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The Weekly BTSF News letter
The Chris Cornell & James Webb edition
Welcome back to the weekly BTSF newsletter, where I share something I found this week that piqued my interest that is beautiful, technical, serious, and funny. So off we go…
I grew up during the grunge era of the 1990s, so I spent a lot of time LARPing how much the world sucked, wearing flannel, and trying to figure out what the lyrics to Smells Like Teen Spirit were. During that time, one of the most remarkable rock vocalists I had heard (then or since) came onto the scene. Chris Cornell was the lead man of Soundgarden, a band who rose to international fame with their 1994 album Superunknown, which reached #1 in many countries (the US included) and specifically their song Black Hole Sun. I won't try to describe his voice because, well, how do you do justice to it?
This week on one of my Spotify playlists, they inserted a cover he did of Sinead O'Connor's 1990 hit Nothing Compares 2 U. It is exceptional and must be listened to. Sadly, Cornell committed suicide in 2017, but his music endures.
I would be remiss if this week's technical section weren't about the images NASA released from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), a mirror with a 21-foot diameter, and its instruments cooled to near absolute zero (0° K, −459.67° F). The images are, frankly, astonishing. Further, to imagine that you are looking at the universe as it existed, in some cases, 13 billion years ago, is challenging to wrap your head around.
ABC featured, side-by-side comparisons of similar images to illustrate the technological leap from the famed Hubble Telescope to the JWST. It's the difference between seeing the ocean from above the waves and scuba diving. You should check it out.
I need to concede that I am not the biggest environmentalist in the world (I'm not even sure what that would take, given the state of the green movement today). Still, I believe we should be good stewards of our local space, so we are diligent about properly recycling. So it is with much chagrin I read in The Guardian that, based on a joint report from Greenpeace and Everyday Plastic, the recycling program in the UK is, let's say, not going as advertised.
From the article:
UK households throw away nearly 100 billion pieces of plastics each year, according to a landmark survey by Greenpeace and Everyday Plastic.
The startling new data revealing the scale of plastic waste also shows that just 12 per cent [sic] of the single-use packaging used in homes is sent for recycling in the UK.
Yikes! They go on to explain that 71% of the plastic is either incinerated or goes into landfills. Let's hope this report is the stimulus for change to fix the root cause issues.
Around my house, we have many hungry deer who apparently love these bushes and eat them into interesting shapes. Too bad for them, they don't have longer necks.
Have a great rest of your week, everyone!