They get so hot that the nuclei of the atoms fuse together deep within them to make the oxygen we breathe. The carbon in our muscles, the calcium in our bones, the iron in our blood, all was cooked in the fiery hearts of long-vanished stars.
The strategy is unlikely to succeed and could backfire on Republicans. Delaying the individual mandate is a nonstarter for the Democratic-led Senate and White House. By demanding a largely partisan unraveling of Obamacare in exchange for must-pass bipartisan legislation, they risk being blamed by seniors and the health care industry if the doctor pay cuts go into effect. When Republicans insisted on such an approach for federal funding last fall, the government shut down and they took most of the blame.
"This bill represents a new low, even for House Republicans," fumed Drew Hammill, a spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who decried the plan as "irresponsible and dangerous" and promised it’d be a "legislative dead-end."
February 17th 1600: Giordano Bruno executed
On this day in 1600, the Italian friar, astronomer and philosopher Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for heresy. His ideas were controversial for his day, but are now hailed as precursory to modern scientific understanding. Bruno proposed the concept of an infinite universe populated by other intelligent life and rejected traditional geocentric astronomy. He agreed with Copernicus that the planets revolve around the Sun, but expanded on this by suggesting that the Sun is just another star. For these unorthodox views (and others beyond astrology) which challenged traditional Christian ideas about the universe, Bruno was found guilty of heresy by the Roman Inquisition and burned at the stake. For his refusal to renounce his beliefs, Giordano Bruno is often remembered as a martyr for free thought.
“Perhaps your fear in passing judgment on me is greater than mine in receiving it”
- Giordano Bruno to the judges upon hearing his death sentence
Cosmos: A Space Odyssey premiered tonight (3/9/14) on Fox, rebooting Carl Sagan’s Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. Neil deGrasse Tyson narrates and hosts the show while taking the audience on a tour of the Cosmos. Never have I felt so small in the Universe until now—after deGrasse explained the Multiverse theory. The first episode covers the beginning of the Cosmos from theory to its creation, and it is done so with visually stunning effects. The audience takes an animated historical ride along with Giordano Bruno, a walk down the Cosmic Calendar—where we explore the beginning of the Universe with the Big Bang to the creation of Earth, and ends with Tyson’s dedication to Carl Sagan, the man behind the original Cosmos and the man who influenced Tyson’s career. I for one will be tuning in for next week’s episode!