Thursday Link Roundup

Scientists have found Waterworld!


Actually, scientists have detected water vapor in the atmosphere of an exoplanet far outside of Earth’s solar system.

Observations of the Neptune-sized planet, which lies 120 light years from Earth in the constellation of Cygnus, revealed that its atmosphere was mostly hydrogen with around 25% made up from water vapour.

Until now, researchers have been frustrated in their efforts to study the atmospheres of planets much smaller than Jupiter because their skies were thick with clouds. The problem was so persistent that astronomers had begun to think that all warm, small planets formed with substantial cloud cover.

But writing in the journal Nature, scientists in the US describe how they found a Neptune-sized planet with cloud-free skies, enabling them to make detailed measurements of a small planet’s atmosphere for the first time.

The planet, named HAT-P-11b, is about four times the diameter of Earth. It orbits so close to its star that surface temperatures reach more than 600C and a year passes in five Earth days. Like our own Neptune, the planet lacks a rocky surface – it’s a ball of gas – and is thought to be lifeless.

Scientists from the University of Maryland used Hubble’s wide field camera to analyse light from HAT-P-11b’s host star through the planet’s atmosphere. They found that light with a wavelength of 1.4 micrometres was absorbed, matching the absorption spectrum of water molecules.

“Although this planet is not classically habitable, it reveals to us that when we find Earth 2.0, we will be able to use this technique, transmission spectroscopy, to understand its atmosphere and determine the quality of life available on its shores,” said Jonathan Fraine, a graduate student and first author on the study.


Grrrr, FOX News goes full on victim blaming:

Earlier this week, Forbes severed its relationship with columnist Bill Frezza after backlash from a column titled “Drunk Female Guests Are the Gravest Threat To Fraternities.” The article, which was eventually taken down, included a photograph of a barely conscious woman lying on the floor drinking wine.

“[W]e have very little control over women who walk in the door carrying enough pre-gaming booze in their bellies to render them unconscious before the night is through,” Frezza wrote. “Based on new standards being promulgated on campus, all consent is null and void the minute a woman becomes intoxicated — even if she is your fiancée.”

“In our age of sexual equality, why drunk female students are almost never characterized as irresponsible jerks is a question I leave to the feminists.”

On Thursday’s edition of Outnumbered, hosts Andrea Tantaros and Kirsten Powers agreed that women should take more responsibility for preventing themselves from being in situations where they could be sexually assaulted.

And just what situations are you referring to? All frat parties? Are you really going to tar every frat party, and thus every fratboy as potential rapists? Is your opinion of men that horrible?
Secondly, how do you account for the women that go to frat parties and aren’t raped?
Thirdly, are you saying if women don’t go to frat parties they won’t get raped? Really? Because last time I checked-women get raped at home, at school, at church, at the supermarket, on the street, at work, and pretty much any location you can think of. There is no “safe place” to avoid being raped.
Fourthly, rapists are responsible for raping. Stop putting the onus on women to magically stop a rapist from deciding to rape. Men can control their dicks and it’s ridiculous and victim blaming BS to claim otherwise. I may be gay, but I’ve been in plenty of situations where ::SURPRISE:: I didn’t flop out my penis and start raping. Why? Because I choose not to be a rapist. Other men are just as capable of making the same choices.

Tantaros argued that the columnist had expressed a “legitimate fear” that drunk women could destroy the fraternity system.

“I don’t know why this writer is taking so much heat because this is actually a problem that goes on,” she insisted. “These girls show up at these fraternity houses. The guys, what are they supposed to do? Lock them out? ‘Hey, how are you?’ They have a couple more beers, the girl passes out… so it is a legitimate fear.”

Co-host Kennedy Montgomery pointed out that not allowing drunk girls into the house was “exactly” what fraternities should do.

“They walk up to guys’ rooms, they get lost in the fraternity house,” Tantaros said. “Maybe they get drunk as the night goes on playing beer pong.”

Co-host Sandra Smith observed that it could be “the fault of the fraternities that have… no policies to handle this.”

“Don’t let them in the door in the first place,” she said. “Call somebody, get some help, don’t let them in the door.”

Tantaros agreed that there was an issue of “girls getting too drunk and men taking advantage of them. However, where’s the personal responsibility for both sides?”

“Really! If we say personal responsibility for women, the feminist go berserk,” she added. “They’re like, ‘No, we should be able to wear whatever we want, and drink as much as we want, and pass out in the streets.’”

“It makes the drunk girl completely clean no matter what happens — and again, we have to say it because some cuckoo person is going to start blogging how we are supporting women getting raped, which we do not support,” Powers remarked. “And she is not guilty or any of those things, but the point is that the drunk woman is — she’s just not held accountable for anything. The drunk guy, however, is supposed to make all these amazingly perfect decisions, and not make any mistakes.”

You can fuck the fuck off with that victim blaming bullshit.  Victims of rape are not responsible for their rape. Period. There’s nothing they can do to stop being raped because they aren’t the ones doing the rape.  Rapists rape. If rapists stop raping, rape won’t happen.  The drunk guy is expected to make one goddamn decision- TO NOT RAPE.  That’s not an “amazingly perfect decision”, it’s what any decent human being should do.  Grrrr…


Go gay bashing and get less than 24 hours in jail!

They spent less than 24 hours in jail.

24-year-old Philip Williams, 24-year-old Kathryn Knott, and 26-year-old Kevin Harrigan all made bail and were released at 3:30 AM this morning.

Williams and Harrigan had bail set at $75,000 each, and Knott at $50,000 each. No word on why the amounts were different. It could be the judge sees their roles differently or their risk of flight differently.

They are all charged with Aggravated Assault, Simple Assault, Reckless Endangerment and Criminal Conspiracy.

All three were part of a gang of friends who were out to dinner September 11. Most or all of the group are believed to be friends from a local Philadelphia Catholic high school.

I bet if they were Hispanic or Black, they’d be sitting in their cells a good long while.  Also, their bail probably would have been higher.


The International Olympic Committee has adopted a Non-Discrimination Clause

They couldn’t have done this sooner? Like, before Sochi?


Gay couple in Azerbaijan fear for lives after engagement photo is shared by media

The president of Nefas LGBT Azerbaijan Alliance fears for his life and that of his fiance, according to the group’s Facebook page.

A photo of their engagement posted on social media was then published by media outlets in the Caspian Sea country without their permission.

Homosexuality is not illegal in Azerbaijan but there is strong public disapproval of gay people who are seen as abnormal.

Javid (Atilla) Nabiyev has since received death threats on his Facebook profile and has deactivated it.

Thursday Link Roundup