Farewell to NASA’s Kepler Telescope
Kepler—the beloved NASA telescope responsible for discovering 70% of the 3,800 confirmed “alien worlds” to date—officially met its end yesterday. After nearly a decade of exploration, the telescope ran out of fuel and can no longer transmit data or focus on transient objects in space. During its time in flight the Kepler was able to study nearly 150,000 stars simultaneously and could determine exactly which ones were exoplanets. It met several failures in its time in service (rescuing Kepler was never possible because it orbited the sun, not Earth), but persevered longer than many expected. Read more about Kepler’s achievements at Space.com.
Inside an Upstate NY Witch Camp
Last weekend, at OlioHouse—an unassuming Victorian-style home in Wassaic—a sizable group of 20- and 30-somethings attended Witch Camp. There were no spells cast at the upstate New York location, but there were art classes, sage-burning, a Halloween-themed party and lectures on the witch trials of the 16th and 17th centuries. While witches today don’t face the same horrific repercussions as those in history, Tara Kenny (an Olio attendee and court advocate for incarcerated youth) says, “Fear of women organizing and the power of women is kind of connected to things happening in politics today.” Read more about the camp at the New York Times.
Shibuya’s Impressive Halloween Celebrations
Tokyo—specifically Shibuya—is one big, well-costumed party in a new photo series by Kawasaki-based photographer Ko Sasaki. Over the past decade, Halloween celebrations have been gaining momentum in Japan, and the costumes—ranging from classic to unconventional—are wildly impressive. Visit Afar to see all the corpse brides, witches, aliens and more.
A Giant Version of FriendsWithYou’s Little Cloud at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Art collective FriendsWithYou (founded by Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III) will be joining this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with a super-sized version of their Little Cloud character. The puffy, smiling blob (which has been a keystone of their art for nearly two decades) represents “light, tranquility, and unconditional love”—a positive vibe they’re excited to share over the holiday. Little Cloud will be 30-feet-wide, and joined by inflatable raindrops and a rainbow. Read more at Galerie Magazine.
South Korean Women Destroying Cosmetics in Protest
As part of a movement called “escape the corset,” many South Korean women are destroying their make-up—and sharing the glittery, colorful results on social media. The act is a rebellion against “the strict beauty standards that have become their country’s norm,” but further, the unpaid labor of that beauty. While this is a theme across countless countries, South Korea is the eighth largest cosmetics market in the world—so this shift is particularly powerful. Cha Ji-won—who has taken part in the movement—tells The Guardian, “There’s only so much mental energy a person has each day, and I used to spend so much of it worrying about being ‘pretty.’” Read more, and see some of the Instagrams, at The Guardian.
JetBlue Founder Announces Low-Cost Airline, Moxy
Nicknamed Moxy and scheduled for take-off in 2021, a low-cost airline from JetBlue founder David Neeleman will traverse uncommon international routes. The tech-focused carrier will cut out phone lines and paper tickets—opting for an automated, app-centric experience for users. The airline will focus on non-traditional hubs—for instance, Scranton, Pennsylvania or from Florida to smaller cities in northern Brazil. Most of the flights will be non-stop, and Neeleman believes that most of their routes will never see competition. Read more about the project at Skift.
Photographs Taken Through a Lens Made of Ice
Photographer Mathieu Stern recently took a self-funded trip to Iceland to take some photos, but the difference is that his camera lens was made from ice. Yes, they turned out a bit (poetically) blurry, but otherwise the idea worked. After 45 minutes of crafting, Stern took shots of the surrounding scenery, the people who’d joined him and the fleeting icebergs—all before the ice lens melted in one minute’s time. See Stern’s photos and some behind-the-scenes footage at the BBC.