Earth in Suspension

A total solar eclipse is not just the momentary theft of day. It is a profound interruption of the world as we know it.

Man has permanent vision damage from staring at sun during partial eclipse in 1962

USA TODAY NETWORK Mike Benner, KGW-TV, Portland, Ore.

OREGON CITY, Ore. — An Oregon man who burned his retina while looking at a partial eclipse, is warning people about the dangers of viewing the solar eclipse without proper eye protection. 

Lou Tomososki and a friend viewed a partial eclipse outside of Marshall High School in 1962.

“The sun at that time, at 3:30 p.m., was in the one o’clock position,” said Tomososki. “I said to Roger, ‘If you stare at it long enough the brightness goes away.’”

What seemed like a silly dare at the time turned into one of the biggest mistakes of their lives. By nightfall, both Tomososki and his buddy were having vision problems.

“It doesn’t get any worse and it doesn’t get any better,” said Tomososki.

Both Tomososki and his friend, now 70 years old, have vision problems to this day.

“You know how the news people blur a license plate out,” said Tomososki. “That’s what I have on the right eye, about the size of a pea, I can’t see around that.”

“I think anytime is too much,” Lujan told KGW-TV. “Anytime looking can do damage.”

Tomososki is living proof of that. He is excited about the eclipse on Aug. 21, but he will not be looking towards the sky.

“I’m going to go out and enjoy it,” he said. “But I’ll stand and watch it get dark.”

Obama’s Charlottesville tweet becomes most liked ever

The former president’s response to violence in Virginia surpasses Ariana Grande’s tweet about England concert bombing

By Terry Collins, CNET

Barack Obama still resonates with the masses.

A Saturday tweet by the former US president has became the most liked in Twitter history, according to Twitter, reaching more 2.7 million likes late Tuesday. The tweet, which quotes late South African President Nelson Mandela, followed white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion…”

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion,” the tweet reads. It was posted along with a photo of Obama looking up to a window of children of different ethnicities and races.

The quote has also been retweeted more than 1.1 million times, the fifth most retweeted ever, according to the social network.

On Monday, Obama’s tweet surpassed talk show host Ellen DeGeneres’ 2014 Oscars selfie tweet, which is No. 3 with 2.4 million likes.

Some 24 hours later, the Obama tweet became the most liked ever taking the top spot from pop star Ariana Grande’s tweet with 2.7 million likes. Her heartfelt tweet came in response to a terrorist bombing that killed 22 people after she performed a concert in Manchester, England, in May.

Obama’s tweet was likely further liked following comments made by President Donald Trump during an eyebrow-raising news conference Tuesday in further response to the weekend violence in Virginia.

The former president’s tweet, which quotes a line from Mandela’s autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom,” came after Heather Heyer, 32, of Charlottesville was killed and 19 others were injured when a car rammed into a crowd of counter-protesters at a white supremacist rally. Two police officers also died Saturday when their helicopter monitoring the rally crashed.

In contrast to the reaction to Obama, Trump has been loudly criticized for his initial response to the tragedy that condemned violence but stated “many sides” were involved in it. Facing intense scrutiny, Trump on Monday specifically denounced Ku Klux Klan members, neo-Nazis and white supremacists as “criminals and thugs.” That led to three CEOs, including Intel head Brian Krzanich, resigning from Trump’s manufacturing council in response to Trump’s overall response.

First published, Aug. 15, 9:27 a.m. PT.
Update, 7:56 p.m. PT: Adds that Obama’s tweet became the most liked ever.

iHate: CNET looks at how intolerance is taking over the internet.

The Smartest Stuff: Innovators are thinking up new ways to make you, and the things around you, smarter.


King of Kale Eating Retains His Title

Gideon Oji downed 360 ounces of kale in 8 minutes
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 15, 2017 9:30 AM CDT

(NEWSER) – When it comes to chowing down on kale, Gideon Oji is once again the top dog, beating back a challenge from hot-dog-eating champ Joey Chestnut. Oji gulped down 22.5 16-ounce bowls of the leafy green vegetable in eight minutes during Sunday’s Kale Yeah! Competition at the Erie County Fair in New York, reports the AP. The kale was served raw with oil and vinegar in what’s billed as the world’s healthiest eating competition. Chestnut, of San Jose, Calif., didn’t gulp down quite as much at 20 kale servings. He’s the reigning hot dog-eating champion at the Nathan’s Famous in New York City. Oji is Nigerian and now lives in Morrow, Georgia. He took the inaugural kale-eating title last year, consuming 25.5 servings. Sunday’s event was an unlikely partnership between the Independent Health Foundation and Major League Eating.

