NASA’s Nicole Aunapu Mann will be the first Native American woman to visit space

NASA is breaking new ground for astronauts. As Indian Country Todayreports, the agency recently confirmed that Marine Corps Col. Nicole Aunapu Mann will be the first Native American woman to travel to space. The Wailacki tribe member will serve as the mission commander for the SpaceX-powered Crew-5 mission heading to the International Space Station as soon as September 29th. When she arrives, Mann will be ISS Expedition 68’s flight engineer during a six-month stay.

The Crew-5 mission will also ferry NASA’s Josh Cassada, Japan’s Koichi Wakata and Russia’s Anna Kikina to the ISS. Chickasaw Nation member John Herrington was the first Native American of any gender to visit space, flying aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 2002.

Mann has a background well-suited to spaceflight. She started her career as a Navy aviator and has flown the F/A-18 Hornet while supporting missions operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. She also earned her master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford. NASA chose Mann as one of eight astronaut candidates in 2013. That group has since become influential, producing influential figures like Anne McClain, Jessica Meir and Crew Dragon pilot Victor Glover. Some of them, including Mann, have made NASA’s shortlist for the first crewed Artemis missions to the Moon.

For Mann, this first spaceflight isn’t just historic. In her interview with ICT, she saw the trip as smashing “barriers” for Native American children who didn’t think they could become astronauts. It won’t be surprising if more follow her before long.

All the Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering News Conjured Up Today

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Western States Blow Past Deadline to Come Up With a Water Conservation Plan

The Colorado River, which provides drinking water to about 40 million people in the U.S., is in dire straits. Widespread and severe drought (worsened by climate change), coupled with ongoing high water demand, have left the river and the reservoirs alo…

Facebook and Instagram Boot RFK Jr’s Notorious Anti-Vax Group From Their Platforms

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Janet Jackson’s 1989 mega-hit ‘Rhythm Nation’ sonically smashes old hard drives

The “brown noise” is a legendary tone purportedly capable of causing people to lose control of their bowels when subjected to its gut-punching harmonic resonance. South Park did a whole thing on it. Turns out that the 5400 RPM hard drives from a number of old Windows-era laptops possess a brown note of their own: Janet Jackson’s 1989 mega-hit ‘Rhythm Nation.’

According to Microsoft Software Engineer, Raymond Chen, who recounted the tale in a Microsoft Developers Blog post earlier this week, “a major computer manufacturer discovered” that playing the music video (above) would not only crash the hard drive of the laptop it was running on but also any other similar model within earshot.

The Mitre Corporation was not amused by this newfound vulnerability, issuing it an entry in the CVE database. After a thorough investigation, the device manufacturer confirmed that the song contained one of the natural resonant frequencies of the hard drives playing the song essentially rattled the devices apart. Rather than recall untold numbers of decades-old drives, the manufacturer instead opted to develop a workaround by “adding a custom filter in the audio pipeline that detected and removed the offending frequencies during audio playback,” according to Chen. 

I Hate Fairyland Is Back and Looks Fully Bananas

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HBO Max is removing 36 shows ahead of Discovery+ merger

The union of HBO Max and Discovery+ is already causing pain through layoffs, and now the move is affecting some shows. Warner Bros. Discovery has confirmed to Variety that it’s removing 36 titles from HBO Max as soon as this week while it prepares for the Discovery+ platform merger. Most of the productions aren’t huge, but they do include recognizable HBO work like the Sesame Street spinoff The Not-too-Late-Show with Elmo and the Peter Dinklage movie My Dinner with Hervé. A handful of Cartoon Network shows are leaving. 

In a statement, HBO Max said content would disappear from both services as it worked to bring the media libraries “together under one platform.” The provider didn’t elaborate on its reasoning, although Variety noted that pulling the shows outright (instead of canceling future seasons) would help HBO Max avoid paying more royalties. Warner Bros. Discovery said it would find $3 billion in savings as part of the corporate merger.

As you might imagine, at least some affected producers aren’t happy — this not only cuts off income, but might prevent people from seeing their work unless it finds another home. Summer Camp Island creator Julia Pott noted that some episodes developed during the pandemic will never see the light of day. Warner Bros. Discovery has “no respect for artists,” she said.

The combination of HBO Max and Discovery+ is expected to launch in summer 2023. While it’s not clear if Warner Bros. Discovery will drop more shows or otherwise slash costs, this latest move won’t be reassuring if you were hoping your favorite series would make the leap to the unified service.

These Are the 2022 Nature TTL Photographer of the Year Winners

An elephant tosses up a cloud of dust, a grizzly bear leans into the camera lens, and a moth leaves a ghostly trail across the night sky. These are some of the finalists the Nature TTL Photographer of the Year contest, showcasing our planet’s dazzling …

Some Lucky U.S. Northerners Might See the Aurora Thursday and Friday

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House of the Dragon’s Cast and Crew on HBO’s Return to Westeros

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