GALAXIES. From the ever-awesome APOD, above is an unusual view of our own Milky Way galaxy -- with 7000 year old pictographs from Utah's Canyonlands National Park illuminated in the foreground (click on images to enlarge). The artists were likely hunter-gatherers who included Mammoths in their diet.
Below is a stunning panorama of the Whale Galaxy, another spiral galaxy 30 million light years from our Milky Way. (Definitely click on this one) This galaxy spans 140,000 light years, a distance which boggles the mind.
ATHEISTS. One of my favorite blogs, The Angry Black Woman, recently posted a piece titled "The myth of atheists being 'less' than religious people." To which I can only say, right on. Those who choose to place their faith in organized religion often treat atheists with annoying condescension, if not outright hostility. If their faith is so secure, one would think that serene acceptance of other viewpoints would prevail. It's worth noting that in the land of the free, freedom of religion includes freedom FROM religion. Get it? Got it? Good.
MISS USA. On May 16, 2010, Rima Fakih became the first Lebanese-American, the first Muslim, and the first immigrant to win the Miss USA beauty pageant. Predictably, the right wing blogosphere went nuts, attempting to link Ms. Fakih with Hezbollah and other extremist groups. In fact, she comes from a family which celebrates both Christianity ans Islam, and has no political ties with such groups. (Besides, as one friend noted, where could she possible hide a bomb?)
My thought is .... wow. In a militantly anti-Muslim atmosphere, somehow we dredge up sufficient respect for diversity to select this intelligent and beautiful future attorney to represent the US. Pretty damn cool. Beauty pageants have always been little more than gratuitous eye candy, with little redeeming social value. Until now.