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An artist's concept of what it would be like to stand on the surface of exoplanet TRAPPIST-1f. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle (IPAC).

The small Japanese town of Oji appears to have a new mascot, partially in a bid to develop tourism: a quadcopter doggy drone named Yukimaru.

Rear your children to be atheists or agnostics—fine. But turning them loose on the world with no concept of right and wrong is unacceptable.

A fascinating, controversial, occasionally brilliant, occasionally naive, and very long conversation with polymath/computer scientist/conservative/humanist David Gelernter.
↩︎ The Atlantic

Witness the Glory Hole Spillway at Lake Berryessa. Aka, "this is what happens when engineers build stuff to try to prevent dams from flooding."

For the first time in a decade, January and February have brought so much rain that the lake in the Napa Valley area north of San Francisco has maxed out its water capacity. To prevent flooding, this 72-foot-wide concrete funnel is sucking down the excess. Hundreds of locals have gathered to watch the show and take photos and videos since it started on Friday. And the show isn’t over. More storms are expected toward the end of the week, and the flow may continue for up to two weeks.

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Only a quarter of California remains under "moderate drought" conditions, but places like Catalina Island can't tap the Sierra snowpack and still struggle to stay hydrated. Alex Krowiak published a photo essay about life on the island, where people are washing dishes in the shower. As for the bison:

Many of the native species on Catalina Island have adaptations that have left them relatively unaffected by the drought. Other introduced species like the American bison, which was brought to the island for the filming of a movie in 1924, have needed some supplemental water.

Japanese director Seijun Suzuku just died at 93. He honed his style of bonzo action flicks churning out B-movies before producing his masterpiece, Branded to Kill in black-and-white (a studio's punishment for his inscrutable previous film).

Artist Sonja Hincrichsen makes massive "snow drawings" by enlisting dozens of people to walk on prescribed or random paths in snowshoes. 

Check out her latest, the Yampa River Snow Drawing, created on Colorado's frozen Lake Catamount.

Iceland's pizza scandal just got worse and charmingly more Icelandic at the same time.

Iceland has a pizza problem. Last week, the president, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, told schoolkids he would outlaw putting pineapple on pizza if he had the power to create laws (he doesn't).

After much uproar, the president issued a statement, in both Icelandic and English, about presidential powers:

Unfortunately, the endorsement of fish over pineapple did not go down well. In the Icelandic, Guðni uses the word "fiskmeti," which translates as fish-products, rather than seafood. Apparently not even Icelanders like fish-products on their pizza.


At its core, the initiative appears to be an elaborate marketing tool.

An investigation into the much-hyped project to cure cancer ("cancer moonshot") by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong—the world's richest doctor, linked to both Trump and Tronc—finds that there is little actual medicine being practiced.

Childhood is fertile terrain for the genre of horror, as Stephen King explains in the 1989 interview featured in this video. Via Aeon.

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