Dennis Rodman Headed To North Korea For ‘Basketaball Diplomacy’

Dennis Rodman Headed To North Korea For 'Basketaball Diplomacy'Clearly, Dennis Rodman is a man with few worlds left to conquer. So, like a true citizen of the world, he’s heading to North Korea as part of a new documentary series.

‘Unlikely ambassador’

From the Associated Press:

Flamboyant former NBA star Dennis Rodman is heading to North Korea with the VICE media company — tattoos, piercings, bad-boy reputation and all.

The American known as “The Worm” is set to arrive Tuesday in Pyongyang, becoming an unlikely ambassador for sports diplomacy at a time of heightened tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.

Rodman, three members of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team, a VICE correspondent and a production crew from the company are visiting North Korea to shoot footage for a new TV show set to air on HBO in early April, VICE told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview before the group’s departure from Beijing. […]

‘Odd pairing’

Rodman is undoubtedly an odd choice to visit an American enemy that tested a nuclear bomb two weeks ago, but choosing him to head up a supposed diplomatic tour is also very much in line with the irreverent VICE brand. They will put together an odd pairing to get attention, and Rodman does that job. Watching him and a few Globetrotters play against North Korean basketball stars is going to be goofy, but it should make for good television.

In fact, it’s likely that this project will go down as one of the most worthwhile things Rodman has been part of in years. He might not solve any diplomatic crises, but he will help teach a new audience about a nation that people rarely get to see.

Will you be following Dennis Rodman’s journey to North Korea? Do you think this move will yield positive results between the two countries?

Source: Eric Freeman, Yahoo Sports

Image: Deadspin

Alien Planets With Twin Suns Spotted By NASA

Astronomers have for the first time discovered two alien planets whirling around a pair of stars: a complete solar system with twin suns just like Luke Skywalker’s fictional home world Tatooine.

Most stars like our sun are not singletons, but rather come in pairs that orbit each other. Scientists had found planets in these binary systems, so-called circumbinary planets with two suns like Tatooine in the “Star Wars” universe.

To find more circumbinary planets, astronomers analyzed data from NASA’s prolific Kepler space telescope, which has detected more than 2,300 potential alien worlds since its March 2009 launch. Kepler had to date detected four systems with circumbinary planets — Kepler-16, 34, 35 and 38. The scientists have now announced the detection of Kepler-47, the first system seen with multiple worlds encircling a pair of stars. The star and its planets, called Kepler-47b and Kepler-47c, dwell about 5,000 light-years away, in the constellation Cygnus, the Swan.

The planets are much too far away to see with the naked eye. Rather, they were discovered by the drop in brightness they cause when they cross in front of, or transit, their host stars. One of the stars is much like our sun, and the other is about a third its size and 175 times fainter. The inner and outer planets are respectively 3 and 4.6 times Earth’s diameter — the smaller planet is the smallest circumbinary planet seen yet. The inner world completes an orbit every 49.5 days, while the outer one takes 303.2 days, giving it the largest known orbit for any transiting exoplanet. The stars themselves whirl around each other every 7.5 days.

The scientists published their findings online Aug. 28 in the journal Science. They will also detail their results Aug. 29 at the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union in Beijing.

Do you think there are other real-life “Tatooine” planets like the one in Star Wars out there? What other amazing discoveries could NASA’s Kepler space telescope bring next?

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Space