Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Could Be Worse…

This gave me a chuckle, possibly because I’m actually enjoying Crisis, despite a million plot loopholes including the biggest one of all: Twenty-six teenagers on an overnight field trip with only two male chaperones?
Apart from the predictable slew of Tax Day stories, what’s on the agenda?

Late Night Open Thread: Star Warts!

According to NYMag, Harrison Ford told Reddit he could totally beat up Mark Hamill. He also responds to the Most Important SW Question: Who shot first?

No idea how Ford would respond to the news in Grantland:

The almost-70-year-old Peter Mayhew is returning to Star Wars to play Chewbacca in J.J. Abrams’s Episode VII, according to The Hollywood Reporter. This is probably the first in a chain of events in which Harrison Ford gets confirmed (because Chewie without Han? C’mon), then Carrie Fisher (’cause Han without the one he said “I know” to? C’MON), then Mark Hamill (who was never not going to do these new movies). The casting might also explain why Mayhew shared all those nostalgic behind-the-scenes snapshots of the original trilogy in January…

ETA: Benedict Cumberbatch, howevs, says absolutely no way will he be in Episode VII. (Sorry, Crackerdaughter!)

Monday Evening Open Thread: Blood Moons & Seder Plates

From the link:

A blood moon is so-called, due to the moon’s red hue during a total lunar eclipse. The United States will be in prime orbital position to witness a blood moon in the wee hours of tomorrow morning. “Depending on local weather conditions, the public will get a spectacular view looking into the sky as the moon’s appearance will change from bright orange to blood red to dark brown and perhaps gray,” explains NASA. “The eclipse is a phenomenon that occurs when the Earth, moon and sun are in perfect alignment, blanketing the moon in the Earth’s shadow.” The next time the U.S. will be in this position to witness a lunar eclipse is in 2019…

Much fear has been stirred up over this particular blood moon, since it coincides with the Jewish holiday of Passover, and comes soon before the Christian holiday, Easter. However, despite the fears of Pastor John Hagee — who wrote a book called “Four Blood Moons: Something is About to Change” — the rapture is not upon us.

Eclipses are rooted in science and the moon’s tilted orbit. Also, tetrads themselves are not extraordinarily rare. According to Fred Espenak, a NASA astrophysicist, there are nine sets in the 21st century. What makes this tetrad so special is that all four can be totally or partially viewed in the U.S…

It is also (thank you, commentor Gene108) the Tamil New Year:

The Tamil New Year in 2014 will be called Jaya, the 28th year in the 60-year Tamil calendar…

“Jaya will bring all-round prosperity to the people of the country,” forecasts astrologer R Swaminathan. “There will be good rain and good harvest. People will be generally happy, but there is bound to be some hindrances during happy occasions,” he said…

Of course, Passover, the Tamil New Year, and Easter are all calculated in relation to the first full moon after the spring equinox, so it’s no coincidence, but why pass up an excuse for a celebration?
Apart from religious or moon-watching parties, what’s on the agenda for the evening?


This is NSFW, and you honestly will not believe this happened.

WaPo and Guardian win Pulitzers for NSA Coverage

The Guardian US and The Washington Post were both awarded a Pulitzer Prize today in the “Public Service” category for their NSA coverage. Hey, don’t shoot the messenger!

In other news, Walmart continues to be the biggest welfare queen in history, according to Americans for Tax Fairness. Their summary chart: