Beautiful images.

Needless to say, once America comes up with an invention of genius, the small minds pervading the corridors of Congress see to it that the modest cost – and hang the benefits – becomes a political football and the project is mothballed.

I’m talking about the Hubble space telescope of course, perhaps the costliest camera ever made. Look at this image of the red spot(s) on Jupiter:

Jupiter from Hubble. Early 21st Century.

Vincent Van Gogh would be proud.

Van Gogh. Starry Night. June 1889.

The Hubble book is from National Geographic and you can buy it from Amazon by clicking the picture below. I get no click-through dollars if you do that; it will be a cold day in hell before I resort to that disingenuous and pathetic ‘business’ model.

Click the picture to go to Amazon US.

I bought the paper copy as no one at National Geographic has yet realized that interactive iPad books are what the consumer wants. Al Gore’s outstanding Our Choice is the standard here.

A quick Facebook rant:

Sadly, PushPop Press, the maker of the app for Gore’s book, has been acquired by Facebook, sponsor of the largest crime against privacy and the individual in the history of the world. In totalitarian Russia the KGB at least had to search you out. With Facebook, the innocent masses volunteer their most private information at no cost, no threats, no torture, no truth serum, whereupon it is resold, without their knowledge, to law enforcement, prospective and current employers and any advertiser with a check book. Careers are ruined by a single, childhood indiscretion, in a medium that can never be erased, but can most certainly be subpoenaed.

Meanwhile Facebook pays ever-increasing amounts for inventions which threaten its very existence – like the $1 billion just paid for the nonsensical Instagram – in an attempt to maintain its hegemony. A business doomed to fail as surely as the sun will rise tomorrow, with minimal barriers to entry and subject to the whims and wants of a fickle, youthful consumer. Too bad PushPop Press will likely go down with it. Why Apple did not acquire this business beats me – the book publishing app, like the Hubble, has been mothballed.