UN names official space host [via The New York Post]
It’s been depicted many times in movies, but the United Nations is preparing for a real-life first contact by naming Malaysian astrophysicist Mazlan Othman Earth’s official ambassador to any extraterrestrials who may visit our planet. Othman already heads the UN’s Office for Outer Space Affairs, which is also charged with decision-making should an extinction-level asteroid be heading toward Earth. “Othman is absolutely the nearest thing we have to a ‘Take me to your leader’ person,” said professor Richard Crowther, a space law expert with the United Kingdom Space Agency.
Did John Milton write filthy, innuendo-laden rhyme? [via The Guardian]
The literary world is up in arms over a ribauld poem discovered by University of Oxford lecturer Jennifer Batt in a forgotten 18th-century anthology attributed to “Milton,” possibly referencing “Paradise Lost” author John Milton, who died in 1674. “An Extempore Upon a Faggot” “likens a young woman to a faggot, a bunch of damp sticks, which, when cast upon the fire, produces moisture “at both ends”, like (according to the poem) a weeping virgin when sexually aroused. By contrast, the more sexually experienced woman is more like dry wood, which becomes joyfully enflamed when put on the fire.” Experts are fairly certain the ditty is not of Milton’s lofty, Christian hand, though “if the attribution were correct, it would prompt a major revision of our ideas about Milton.”
Rikers guard wins $54 million lottery jackpot [via The New York Post]
34-year-old Garina Fearon, a prison guard at Rikers Island in New York, recently won $54 million in the lottery, but the formerly homeless, bankrupt robbery victim said she has no plans to quit her day job. Fearon is “too loyal” to walk away from her part-time prison guard job, though she said she does want to cut down on her hours. Her sick mother is a top priority, Fearon noted. “I’m from Jamaica,” said said. “I have a sick mother. She has diabetes, and I’m going to buy my mom a house in Jamaica.”