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Cosmic Tragedy: Shutdown Kills Radio Observatories

As the U.S. government shutdown grinds through its fourth day, science projects are falling like flies as they get starved of funds. And now, one of the most symbolic of scientific institutions has become the latest casualty of the political ineptitude on Capitol Hill. Read more

Supreme Court Gives Major Victory to Gay Couples

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a controversial federal law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, in a major victory for supporters of same-sex marriage. Read more

BREAKING: North Korea carries out third nuke test despite growing tensions in the region

North Korea staged an apparent nuclear test of six to seven kilotons in a striking act of defiance that if confirmed is sure to trigger global condemnation from enemies and allies alike. Read more

EDIT: N. Korea has confirmed they carried out the test.

DNews Tech Producer Tracy says: “If you’ve seen any of the recent political maps showing which states voted for Romney and which states voted for Obama, you might be thinking, as I did, that there sure seems to be a great division in our country.”

As this map suggests, the political picture is a little more complex than we thought… read more.

is this going to kick off a new space race?

China to Launch Manned Space Mission in 2013

The Shenzhou-10, with three crew members, is aiming for a primary launch window in June, Niu Hongguang, deputy commander-in-chi

ef of the manned space program, told China National Radio in an interview Friday.

He said one of the three astronauts would likely be a woman. China has also said it was working towards landing a man on the moon, but did not specify a time-frame.

(via i fucking love science on facebook)

We can dream.

holy crap. if there was a Chief Science Officer in the executive branch, it would be a battle royale (with cheese)

wnyc:

Image of the day so far: voting by flashlight in a makeshift polling tent on Staten Island. (via NYTimes)

-Jody, BL Show-

make sure you vote today, tumblr people!
and if you’re in the NJ/NY area, good luck and let us know how it goes.

(via mattlehrer)

if you decide to move out of the country after the election results are finalized, make sure you prepare. i accidentally emigrated to Canada once, true story. Remind me to tell you about it some time.

Move to Canada? It’s Not That Easy

Despite threats to move to Canada during each election season, the reality is more complicated than many think.And although many Americans happily relocate — often for reasons unrelated to politics — their new reality is not necessarily as idyllic as some may hope. Canada, after all, has problems, too.

With a valid passport, just about any American can visit Canada for up to six months. But showing up at the border with a U-Haul full of belongings is a sure way to get turned back at the border (seriously, i’ve done it).

Most immigrants come because of a job offer or because they’re marrying a Canadian, Cohen said. Other routes to permanent residency include proving your economic worth to the country, investing a significant amount of money, starting a business, or completing a graduate degree at a Canadian university.

read all aboot it, eh!

even astronauts can cast a ballot!

How Space Station Astronauts Can Vote

Two U.S. citizens may be hundreds of miles above the nearest polling booth, but they still cast their ballots.

Astronauts residing on the orbiting lab receive a digital version of their ballot, which is beamed up by Mission Control at the agency’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston. Filled-out ballots find their way back down to Earth along the same path.

This system was made possible by a 1997 bill passed by Texas legislators (nearly all NASA astronauts live in or around Houston). It was first used that same year by David Wolf, who happened to be aboard Russia’s Mir space station at the time.

so cool!

in this time of robo-calls, political canvassing, mailings, long lines to cast a ballot and constant coverage on cable news we threw up our hands and ask…

Why Do We Need a President Anyway?

It wasn’t always a given that we’d have a single executive who has the power to make final decisions about the fate of our country.

Every four years, political frenzy seizes the nation for months building up to the presidential election. Often lost in the hoopla of the campaign trail, though, is the question of how it all began: Why do we have a president in the first place?

After a fizzled attempt to run the country through disparate committees in individual states did the creators of the United States Constitution decide at a historic convention in 1787 that there needed to be a strong national government with a leader on top.

But making the call to create the Presidency was not easy…

check out the whole story…

i love the wink. it really makes this gif.

this should help you chuckle through the afternoon.

in other news, Paul Ryan is ripped!

trce:

Yes. this exists. After the TIME workout pics became an internet sensation, his bicep has a twitter account.

usnatarchives:

Why do we have the Electoral College? Our Founding Fathers worried that even qualified citizens (generally white, male landowners) wouldn’t have the information necessary to make a truly informed decision.

So they decided to give the States the authority to appoint educated, well-read Electors to vote on behalf of their citizens. As the Constitution makes clear, the States elect the President and Vice-President, individuals don’t.

The Electoral College is managed by the Federal Register, part of the National Archives. You can learn more by visiting our website and watching our new video that explains how the votes actually get counted.

You can also like the Federal Register on Facebook or follow us on Twitter (@ElectoralCollge) for the latest updates.

Image: Tally of the 1824 Electoral College Vote, 02/09/1825 (ARC 306207)

fascinating.

do you support continuing the electoral college or dismantling it for a pure popular vote?

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