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Sunday, Sep 24th

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Trumpsters seek out Rocket Man, only to be confused or enraged by a pro-refugee video

Trump supporters are flocking to the official video for Elton John's "Rocket Man" song, to applaud Trump's use of the nickname for Kim Jong-un in tweets and on the floor of the United Nations General Assembly. However, the video itself is either confusing them, enraging them, or being completely misunderstood by them. Turns out the video, the winner of a competition judged by songwriters Elton John and Bernie Taupin, is by Stephen McNally and Iranian filmmaker Majid Adin, who traveled through Europe during the 2015 refugee crisis. It's a stunning and heartbreaking animation that reimagines the song as a metaphor for the plight of immigrants and refugees, a group for which Trump and his supporters have shown only antipathy. Most YouTube comments (but don't read them -- never read YouTube comments; I did so you wouldn't have to) from Trump supporters seem either oblivious to the fact that they're cheering a pro-refugee video, or furious that they were tricked into watching something that actually has sympathy and heart. Anyway, if you have sympathy and heart, this is a really great video. h/t Arthur Chu

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'To Donald Trump,' by Leland Melvin, former NASA Astronaut and NFL Player

Leland Melvin is the astronaut in that fabulous NASA photo with his two dogs. He is an engineer and former NASA education leader, and the author of 'Chasing Space: An Astronaut's Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances.' He shared this essay with friends today, and I thought you'd like to read it, too.—XJ (more…)

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Crowdfunding a major new critical study of Robert A Heinlein

Farah Mendlesohn is one of science fiction's best-respected editors and critics, author of the indispensable Intergalactic Playground. (more…)

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UK press doesn't understand chemistry or Amazon, launches bomb-making panic

UK public broadcaster Channel 4 sparked a presswide panic with a story: "Potentially deadly bomb ingredients are ‘frequently bought together’ on Amazon." (more…)

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Frankenstein Jr and the Impossibles

He makes the scene when things look mean.

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DHS informs 21 states that Russian hackers attacked their voting systems in 2016 election

The Department of Homeland Security today revealed which states were targeted by Russian hackers trying to break into voting systems during the 2016 election cycle. DHS said "most" states were unsuccessfully attacked, but didn't make clear how and where the hackers were successful, or whether the sustained cyberattacks helped Donald Trump win the presidency. (more…)

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Ukraine-born billionaire with biz ties to Russian oligarchs is funding Trump's legal defense via the RNC

Who's paying for the attorneys representing President Donald Trump in the federal probe of Russian election interference? His legal defense is in part funded through a Republican Party account with a number of rich donors. Among them are a “billionaire investor, a property developer seeking U.S. government visas and a Ukrainian-born American who has made billions of dollars doing business with Russian oligarchs,” reports the WSJ. Oh, and there's a Rosneft connection, you Putin conspiracy hounds. (more…)

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