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A Million Little Problems

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Gawker had an amazing, and somewhat disappointing bit about so-called "memoirist" and the guy who let down Oprah, James Frey. The author, who was publicly embarrassed earlier this year when it was revealed that he made up large swaths of his memoir A Million Little Pieces, has just released the first paragraph of his book.

On September 4, 1781, a group of 46 men, women and children who called themselves the Pobladores established a settlement in what is now the City of Los Angeles. They named it El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula. Two-thirds of the settlers were African, of African descent or mulatto.

Not gripping, but not horrible either. At least, until you compare it-- as Gawker did-- to the wikipedia entry on Los Angeles. (After the jump).

The Mission Nuestra Señora Reina de los Angeles was established on September 4, 1781 by a group of 46 Spanish and Mexican settlers from Sonora who had set out from the San Gabriel mission to establish a settlement along the banks of the Porciúncula River. These settlers were of African, Indian, and Spanish ancestry of which two-thirds were mulatto

If you're planning on reading the book, you might want to avoid the wikipedia entry, as it probably contains spoilers.

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Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images
Can’t See the Eclipse in Person? Watch NASA’s 360° Live Stream
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Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images

Depending on where you live, the historic eclipse on August 21 might not look all that impressive from your vantage point. You may be far away from the path of totality, or stuck with heartbreakingly cloudy weather. Maybe you forgot to get your eclipse glasses before they sold out, or can't get away from your desk in the middle of the day.

But fear not. NASA has you covered. The space agency is live streaming a spectacular 4K-resolution 360° live video of the celestial phenomenon on Facebook. The livestream started at 12 p.m. Eastern Time and includes commentary from NASA experts based in South Carolina. It will run until about 4:15 ET.

You can watch it below, on NASA's Facebook page, or on the Facebook video app.

Cephalopod Fossil Sketch in Australia Can Be Seen From Space

Australia is home to some of the most singular creatures alive today, but a new piece of outdoor art pays homage to an organism that last inhabited the continent 65 million years ago. As the Townsville Bulletin reports, an etching of a prehistoric ammonite has appeared in a barren field in Queensland.

Ammonites are the ancestors of the cephalopods that currently populate the world’s oceans. They had sharp beaks, dexterous tentacles, and spiraling shells that could grow more than 3 feet in diameter. The inland sea where the ammonites once thrived has since dried up, leaving only fossils as evidence of their existence. The newly plowed dirt mural acts as a larger-than-life reminder of the ancient animals.

To make a drawing big enough to be seen from space, mathematician David Kennedy plotted the image into a path consisting of more than 600 “way points.” Then, using a former War World II airfield as his canvas, the property’s owner Rob Ievers plowed the massive 1230-foot-by-820-foot artwork into the ground with his tractor.

The project was funded by Soil Science Australia, an organization that uses soil art to raise awareness of the importance of farming. The sketch doubles as a paleotourist attraction for the local area, which is home to Australia's "dinosaur trail" of museums and other fossil-related attractions. But to see the craftsmanship in all its glory, visitors will need to find a way to view it from above.

[h/t Townsville Bulletin]


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