Arkansas Times Recommends is a weekly series in which Times staff members (or whoever happens to be around at the time) highlight things we've been enjoying this week.
Pluto. I recommend Pluto.
This Tuesday, July 14, NASA's New Horizons mission
will reach its destination, and we'll collectively get to see things no human has ever seen before — things that surely no human should ever get to see at all, considering Pluto is a Russia-sized lump of frozen rock looping an irregular orbit some three billion miles from the only place humans have ever lived. But somehow, one thing has led to another, and now we have a little metallic child noodling its way towards trans-Neptunian space and snapping pictures. It took nine and a half years to get there, traveling almost a million miles a day.
To get a sense of that scale, I suggest you force yourself to spend six or seven minutes scrolling through If the Moon Were One Pixel
Check out this Reddit thread about New Horizons
for some interesting information.
Oh, and by the way, for all you sentimentalist reactionaries out there: It's fine that Pluto is no longer considered a planet. Don't get hung up on definitions. Some of the most interesting things in the solar system aren't planets either, such as the moons of Saturn and Jupiter, which contain our best chance of finding extraterrestrial life anywhere close to Earth. Mercury meets the definition of a planet, and, frankly, it's boring as shit
. In any case, it's likely that there are some 100 million extrasolar planets in the Milky Way alone, which would be enough for every living human being to have about 14 full-sized planets apiece. Let's not be greedy. — Benji Hardy
If you are an visual artist of one sort or another you've probably come across more than a few drawing-a-day type projects. Wherein an artist creates a minor work of art once per day for a period of time, or perhaps indefinitely. And usually they are pretty decent and fun to monitor from afar. One super excellent example I love comes from the artist Elle Luna. Her series #100daysofpaintingmydreamsbyluna
is nearing completion and is a delight to scroll endlessly through on her Tumblr page. Check it out. — Bryan Moats
I recommend this song, "Rap Terminator," by Willie Wil
, who I don't know anything about, other than that he made this record one day in 1989 in Coolidge, Georgia, about an hour south of where I grew up. He claims to be spreading his rhymes "like a powerful disease." He says, I'm almost positive, "Rhymes coming storming from the computer brain, just sweeping through the speakers like a hurricane," which is a remarkable and beautiful mixed metaphor. The beat is a dystopia of bass and lasers and shattering glass — he is the Terminator
, after all. Imagine Willie Wil in small, rural, broke Coolidge, Georgia
, population 552, watching "Terminator" on VHS one night in the late 1980s. There's not much to do at night in Coolidge. — Will Stephenson
— Kaya Herron