisted on remaining a breezy entertainer with all the gravitas of a Jimmy Durante or Dean Martin. Fortunately, that image is now being deeply reëxamined. This month, the publication of Thomas Brothers’s “Louis Armstrong: Master of Modernism” and the Off Broadway opening of Terry Teachout’s “Satchmo at the Waldorf” (which follows his 2009 biography, “Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong,” which was reviewed in the magazine by John McWhorter) provide a rich, nuanced picture of what was behind Armstrong’s public face.’ (The New Yorker).

The Mammoth Cometh

‘Bringing extinct animals back to life is really happening — and it’s going to be very, very cool. Unless it ends up being very, very bad.’ (NYTimes Magazine).

British Storms Unbury an Ancient Welsh Forest

British Storms Unbury an Ancient Welsh Forest

‘Storms lashing the British coast last month revealed a strange new sight off the west coast of Wales, near the village of Borth: the stumps of hundreds of tree trunks, rising out of the sand, like broken teeth.

Could this be part of Cantre’r Gwaelod, a mythical kingdom believed to have disappeared beneath the waves thousands of years ago? Has Wales’s very own Atlantis been found?’ (National Geographic).

“Motherlode” of Alien Worlds Unveiled by Space Telescope

‘NASA astronomers nearly doubled the number of alien worlds known to humanity on Wednesday, reporting the discovery of 715 planets located in nearby solar systems.

The discoveries bring the total number of known planets outside our solar system—so-called exoplanets—to roughly 1,700.

Launched in 2009, NASA’s $591 million Kepler Space Telescope has now discovered most of the planets orbiting nearby stars.

“We’ve hit the motherlode; we’ve got a veritable exoplanet bonanza,” says Kepler co-leader Jack Lissauer of NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.

The newly announced exoplanets reinforce the view that most solar systems around sunlike stars have smaller-size planets.

Most of those planets range in width from Earth-size (on the smaller side) to Neptune-size (on the larger). That’s quite a change from the Jupiter-size planets that were often spotted orbiting nearby stars during the early planet searches that started in 1995.’ (National Geographic).