October 1st, 2007

just Chris

Rather exposes Bush's wanker-ness and gets fired for it

When I first heard about Dan Rather's suit against CBS, I was a bit mystified. I mean, we all "knew" that the reason he was fired was that he was the talking-head who reported a clearly untrue story about Bush getting out of Vietnam by playing in the Air National Guard, then simply walking away from it and not even finishing that little bit of service.

Well, it turns out much more interestingly than that. This story by Sidney Blumenthal explains that it's much bigger than you might think: It's a tale of CBS trying to cozy up to the Republicans by discrediting a story that was never untrue, and Rather is still showing his stuff as an investigative reporter even after CBS gave him the boot.

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Dan Rather stands by his story

His lawsuit will attempt to show that CBS tried to suppress the report on Bush's National Guard Service and the Abu Ghraib abuses.

By Sidney Blumenthal for Salon (original here)

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Best,
Chris

galaxy M51

Astro-images of the day: Stephan's Quintet, Small Magellanic Cloud

This photo shows NGC 7331, a spiral galaxy much like our own. However, if you look closely you'll see that three other galaxies very nearby. These are collectively known as "Stephan's Quintet" after their discoverer (French astronomer Eduoard Stephan), and each of these galaxies are no farther apart than the diameter of our own Milky Way galaxy.

Click the image to see the story.

Imagine what the night sky would look like from a planet orbiting a star within one of those galaxies. Assuming our alien protagonist had a dark-enough sky that she could see the equivalent of the Milky Way, she would see three great clouds of light similar to our Magellanic Clouds - our own little companion galaxies, much smaller and less interesting than those near NGC 7331. Except that in place of our diffuse areas of light, her sky would be filled with vast pinwheels!

Here's our Small Magellanic Cloud, by the way:

Click the image to see the story.

Best,
Chris