4 min read

Friday, March 24, 2023

Good morning and welcome to yet another thrilling issue. Today we're talking all the usual stuff - space, food, music, inscrutable photography, etc. Check it out below.

Newly discovered Earth-size planet TOI 700 e orbits within the habitable zone of its star in this illustration. Its Earth-size sibling, TOI 700 d, can be seen in the distance. Photo from NASA.

This is from January but here at Wolmania it's never too late to talk space news. Anyway, folks, it looks like we've got ourselves a second Earth-size world in TOI 700. NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) found it.

According to Emily Gilbert, a postdoctoral fellow at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who really has no reason to lie about it, this makes TOI 700 a rarity - a solar system with "multiple, small, habitable-zone planets"... that we know about. One would assume there are a bazillion of these systems out there that we haven't noticed yet but hey, one step at a time. Anyway, there are (at least) five planets in the TOI 700 habitable zone (TOI 700 a, TOI 700 b, TOI 700 c, TOI 700 d, and — yes, you got it, you're very smart — TOI 700 e). The two planets that are about our size (TOI 700 b and TOI 700 d) are a hundred light-years away, orbiting a cool M dwarf star (ranked 6th on the list of Main Sequence Stars, incidentally) every 10 and 37 days, respectively.

The write-up spends a shocking amount of time not talking about how long it would take humanity to reach these worlds, nor whether we could live on them without wearing space-suits and such. It doesn't even broach the topic of alien life.

The good news is that Gilbert says "[f]ollow-up study of the TOI 700 system with space- and ground-based observatories is ongoing. . . and may yield further insights into this rare system." So maybe we'll get back to this topic again in a decade or two.

They should really give these planets better names.

Item 2: a list

A variety of tapas, some of which are not on my list but what can you do?
I searched Google Images for "tapas". It looks like these guys did too.

Traditional tapas, ranked and annotated

  1. Croquetas (best with jamón, bacalao, queso, or potato)
  2. Patatas bravas (we should be bravasing way more foods. Just a few ideas to get the wheels turning: fried cheese curds bravas; spätzle bravas; Filet-O-Fish bravas)
  3. Jamón
  4. Bombas (never had this but it appears to be fried mashed potatoes & other stuff)
  5. Albondigas (meatballs)
  6. Gambas al ajillo (shrimp scampi)
  7. Empanadas (I don’t really believe empanadas are tapas but who am I to argue with TastingTable.com?)
  8. Garbanzos con espinacas (have never had this and certainly didn’t know this was derived from a Jewish stew - all I know is “garbanzos combined with spinach, garlic, paprika, and cumin” sounds delicious)
  9. Boquerones (anchovies), any preparation
  10. Manchego cheese
  11. Gilda pintxo (I’ve never had this either but it’s a skewer with anchovies, olives, and pickled chiles - what’s not to like?)
  12. Tortilla española
  13. Huevos rotos (this appears to be eggs with fried potatoes and some ham)
  14. Olivas (olives)
  15. Pescado frito (I prefer my fried fish in Filet-O form but sure)
  16. Esgarraet (steamed cod, red peppers, black olives, and garlic in oil, served on cute little toasts)
  17. Chorizo al vino (I like chorizo but I’ve never had them simmered in red wine - but I am open to it!)
  18. Mejillones tigres (breaded and fried mussels)
  19. Calamares fritos (I’m a bit uncomfortable eating octopodes and squid but it does taste good)
  20. Ensalidilla Rusa (this is potato salad)
  21. Mojama de atun (never tried this but cured tuna doesn’t sound that good)
  22. Berenjenas con miel (I’m all too aware how much of the above is meat, and would like more veggies on this list, but I am not too interested in fried eggplant)
  23. Morcilla (I don’t have a problem with it, but I’ve never really been too impressed with blood sausage)
  24. Gazpacho (I don’t like tomatoes but I don’t mind a well-blended ‘zpacho)
  25. Pisto (“Spain’s version of ratatouille”. No thanks.)
  26. Pulpo a la gallega (octopus - see above)
  27. Pimientos de padrón (not really into blistered shishito peppers or their equivalent)
  28. Pan con tomate (I don’t like tomatoes so I am not that interested in bread with tomatoes. And before you ask, yes, I do like pizza. And tomato-based sauces. And ketchup is fine.)

Item 3: a media recommendation

M83 (new album out this week! this is not on it!) - Laser Gun feat Mail Lan

Item 4: word of the week


Item 5: a photograph

Tomáš Tisoň - Lost in Lines (Minimalist Photography Awards 2022, honorable mention, abstract category)

See ya!

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a truly incredible weekend. See you again next week.