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There’s already a “Nasty Woman” t-shirt you can buy

‘At the third presidential debate…, Donald Trump indicated he will refuse to accept the election results, ranted about ninth-month abortions, and generally went full conspiracy-theorist. But the punchline to his freakshow performance was muttering “she’s such a nasty woman” as Clinton talked of raising taxes on the richest Americans. The t-shirt is already yours to buy, with half the proceeds going to charity…’

Source: Boing Boing

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Remember When We Thought Climate Change Would Matter This Election?

‘This was supposed to be the election where climate change really mattered. Only, anyone watching the presidential debates wouldn’t have a clue that 1) 2016 has been history’s hottest year on record, and 2) our future leaders give any sort of crap about it. Climate change was mostly ignored during the last three debates, mentioned only in passing, and never discussed directly or at length. In fact, I’m fairly sure that Americans know more about Donald Trump’s sexual proclivities than his environmental policies (hint, hint: he doesn’t have any)…’

Source: Motherboard

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We are seeing strange X-ray flares that defy explanation

I love me a good astronomical mystery:

‘In 2005, a very strange event was observed. An unknown object, not detectable through visible light, released an intense flare of X-rays. It took about a minute for the flare to reach its full brightness, about 90 times brighter than its resting output and about a million times as bright as the Sun. The flare lasted for about an hour before petering out. Four years later, it flared up again.

X-ray flares are not unheard of, but this event defied classification. Astronomers normally look at the length of the flares as well as how often they occur to determine what kinds of processes produce them. These flares don’t match any known mechanism, making them mysterious indeed.

To find out more, a team of researchers decided to look over archival data from the Chandra and XMM-Newton space observatories. They wondered if similar phenomena are taking place anywhere else in the Universe. If so, it might provide clues about the nature of these strange flares. And the researchers weren’t disappointed. Their search, which included 70 nearby galaxies, turned up two more such flares…’

Source: Ars Technica

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Imagine if Donald Trump Controlled the NSA

‘When Edward Snowden first came forward in 2013 as the leaker of the biggest trove of National Security Agency secrets ever spilled, he ended his first interview by noting that his greatest concern was about the agency’s future. He feared that a less scrupulous commander-in-chief would take charge of the executive branch and with it, the most highly resourced surveillance agency in the world, ready to be exploited in new and troubling ways. “There will be nothing the people can do at that point to oppose it,” Snowden warned. “And it will be turnkey tyranny.”

Three years later, America has watched Donald Trump praise foreign dictators from Kim Jong Un to Vladimir Putin, vow to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate his opponent, Hillary Clinton, if he’s elected, and call for Russian hackers to dig up Clinton’s emails. “I wish I had that power,” he later said in a campaign speech. “Man, that would be power.” If that statement didn’t sufficiently reveal Trump’s lust for surveillance capabilities, he reportedly listened in on phone calls between staff and guests at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach in the mid-2000s.

…NSA alumni as well as critics are concerned that Trump may be exactly the turnkey tyrant Snowden had in mind.“This is someone who displays a kind of personal vindictiveness that makes Nixon look Christlike,” says Julian Sanchez, a privacy-focused research fellow for the Cato Institute. “There’s every reason to be worried about those instincts and how they’d lead him to attempt to abuse this surveillance power.”

The only way to tyrant-proof the White House is to not elect a tyrant. To be sure, Trump appears to have a very slim chance of winning November’s election. But setting aside lopsided poll numbers and imagining what a President Trump might do with the NSA raises the broader question of how tyrant-proof the agency really is: whether its vast surveillance powers are held in check by law or simply by the discretion of the people who control it…’

Source: WIRED