Signs & Portents

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Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, March 23 2017

Pluto's features acquire a number of eerie and otherworldly names. A look at a science essay written by Winston Churchill. And what the discovery of a star system with 7 Earth-sized planets means for astronomy. It's Earthy Thursday, our segment about science and Earth-related news. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

Ever since New Horizons visited Pluto, people here on Earth have been fascinated by every new announcement and discovery made about the tiny planet. And planetary scientists had lots of fun coming up with spooky names for the various geophysical features of the world named for the Roman god of death. Now, many of those names, including such labels as "Cthulhu Regio" and "Norgray Montes," have been canonized by the International Astronomical Union.

Everyone knows that the world's tallest mountain is Mount Everest (well, unless they say it's Mauna Kea in Hawaii or Chimborazo in Peru). And they might know that the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean is the Earth's deepest point on the surface. But what's the deepest cave? It might well be a location in the mountains of Uzbekistan.

Winston Churchill is best-known as the Prime Minister of Great Britain during the Second World War. He was also a noted author and a veteran of the First World War. What he was not well-known for was speculative papers on science. Nonetheless, he wrote one as scholars have recently uncovered, detailing among other things his speculations about the existence of extraterrestrial life.

If we're to maintain our standard of living, continue growing as a species, and avoid severe impacts on our environment, something has to change. At Grist, Amelia Urry talks about one possible change that could help: improving the way batteries work.

Recently astronomers announced a massive discovery: 7 Earth-side planets orbiting a small, "red dwarf" star. In case it wasn't clear why that's such a big deal, John Wenz has got you covered at Discover.

Top image by Toby Hudson

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Aryós Héngwis (or the more modest Héngwis for short) is a native of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, born some 5000 years ago, near the village of Dereivka. In his youth he stood out from the other snakes for his love of learning and culture, eventually coming into the service of the local reǵs before moving westward toward Europe. Most recently, Aryós Héngwis left his home to pursue a new life in America, where he has come under the employ of BBI Media as an internet watchdog (or watchsnake, if you will), ever poised to strike the unwary troll.


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