Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
Dear News Consumers: Sometimes on Twitter or Facebook or whatever you come across a piece of surprising information that you wish to share with your friends. One step you should always take, first, is checking the source. The more surprising the headline, the more important it is that you make sure it didn’t come from the Onion or “funnyjokenewz.biz” or “The Blaze” before you start spreading it around.
Now, apparently, we should add BuzzFeed to the list of suspect sources. The only explanations for this story are either a willful attempt to mislead in order to garner traffic or an unforgivably stupid misinterpretation that for some reason has not yet been updated or clarified. The post (you’ve probably seen it referenced elsewhere already) claims that rapper and pop star Nicki Minaj “is voting for Mitt Romney” and the proof is that she said so in one line, a line about how “lazy bitches are fucking up the economy,” on a Lil Wayne mixtape. “I am not joking,” says BuzzFeed editor Matt Stopera. But guess what, Nicki Minaj is.
I guess I’ll let Andy Hutchins take care of the “sometimes rappers use personas, exaggeration, metaphor and humor” portion of the “fact-check” here:
The Romney bar is between “And all these bitches is my sons, yeah, c-section,” which is one of many literally impossible and figuratively creative “All you bitches is my sons” shots she’s taken in the last few years, and another one of many Nicki shots at “you lazy bitches,” which has come to be her shorthand for haters. To begin the verse, she gender-flips Big Sean’s clunking “Drop it to the floor, make that ass shake” to “Drop it to the floor, make that dick shake” and suggests “my homegirl slurp it like a milkshake”; two bars after the Romney “endorsement,” she’s “out in Miami,” “chillin’ wit’ a zombie.”
Those bars are likely not literally true, but that they are figuratively possible is the point.
SIREN DOT GIF ROMNEY SUPPORTER MINAJ CHILLIN WITH ZOMBIE IN MIAMI SIREN DOT GIF
So it’s certainly possible that Ms. Minaj will cast her vote for Romney/Ryan in the fall, but a joke on a mixtape is not actually evidence of sincere support, as anyone with any passing familiarity with hip-hop should immediately understand. (Look, Matt Yglesias used it as jumping-off point for an actual policy argument! That guy!)
Anyway, dear BuzzFeed, don’t be stupid and don’t treat your readers like they’re stupid. Please. There are enough people lying to everyone all day without you having to also do it.
Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @pareeneMore Alex Pareene.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.