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A New 'Wrinkle in Time': never-before-seen passage sheds light on author's political philosophy



A New ‘Wrinkle in Time’

Madeleine L’Engle’s ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ has sold 14 million copies since its publication in 1962. Now, a never-before-seen passage cut from an early draft is shedding surprising light on the author’s political philosophy

By Jennifer Maloney
Updated April 16, 2015 10:45 p.m. ET

Madeleine L’Engle, the author of “A Wrinkle in Time,” resisted labels. Her books weren’t for children, she said. They were for people. Devoted to religious study, she bristled when called a Christian writer. And though some of her books had political themes, she wasn’t known to write overtly about politics. That is, until her granddaughter, Charlotte Jones Voiklis, came across an unknown three-page passage that was cut before publication.

The passage, which Ms. Voiklis shared with The Wall Street Journal so it could be published for the first time, sheds new light on one of the most beloved and best-selling young-adult books in American literature. Published in 1962, “A Wrinkle in Time” has sold 14 million copies and inspired a TV-movie adaptation, a graphic novel, and an opera. Meg Murry, the novel’s strong-willed misfit heroine, has been a role model for generations of children, especially girls. Now, Jennifer Lee, the co-writer and co-director of the Oscar-winning animated film, “Frozen,” is writing a film adaptation for Disney.


In it, Meg has just made a narrow escape from Camazotz. As Meg’s father massages her limbs, which are frozen from a jarring trip through space and time, she asks: “But Father, how did the Black Thing—how did it capture Camazotz?” Her father proceeds to lay out the political philosophy behind the book in much starker terms than are apparent in the final version.

He says that yes, totalitarianism can lead to this kind of evil. (The author calls out examples by name, including Hitler, Mussolini and Khrushchev.) But it can also happen in a democracy that places too much value on security, Mr. Murry says. “Security is a most seductive thing,” he tells his daughter. “I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s the greatest evil there is.”


The WSJ article isn't paywalled, and includes a short video discussion.

The new passage is at http://graphics.wsj.com/documents/doc-cloud-embedder/?sidebar=1#1881486-a-wrinkle-in-time-excerpt
or as pdf at https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1881486/a-wrinkle-in-time-excerpt.pdf

House Space Subcommitee's Surreal NASA Budget Hearing


House Space Subcommitee’s Surreal NASA Budget Hearing
Posted by Doug Messier on April 16, 2015

I woke up early this morning with a low-grade headache. Checking Twitter, I discovered I’d slept through the beginning of a House Subcommittee on Space’s hearing on NASA’s budget with Administrator Charlie Bolden.

My headache immediately worsened as I found the hearing webcast on my cell phone. A whole range of largely unprintable words and phrases came immediately to mind, but there was one that kept coming back: clown car. The House Science Committee really needs a bigger clown car.


What really got my head pounding was a line of questioning and statements from the Republican majority best summed up by a paragraph in House Science Committee Chairman’s Lamar Smith’s opening statement.

“The Administration continues to starve NASA’s exploration programs to fund a partisan environmental agenda. NASA simply deserves better.”

It was yet another spectacularly false claim made in an institution already well know for its overabundance of bullshit.


Food from Fukushima could be hitting Britain's shelves through legal safety loophole

Source: Independent

Products contaminated by radiation, including tea, noodles and chocolate bars, have already been exported from Japan under the cover of false labelling by fraudsters.

Experts warned that Britain’s food regulations were not strong enough to prevent these kinds of contaminated products – which are fraudulently marked as coming from radiation-free regions of Japan – from entering the UK. This raises the prospect of mildly carcinogenic ingredients entering the food system.

The alarm is being sounded after Taiwanese investigators uncovered more than 100 radioactive food products which had been produced in Fukushima but falsely packaged to give their origin as Tokyo.


“I suspect what has happened in Taiwan might well have already happened in the UK. Intermediary supply chain middlemen can buy food in bulk and package and label as they like – before shipping them to the UK,” said Alastair Marke, a fellow at the Royal Society of Arts and principal adviser in London to Shantalla, a food safety consultancy.


Read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/food-from-fukushima-could-be-hitting-britains-shelves-through-legal-safety-loophole-10174298.html

SpaceX to launch at 1:33 pm Pacific Time today (4/13/2015)

Live coverage on NASA-TV begins 12:30 pm Pacific (3:30 pm Eastern).

They'll make another attempt at landing on an ocean barge.

Watching a paradigm shift in neuroscience


Watching a paradigm shift in neuroscience
by Björn Brembs, March 26

When I finished my PhD 15 years ago, the neurosciences defined the main function of brains in terms of processing input to compute output: “brain function is ultimately best understood in terms of input/output transformations and how they are produced” wrote Mike Mauk in 2000. Since then, a lot of things have been discovered that make this stimulus-response concept untenable and potentially based largely on laboratory artifacts.

For instance, it was discovered that the likely ancestral state of behavioral organization is one of probing the environment with ongoing, variable actions first and evaluating sensory feedback later (i.e., the inverse of stimulus response).


As one would expect, this dramatic shift in perspectives from input/output to output/input has led to a slew of recent publications which were not thinkable a mere 15 years ago.


