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What We Love This Week, Volume CXXXI

Jupiter Closeup Swirling Clouds

Jupiter’s high-altitude photographed from a distance of 1.4 million miles on February 28, 2007. Source: The Atlantic

Before Pluto: The Other Awe-Inspiring New Horizons Photos

Jupiter Moons Shadows

Two of Jupiter’s largest moons, the volcanic Io (left) and the icy Ganymede (right), photographed from a distance of 42.5 million miles on January 17, 2007. Source: The Atlantic

While you’ve definitely seen the new Pluto photos and you probably know that those photos are the fruit of the New Horizons’ nearly ten-year journey, you may not realize all that happened along the way. It zipped past our moon (within nine hours of launch), flew close by a 1.6-mile wide asteroid (that just happened to be in its path), and crossed the orbit of every planet between here and Pluto.

Chief among those planetary confrontations was Jupiter, which New Horizons photographed from late 2006 to mid-2007. And perhaps it’s just that Jupiter is our solar system’s largest planet or that it’s orbited by dozens of moons (one of the largest of which has over 400 volcanoes) or that it’s shrouded in swirling clouds, but these photos might just be the most stunning ones that New Horizons captured. For more under-the-radar images from the New Horizons mission, visit The Atlantic.

Jupiter Moons Io Europa

A 190-mile high volcanic plume erupts from Io (right, with two smaller volcanic plumes also visible), alongside Europa (left), another of Jupiter’s largest moons, both photographed from a distance of about 2.5 million miles on March 2, 2007. Source: The Atlantic

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The Heroin Vaccine That Could Save ‘Quadrillions’ On Healthcare Costs

heroin vaccine kim janda

Kim Janda. Source: Robert Benson

You’d think it would be a big deal if a scientist created a vaccine that could do away with addiction. So what if I told you that we already had one?

Kim Janda has a vaccine for heroin addiction. And for meth. And for cocaine, too. Janda, an American chemist and the Ely R. Callaway, Jr. Chaired Professor at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, gets calls and emails all the time from addicts, and people who know addicts, and who want more information about getting involved with clinical trials.

The problem? There haven’t been any clinical trials. And there won’t be any for the foreseeable future, either.

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Your World This Week, Volume IV

Car Bomb Afghanistan

The aftermath of the bombing near Khost, Afghanistan. Source: The Independent

Bombings Rock Iraq, Afghanistan

A small, but terribly destructive, wave of bombings hit Iraq on Sunday, leaving 35 dead and 100 wounded. Deadliest among the attacks was a car bomb coupled with a suicide bomb that killed 19 in the Shaab neighborhood of Baghdad. However, smaller attacks killed several others across the city throughout the day as well. While ISIS is, naturally, the key suspect, the group has not yet made any claims of responsibility.

Also on Sunday a car bomb killed 25 and wounded 10 near Khost, Afghanistan. The area is home to a military base that holds some American soldiers, although the U.S. military has officially stated that none of its personnel were injured.

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Thomas Midgley Jr.: Accidentally The Most Dangerous Man Who Ever Lived

Thomas Midgley Jr Worst Inventor Lead

Source: YouTube

We all have a legacy. Every one of us will eventually pass on, and we generally hope to leave the world a slightly better place than it was when we found it. Scientists epitomize this philosophy, and many toil for decades in obscurity as they work to find answers to mankind’s many problems. In that sense, Thomas Midgley, Jr. was a great man and a fine scientist. Working for General Motors during the early days of the automobile, Midgley earned over 100 patents in his lifetime, and was showered with honors by the scientific community.

Unfortunately, Midgley was the most dangerous kind of man: a reverse genius. With a strong work ethic and an unyielding sense of optimism about the future of technology, Thomas Midgley, Jr. displayed an absolutely infallible instinct for doing what we now recognize as the wrong thing, and then for building up the wrong things he did into multimillion-dollar industries that would take generations to dismantle. Entirely on accident, Midgley helped poison three generations of children with lead, greatly increased the risk of skin cancer in Australia, and contributed mightily to the global warming that many of us are still pretending isn’t our fault.

Early Life And Work At General Motors

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