Blogworthy – Alien Civs, Gender & Race on the AT, Solitaire Illuminati, Spaceships!, Bullet Journals, Nebula Awards, Mask Myths

There could be 36 communicating intelligent civilizations in our galaxy, study says – The most famous equation for calculating the number of intelligent civilizations in the galaxy is based on the Drake Equation, which equally famously has a lot of variables that can’t be known. This study tries to get at the same answer through different means; specifically making assumptions based on what we know about star formation, metal content of stars, and the chances of a planet falling within a star’s habitable zone.

Exit Interview: I Was a Black, Female Thru-Hiker on the Appalachian Trail – Hiking the AT is a tremendous accomplishment. It’s something I’ve vaguely entertained in a totally not-serious sort of way. The trail runs from Georgia to Maine and takes months to accomplish. It’s physically demanding for anyone, but as this interview shows, throwing gender and race into the mix takes it to an entirely different and more difficult level. Not because of the physical demands, but because of social difficulties and outright racism.

Deluxe Illuminati: The Servants of Cthulhu Solitaire Challenge – The pandemic forced many gaming groups into lockdown, suspending their games or taking them online. This solitaire scenario gives gamers a real-world, albeit solitary, option.

Five New Books for Fans of Spaceships, Rockets, and Occasional Explosions – More fuel for the summer reading list.

Chasing the Pearl of Lao Tzu – This pearl is a legend in its owners’ minds. Sprinkle in some arcane connections (real or not) and you’ve got a great Delta Green scenario.

D&D and Bullet Journal Mashup – Sarah Darkmagic shares her Dungeons & Dragons-themed bullet journal. It’s like a normal bullet journal but incorporates artwork and layouts inspired by D&D.

Announcing the 2019 Nebula Awards Winners! – Just sticking this here in case I need a few more book ideas for my summer reading list.

80s Fans Take Note: ‘The Last Starfighter’ Sequel is Happening! – I’ll believe it when I see it. In other 1980s movie sequel news, Bill and Ted Face the Music is still coming out this fall – it’ll be released simultaneously in theaters and online.

Some days, I visit Facebook. And most days, I regret doing so. The amount of willful ignorance on the platform is staggering, particularly when it comes to masks. Here are two posts refuting some of the more outrageous claims: Wearing A Mask To Reduce The Spread Of Coronavirus Will Not Give You Carbon Dioxide Poisoning and Wearing A Mask To Protect Against Covid-19 Coronavirus Will Not Weaken Your Immune System.

Oh, why not one more about masks? Doctor Runs 22 Miles Wearing Face Mask to Show it Doesn’t Cut Oxygen Levels

Speaking of COVID-19, a number of my friends flipped out when they discovered Apple and Google had installed COVID-19 tracking apps on their phones. In truth, that’s not what the companies had done. What they actually did was install was the framework that makes such tracking apps possible; you still have to opt-in to the functionality, as well as download, install, and enable an app. Have Apple And Google Suddenly Uploaded A COVID-19 Tracking App To Your Phone? The Facts Behind The Furor.

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Hubble Captures Massive Dead Disk Galaxy that Challenges Theories of Galaxy Evolution. Credit: NASA via Wikicommons.

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