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Spare a thought … January 13, 2007

Posted by Sharath Rao in contemplation, science.
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and imagine a distance of 13,000 light years.

The most detailed x-ray image yet of one of the youngest known supernova remnants—the debris cloud created when a massive star explodes—solves a long-standing mystery about how the star died, an astronomer announced on Tuesday. About 400 years ago people on Earth, including the famous German astronomer Johannes Kepler, saw the light from a supernova. The explosion was so bright that it was visible with the naked eye even though it occurred about 13,000 light-years away.

I have written about these limitations before – to go where no mind has gone.

Now spare another thought for those depending on what Jane Galt calls the stamps of shame.

This put me in a curious mood the other day, when I was at the market checking out my groceries. I started to wonder: what is this “EBT” thing that’s on all the supermarket checkout card machines? So I asked the checkout woman. She stared at me. “That’s for food stamps,” she said, finally. She was black. I am so white that sometimes, in the early morning, I blind myself in the bathroom mirror. I have never felt like such a dumb, privileged middle class white girl in my life. Ever.

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