Satellites Collide in First-Ever Mid-Space Crash

I’m pretty surprised that this is only the first time this has happened.

In an unprecedented space collision, a commercial Iridium communications satellite and a defunct Russian satellite ran into each other Tuesday above northern Siberia, creating a cloud of wreckage, officials said today.

The international space station does not appear to be threatened by the debris, they said, but it’s not yet clear whether it poses a risk to any other military or civilian satellites.

“They collided at an altitude of 790 kilometers (491 miles) over northern Siberia Tuesday about noon Washington time,” said Nicholas Johnson, NASA’s chief scientist for orbital debris at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. “The U.S. space surveillance network detected a large number of debris from both objects.”

(via Danger Room)

Interview With the Holocaust Denying Bishop

From Spiegel:

SPIEGEL: The Vatican is demanding that you retract your denial of the Holocaust, and it is threatening to not allow you to resume your activities as a bishop. How will you react?

Williamson: Throughout my life, I have always sought the truth. That is why I converted to Catholicism and became a priest. And now I can only say something, the truth of which I am convinced. Because I realize that there are many honest and intelligent people who think differently, I must now review the historical evidence once again. I said the same thing in my interview with Swedish television: Historical evidence is at issue, not emotions. And if I find this evidence, I will correct myself. But that will take time.

SPIEGEL: How can an educated Catholic deny the Holocaust?

Williamson: I addressed the subject in the 1980s. I had read various writings at the time. I cited the Leuchter report (eds. note: a debunked theory produced in the 1980s claiming erroneously that the Nazi gas chambers were technically impractical) in the interview, and it seemed plausible to me. Now I am told that it has been scientifically refuted. I plan now to look into it.

SPIEGEL: You could travel to Auschwitz yourself.

Williamson: No, I will not travel to Auschwitz. I’ve ordered the book by Jean-Claude Pressac. It’s called “Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers.” A printout is now being sent to me, and I will read it and study it.

Wikipedia has an entry on Williamson which includes some of his other views:

Williamson holds strong views regarding gender roles and dress. He opposes women attending college or university, the wearing of trousers or shorts by women, and has urged greater “manliness” in men. He is quoted as saying: “A woman can do a good imitation of handling ideas, but then she will not be thinking properly as a woman. Did this lawyeress check her hairdo before coming into court? If she did, she is a distracted lawyer. If she did not, she is one distorted woman

Williamson has expressed controversial views about Jews. He called Jews “enemies of Christ” and urges their conversion to Catholicism. He claims that Jews and Freemasons have contributed to the “changes and corruption” in the Catholic Church. He has also stated that Jews aim at world dominion and believes The Protocols of the Elders of Zion to be authentic.

And perhaps worst of all:

In a 1997 letter to friends and benefactors of the SSPX seminary in Winona, Minnesota, Williamson denounced the film The Sound of Music as “soul-rotting slush” and stated that “by glorifying that romance which is essentially self-centered, (the film) puts selfishness in the place of selflessness between husband and wife, and by putting friendliness and fun in the place of authority and rules, it invites disorder between parents and children.”

Can People Safely Eat Cat Food?

From PopSci.com:

Let’s take a look at the ingredients in a typical can of cat food: meat by-products, chicken by-product meal, turkey by-product meal, ash, taurine. Nothing too horrible, but in general, these things don’t constitute a healthy human diet, says Dawn Jackson Blatner, a registered dietitian with the American Dietetic Association. “That said, I’m fully confident that your body can handle kitty chow.”

Your liver, kidneys and skin do a terrific job of removing foreign substances from the body, especially mild ones like those found in cat food. “Technically, you could safely digest a baseball,” Blatner says. Perhaps the worst stuff in cat food is the high mineral content in the ash, but your body would clear that out quickly.