In the most recent annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, where I usually only find very few presentations on ongoing activity and how it leads to variability, there now were several posters on exactly this topic, seemingly out of nowhere.


Advisors to NASA: Dump the asteroid mission and go to Mars orbit instead

Source: Houston Chronicle

At the conclusion of its meeting the NASA Advisory Council adopted a “finding” that the asteroid redirect mission should be dropped in favor of demonstrating solar electric propulsion on a Mars orbit mission. That could include a Phobos or Deimos sample return, but the council wanted to leave NASA some flexibility to study all options.

“If this technology is designed to go to Mars and back, let’s send it to Mars and back,” said Steve Squyres, chairman of the advisory committee. The vote was unanimous.

This “finding” represents the opinion of the committee and is not binding on NASA. However it will likely spur NASA to at least further study a Mars orbit option, and will embolden the many critics of NASA’s asteroid mission.


Read more: http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/2015/04/advisors-to-nasa-dump-the-asteroid-mission-and-go-to-phobos-instead/

Note: This was about the robotic asteroid redirect mission to bring an asteroid to lunar orbit, not the manned mission to the asteroid.

NASA Advisory Council: NASA Human Exploration Plan Insufficiently Funded

Source: NASA Watch

NAC: the current HEOMD/SMD human exploration plan is insufficiently funded.
— NASA Watch (@NASAWatch) April 10, 2015

Squyres: this is a pretty damning statement. Lets be certain what we mean
— NASA Watch (@NASAWatch) April 10, 2015

NAC can't come up with politically correct way to say there's not enough money for #NASA to do humans to Mars program pic.twitter.com/zn47u0Pygr
— NASA Watch (@NASAWatch) April 10, 2015

Read more: http://nasawatch.com/archives/2015/04/nasa-advisory-c-6.html

Oh no, Moto! Cable modem has hardcoded 'technician' backdoor


Oh no, Moto! Cable modem has hardcoded 'technician' backdoor

SOHOpeless router tosses your internet connection into the DMZ for max p0wn potential

9 Apr 2015 at 07:28, Richard Chirgwin

Researchers at Rapid7 have turned up a set of typically dumb vulnerabilities in Motorola's DOCSIS/EuroDOCSIS 3.0-capable SURFboard SBG 6580 cable broadband modem.

The device, which also ships under the Arris brand, has vulnerabilities included hardcoded login credentials that will allow an outside attacker to take control of the kit.

This goes beyond the usual “ooh hax0rs can get my modem” FUD, because once exploited, an attacker could drop a user's computer into the DMZ, leaving the machine naked to the outside world.


The three vulnerabilities are:

  • A cross-site request forgery tagged CVE-2015-0965 that lets an arbitrary site log in without the user's knowledge;

  • At least one hard-coded backdoor, CVE-2015-0966, letting “technician” log in with the password yZgO8Bvj; and

  • A cross-site scripting vulnerability in the firewall config page, CVE-2015-0964, letting attackers inject Javascript to do pretty much anything they want.


via http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r29982787-WiFi-Oh-no-Moto-Cable-modem-has-hardcoded-technician-backdoor

Rohani Says Sanctions Must Be Lifted On Day Nuclear Deal Is Implemented

Source: Radio Free Europe

Iranian President Hassan Rohani says Tehran wants international sanctions lifted on the day that a final deal curbing its nuclear program is implemented.

"We will not sign any agreements unless on the first day of the implementation of the deal all economic sanctions are totally lifted on the same day," Rouhani said during a ceremony on April 9 marking National Nuclear Technology Day.


Insistence on the immediate removal of all sanctions would badly harm the chances for an agreement, because other countries in the talks say removal of sanctions would be contingent on steps by Iran to ease concerns it could develop nuclear weapons.

The United States has made it clear that sanctions would have to be phased out gradually.

Read more: http://www.bignewsnetwork.com/index.php/sid/231796627

Photon 'afterglow' could transmit information without transmitting energy


Photon 'afterglow' could transmit information without transmitting energy

Mar 31, 2015 by Lisa Zyga feature

(Phys.org)—Physicists have theoretically shown that it is possible to transmit information from one location to another without transmitting energy. Instead of using real photons, which always carry energy, the technique uses a small, newly predicted quantum afterglow of virtual photons that do not need to carry energy. Although no energy is transmitted, the receiver must provide the energy needed to detect the incoming signal—similar to the way that an individual must pay to receive a collect call.


The proposed protocol has another somewhat unusual requirement: it can only take place in spacetimes with dimensions in which virtual photons can travel slower than the speed of light. For instance, the afterglow would not occur in our 3+1 dimensional spacetime if spacetime were completely flat. However, our spacetime does have some curvature, and that makes the afterglow possible.


"In that work, it is shown that the afterglow of events that happened in the early Universe carries more information than the light that reaches us from those events," Martín-Martínez said. "This is surprising because, up until now, it has been believed that real quanta, such as real photons of light, are the only carriers of information from the early Universe."


"The afterglow also occurs in flat spacetime of dimensions other than 3+1," Jonsson said. "It occurs, in particular, in the case where there is only one spatial dimension, such as is effectively the case in an optical fiber. We are currently investigating applications of our results to quantum communication through optical fibers."


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