Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
When Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Philip Roth, who wrote “American Pastoral” and “Portnoy’s Complaint,” recently petitioned Wikipedia to correct inaccuracies in an entry regarding his novel “The Human Stain,” Wikipedia said no:
I recently petitioned Wikipedia to delete this misstatement, along with two others, my interlocutor was told by the “English Wikipedia Administrator”—in a letter dated August 25th and addressed to my interlocutor—that I, Roth, was not a credible source: “I understand your point that the author is the greatest authority on their own work,” writes the Wikipedia Administrator—“but we require secondary sources.”
It seems that Wikipedia’s open-source policy lands on the reader’s side of the age-old English classroom debate: How much control should an author have over intepretations of his own work?
Except that in this case, Wikipedia (and the readers) are wrong. Roth wrote an open letter on the New Yorker’s blog to correct the inaccuracy that said the novel was ” ‘inspired by the life of the writer Anatole Broyard.’ “ In his open letter, Roth tells the full story of the real inspiration behind “The Human Stain”: Melvin Tumin, a longtime, meticulous Princeton professor and race expert, whose life was forever changed by the utterance of an unfortunate double entendre:
Having finished taking the roll, Mel queried the class about these two students whom he had never met. “Does anyone know these people? Do they exist or are they spooks?”—unfortunately, the very words that Coleman Silk, the protagonist of “The Human Stain,” asks of his classics class at Athena College in Massachusetts.
Almost immediately Mel was summoned by university authorities to justify his use of the word “spooks,” since the two missing students, as it happened, were both African-American, and “spooks” at one time in America was a pejorative designation for blacks, spoken venom milder than “nigger” but intentionally degrading nonetheless. A witch hunt ensued during the following months from which Professor Tumin—rather like Professor Silk in “The Human Stain”—emerged blameless but only after he had to provide a number of lengthy depositions declaring himself innocent of the charge of hate speech.
Apparently, the letter, backed by the New Yorker, was significantly more convincing than Roth’s original email; the Wikipedia entry for “The Human Stain” has since been updated to include Roth’s correction.
Via the New Yorker
Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.More Prachi Gupta.
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.