5. Missouri lawmakers, who reminded us just how close we are to a nation run by machine-gun-happy warlords. Missouri lawmakers nearly succeeded this week in overturning a veto of House Bill 436 by Governor Jay Nixon. The bill would have made it legal for Missourians to own machine guns, and would have made it illegal for federal agents to take those machine guns away. It also would have made it a criminal offense to enforce background checks and to print the name and address of a gun owner. Even though the veto had a majority in the House and Senate, it failed to gain the 2/3 majority it needed to pass in the Senate. So yes, our system of checks and balances just barely worked this week (we still do want federal law to supersede state law, yes?), but I still think Missouri needs to have a time out and think about what it's done.
4. Vladimir Putin. Instead of that drawing of a hand saying "stop," the New York Times should have published a hand making the universal sign for jacking off. Sorry, Putin, but it's hard to take you seriously when you use language like "We must stop using the language of force and return to the path of civilized diplomatic and political settlement," but don't actually apply that logic in any of your dealings with your own people. Whatever we think about U.S. engagement in Syria, we will do our best to disagree with you about every possible topic as a matter of pride. Luckily for you, we don't just randomly arrest people for writing things in the newspaper that we don't like.
3. Tim Cook. Apple announced its new iPhone 5C and 5S this week, and everything changed. With the 5C, now you can have a phone that has a color on the back of it. Before, you had to add your own iPhone cover in any color or pattern you wanted, but now the color is less personalized and less changeable and therefore better. The 5S also has a special feature, which is that it can only be opened using your fingerprint. So you can protect 200 photos of your dog like they're the key to U.S. national security. I miss Steve Jobs.
2. NASA Scientists, who declared the Voyager I has left the solar system and forced us to think about how big the universe is and how insignificant we are. After traveling through space for nearly 35 years, the Voyager I has officially left the "solar bubble." Space is so big that even though the spacecraft was traveling 325 million miles per year, it still took over three decades for it to escape the solar system. And now it's just out there somewhere, floating in the deep dark; distant from anything that could be called life. And yet, isn't that true of us all? Aren't we just hurtling meaninglessly through space, nothing but tiny blips in the fabric of the cosmos? On the plus side, The Mindy Project is back on.
1. NASA Scientists, for killing a frog that really is just a tiny blip in the fabric of the cosmos. A frog appears to have been rocketed into the air alongside NASA's LADEE rocket, which was on its way to the moon this week. The rocket took off from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, and this image was accidentally captured by Chris Perry of NASA, who said, "It was...sad to see a frog go like that. As much fire as that rocket is putting out, I have to imagine it got injured." On the other hand, compared to the grandeur of the space travel, that frog is pretty much meaningless—just a random assemblage of molecules, and any aspirations it might have had or pain it might have felt are nothing on the scale of a rocket's trip to the moon. Nothing.
(by Shira Rachel Danan)