Trump Condemns ‘Alt-Left’ in Charlottesville Violence

President says anti-white supremacist protesters were ‘very, very violent’
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2017 4:24 PM CDT

(NEWSER) – President Trump doubled down on Saturday’s widely criticized “many sides” statement during a press conference Tuesday at Trump Tower, claiming “there is blame on both sides” in regards to the fatal white supremacist and neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, the New York Times reports. Trump had tried to walk back his original statement on Monday, but on Tuesday he called it “excellent” and a “fine statement,” according to USA Today. He said he didn’t condemn white supremacists on Saturday “because I didn’t know all the facts.” “I wanted to make sure, unlike most politicians, that what I said was correct,” the president said.

On Tuesday, Trump went ever further in his “many sides” argument, condemning the “alt-left” groups that were “very, very violent.” He went on to say both sides—including the side that counts neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and the KKK as members—contain some “very fine people,” ABC News reports. “Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me,” Trump said. “Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch.” He said many of the people in Charlottesville just didn’t want to see a statue get torn down, pointing out that both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. “This week, it is Robert E. Lee and this week, Stonewall Jackson,” Trump said. “Is it George Washington next?” Splinter notes the press conference was originally supposed to be about infrastructure.

ESPN Apologizes for Fantasy Football ‘Auction’ Segment, Which Included Black Players

Tuesday August 15th, 2017

ESPN released a statement apologizing for a segment in which an auctioneer “sold” players, both white and black. The segment drew significant criticism, as many noted on social media that the auctions bore resemblance to a slave auction.

“Auction drafts are a common part of fantasy football, and ESPN’s segments replicated an auction draft with a diverse slate of top professional football players. Without that context, we understand the optics could be portrayed as offensive, and we apologize,” ESPN said in a statement to USA TODAY Sports.

The segment was aired in wake of the gathering of multiple white supremacist groups in Charlottesville, Va. On Friday, white supremacist groups marched on the University of Virginia campus chanting racial epithets and intimidating counter-protestors, and there were multiple demonstrations and confrontations over the weekend. The situation turned violent, and one person was killed when a white supremacist drove his car into a group of counter-protestors.

 Auction drafts are somewhat common in fantasy sports. In auction leagues, each team is given the opportunity to bid on a player, with the highest bidder securing the player’s services. That in itself could present ethical concerns, and yes, white players were “sold” too. But ESPN’s choice to bring on an auctioneer to sell black men is remarkably terrible optics and betrays a lack of diversity in whatever group approved the segment.

NFL players including Odell Beckham Jr. expressed distaste for the network’s choice to air the auction bit. Beckham was one of the players ‘auctioned off’ in the segment.

It wasn’t just football players who chimed in—Kevin Durant didn’t seem too fond of the segment, either.

Bum ass espn running out of ideas….

Real or not? Giancarlo Stanton is chasing the real home run record

David Schoenfield ESPN Senior Writer

Like most of Giancarlo Stanton‘s home runs, it was a no-doubter. Swing and stare. This one came off an 0-1 slider from Madison Bumgarner in the bottom of the third inning at Marlins Park on Tuesday, smoked at 107 mph and delivered at an appropriate launch angle. It was the sixth consecutive game with a home run for Stanton, his 11th in 12 games, his 18th since the All-Star break and his 23rd in his past 35 games. Slice and dice the numbers any way you want: The dude is on fire.

SIX straight games with a HR. No. 44 overall.@Giancarlo818 is @nikebaseball

With this stretch of power hitting, Stanton has become the talk of baseball. The first half and then the Home Run Derby might have belonged to New York Yankees rookie Aaron Judge, but Stanton is making us lock in on the at-bats for a team four games below .500. For those of us old enough to remember, it sends us back to the joyful summer of 1998, when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa chased down Roger Maris — or maybe the less joyful march of Barry Bonds in

Joe Posnanski had the best description I’ve seen of Stanton in this column: “Every single thing about Giancarlo Stanton says star, from his Hollywood name to his perfect physique to the unnatural way baseballs jump off his bat. He has this unique charisma; he blends ‘intimidating’ with ‘teddy bear,’ like no one I can remember.”

That’s also a pretty apt description for both McGwire and Sosa in that magical summer, before public opinion turned against them years later after steroid scandals and not talking about the past. Stanton’s remarkable 35-game stretch has been matched or surpassed by only three players: Sosa had 25 in 1998, Bonds had 24 in 2001 and McGwire had 23 in 1999. Just to compare:

As Stanton’s season total climbs to 44 with 44 games remaining, the mention of those three raises a potential issue: They’re the only players to hit more than 61 home runs. If Stanton stays hot and approaches Maris’ total of 61, there will be cries that Maris holds the real home run record, suggesting we erase the memories of Bonds, McGwire and Sosa, or at least erase their numbers.

