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Hi there, Wonkeratti! We Interrupt your Normal Programing for another weekly excursion into - Science! It's highly likely that Your Estimable Editrix will see the error of her ways fairly soon and we will return to your Regularly Scheduled Rude Snark, Wife Beating, Troll Harpooning and Diplomacy.


Please stand by.

So, what is it that you all know about the Sun?

You know it's the closest Star to Earth -  nominally 93 million miles away - and it provides a nicely constant, predictable flow of light and warmth and makes almost all life here possible? And that it's a middle aged, calm, comfortably Main-Sequence spectral class G2 hydrogen furnace that's the center point of our solar system right?

Well, no matter what you may know, it's easy to forget exactly how much more complex and remarkable than a simple ball of fire Old Sol is. What you need to do is look closely, with the right kind of specially shielded eyes, and you will see utterly astounding things. Look, and you begin to realize just what kind of a magnificent and almost living entity we live next to:  a practically perfect sphere of incandescent plasma, convection cells, spikes and flares interwoven with incredibly strong magnetic fields, where impossibly violent, extremely incongruous events happen as a matter of course.

For instance - did you know that it rains on the Sun? Oh, but not any kind of rain you've ever imagined. Watch what happens when a medium sized solar flare interacts with one of the vast looping magnetic field structures in the solar atmosphere. Behold the Plasma Rain on the Sun, in all its Magnetohydronamically Driven Glory.

Video courtesy NASA's Goddard Spaceflight Center.

Well Wonketteers, in spite of my heartfelt plea over at Wonkville for you to deluge the SETI Institute's online "Name Pluto's Moons" poll with "TruckNutz" and "Buttsechs," the Trekkies have gone and won with the name "Vulcan." And Shatner was involved! Aren't you ashamed of yourselves?

It would be so very easy and comforting to abandon all of our worry, relax and follow the few solidly Corporate-supported and astoundingly well-funded Pipers down the Garden Path of Anthropogenic Climate Change Denial. Really, who wants to believe that we're facing a series of global catastrophes very soon, if we don't make several critical changes in how our Civilization operates. Changes, it seems, that very powerful organizations are determined not to even acknowledge. So much simpler to follow the pretty Garden Path and the soothing music.

It's just too dammed bad that the International community of professional Atmospheric scientists, Climatologists and Geophysicists,  with their peer-reviewed science, supercomputer mathematical models and experimental verification, are busily sketching in the blank spaces on the Map of exactly where this Garden Path of Denial is leading us. And it's becoming apparent to everyone - who isn't paid to think otherwise -  that this path could very well be one that none of us would ever come back from. Here then, are a trio of the latest of those unsettling sights sketched out for our immediate future:

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Guess who's going on a field trip to Mother Russia next week? Which patriotic Americans will be celebrating Independence Day in Moscow with the traditional blinis and summer borscht? Whose PR team is about to have a really, really bad day?

Nice try, but it's not President Trump -- he's got his annual Moscow performance review later in July. (And anyway, his PR team is permanently located in the ninth circle of hell.) No, it's Senators John Kennedy (R-LA), Richard Shelby (R-AL), and John Hoeven (R-ND), who will be showing their love of the United States by decamping to Russia in the midst of an undeclared cyberwar. We shit you not!

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