May 31st, 2010


Pictures from space, Dennis Hopper, and the Aral Sea

* Joel Achenbach on how both the government and BP are keeping us in the dark on the progress of the Gulf oil disaster.
* The Aral Sea is disappearing.
* 'The legal and moral issues of drone use.'
* Three American cities on the brink of bankruptcy.
* The latest wacky twist in the fight over Arizona's anti-illegal immigration law.
* Do today's college students lack empathy?
* Ooh, new exhibit of awesome pictures from space. This might be worth a trip downtown.
* OK, I hate to say it, but this new Nike commercial/short film makes me want to love soccer.
* Good read: retrospective on the strange career twists of the late Dennis Hopper.



"The flotilla attacked by Israel last night was carrying materials such as cement, water purifiers, and other building materials, much of which Israel refuses to let pass into Gaza. At the end of 2009, a U.N. report found that 'insufficient food and medicine is reaching Gazans, producing a further deterioration of the mental and physical health of the entire civilian population since Israel launched Operation Cast Lead against the territory,' and also 'blamed the blockade for continued breakdowns of the electricity and sanitation systems due to the Israeli refusal to let spare parts needed for repair get through the crossings.'

"It hardly seemed possible for Israel - after its brutal devastation of Gaza and its ongoing blockade - to engage in more heinous and repugnant crimes. But by attacking a flotilla in international waters carrying humanitarian aid, and slaughtering at least 10 people, Israel has managed to do exactly that. If Israel's goal were to provoke as much disgust and contempt for it as possible, it's hard to imagine how it could be doing a better job."