Sixty is certainly possible. Based on his season rate of home runs, he’d hit 16 over his final 44 games to finish with 60. If he hits them at the rate of the past 35 games, he’d hit 29 and finish with 73 home runs — tying Bonds’ record. Obviously, he’s going to slow down at some point. Let’s say this closed stance he has used the past couple of months has made him better and split the difference between his rate through July 4 and his rate since. That gives him 20 home runs and he finishes with 64. So, Maris could definitely be in play.

Sports talk radio and sports talk TV shows will go crazy with this, of course. My take is the record is the record, and it belongs to Bonds. You don’t have to like it. But this isn’t the Olympics or the Tour de France; last time I checked, baseball hasn’t taken away any World Series trophies from teams who employed PED users. We’re still a few weeks from the hyperventilation going full throttle, and keep in mind that even chasing 61 will create enormous pressure on Stanton. Ryan Howard was at 56 home runs through 141 games in 2006 but hit only two in his final 21 games.

Until then, enjoy the big guy hitting. It has been quite a show.


Last and next solar eclipse times after August 21

The last total solar eclipse viewed from contiguous United States was on Feb. 26, 1979 whose path passed through the northwestern U.S. states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, and Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. After the August 2017 total solar eclipse, the next annular solar eclipse that can be seen in the continental United States will be on October 14, 2023 which will be visible from Northern California to Florida. Following this, we will have a total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024 visible from Texas to Maine.

Bannon Appears to Be in Trump’s Doghouse

CBS says he could be out this week, while NYT says he’s in ‘internal exile’
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2017 11:30 AM CDT

(NEWSER) – “The Mooch” thinks Steve Bannon should be fired, but does President Trump agree? That seems to be a big topic of conversation in DC, and multiple reports suggest that the senior White House adviser may not have much time left in his post. CBS News, for example, reports that Bannon could be gone by the end of the week, though the story (based on anonymous sources) also points out that Bannon has survived similar apparent low points with the president. Now, however, it seems that his friction with chief of staff John Kelly and National Security Adviser HR McMaster, in addition to his ties to the alt-right movement, are taking a toll. Coverage:

  • Limbo: The most in-depth take comes from the New York Times, which says Bannon is in a “kind of internal exile” in the West Wing and hasn’t met in person with Trump in more than a week. The story is jammed with nuggets, including that Bannon has long told associates he figured he’d last maybe eight months to a year, as well as that Trump didn’t push back much when Rupert Murdoch told him during a recent dinner that Bannon must go. Kelly and Jared Kushner also were present at that dinner.
  • Alt-right: Bannon consulted with the president over the weekend and advised him not to criticize white nationalists too severely after the violence in Charlottesville, per the Times. Trump took that approach, and he faced a torrent of criticism as a result.
  • Public slams: In the wake of Charlottesville, Nancy Pelosi is calling for Trump to fire Bannon, reports ABC News. And the heads of the black, Hispanic, Asian, and progressive House caucuses have written a letter to Trump urging the same, reports the AP. GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo told CNN that it’s clear Bannon and fellow Trump aide Stephen Miller think alt-right groups “should be accommodated” and that Trump should stop listening to them.
  • McMaster: The national security official is apparently not populist enough for Bannon’s taste. Axios reports that Trump thinks Bannon has been the source of leaks about McMaster, a development that has put Bannon’s job in peril. The post notes that Trump doesn’t like firing people but that Kelly, who by most accounts doesn’t like Bannon’s tactics, has the authority to clean house. Over the weekend, McMaster repeatedly dodged questions about whether he can work with Bannon, and Politico has details.
  • Consequences? NPR talks to Chris Buskirk of the site American Greatness. He knows Bannon and warns that if Bannon is forced out of the White House, it could “dangerously undermine the president’s support with his base.” Buskirk says that would pose a greater risk to a successful presidency for Trump than Robert Mueller’s investigation. If Bannon leaves of his own accord, however, that’s a different story.

6 Defections in 2 Days for Trump’s Manufacturing Council

Scott Paul says leaving council was ‘right thing for me to do’
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2017 2:20 PM CDT
Updated Aug 15, 2017 7:01 PM CDT

(NEWSER) – President Trump’s American Manufacturing Council has faced another couple of defections—its fourth, fifth, and sixth in the two days following Trump’s widely criticized reaction to white nationalist rallies and violence in Virginia. The Hill reports Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, resigned from the council Tuesday, saying, “It’s the right thing for me to do.” CNN reports Richard Trumka, the head of the AFL-CIO, and Thea Lee, former AFL-CIO deputy chief of staff, also resigned Tuesday.

They join the heads of Merck, Under Armour, and Intel in leaving the council. Paul represents the steel industry, which has been a major backer of the president, according to Politico. Minutes before Paul quit the council, Trump tweeted: “For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place. Grandstanders should not have gone on. JOBS!”