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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A Fight To Protect ‘The Most Valuable Real Estate In Space’, by Christian Davenport, Washington Post

The first salvo was a missile launch by the Chinese in 2007 that blew up a dead satellite and littered space with thousands of pieces of debris. But it was another Chinese launch three years ago that made the Pentagon really snap to attention, opening up the possibility that outer space would become a new front in modern warfare.

This time, the rocket reached close to a far more distant orbit — one that’s more than 22,000 miles away — and just happens to be where the United States parks its most sensitive national security satellites, used for tasks such as guiding precision bombs and spying on adversaries.

The flyby served as a wake-up call and prompted the Defense Department and intelligence agencies to begin spending billions of dollars to protect what Air Force Gen. John Hyten in an interview called the “most valuable real estate in space.”

Jane Austen’s Ivory Cage, by Mikita Brottman, The American Scholar

I now see Austen as a very dark writer and Mansfield Park as her darkest work, a book full of sexual repression and unconscious conflict, with no forgiveness or redemption for anyone who dares struggle against the social code. The world of taffeta and lace exists only on the surface; underneath it, these well-bred young women are trapped like rats. This fact is made most vivid in the scene where Fanny joins a party of friends and family on their visit to Sotherton Court, the home of her cousin Maria Bertram’s wealthy but deathly boring fiancé, James Rushworth, whose extensive grounds include a bowling green, lawns bounded by high walls, pheasants, a wilderness, a terrace walk, iron palisades, and a small wood.

Cruel Intentions, by William Giraldi, New Republic

From the written letter to online commentary, the fine art of literary hate mail endures.

Ways To Be Pretentious, by Ian Penman, London Review of Books

Like many rock acts, she’d had years to dream up her world-shut-your-mouth arrival, then suddenly had no time at all to patch together a follow-up.

In Defense Of “Moist”, by Sadie Stein, The Paris Review

But here’s the thing: I like moist. And not just because of good associations with the groundbreaking Moistworks blog, either. I think moist just needs better PR.