The Buzz: A black hole from which politics cannot escape

Piece of cake, Julian Assange; you’re used to spending years indoors.

By Jon Bauer

Herald staff

OK, admit it; you were thinking the same thing we were when scientists excitedly revealed the first-ever image of a black hole: It looks like a doughnut.

Call us skeptical, but we’re asking for confirmation that the radio telescopes weren’t trained on Karl’s Bakery in downtown Everett.

In other less-caloric events in the week that wasn’t:

Check Airbnb for a new vacancy at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who now faces extradition to the United States on charges of conspiring to commit computer espionage, was arrested by British police after he was expelled and forcibly removed from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he had been given sanctuary for nearly seven years.

Just a guess, but someone must have left wet towels on the floor of the guest bathroom one too many times.

Failure is always an option: An Israeli unmanned spacecraft lost contact with ground controllers on earth and crashed on the surface of the moon when an engine cut out during landing. Nonetheless, a spokesman for Israel Aerospace Industries called the mission an “amazing success” for coming so close to a successful landing.

While the mission failed its ultimate goal, Israeli scientists added an entry to the latest edition of the Dictionary of Folk Memes: “Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades and unmanned Israeli space missions.

Israeli scientists would have described it as a bagel, not a doughnut: Scientists have revealed the first-ever image of a black hole, the galactic phenomena from which even light cannot escape once in its gravitational grasp. The image of a doughnut-shaped ring of light swirling around the black hole M87 was gathered by a collection of eight radio telescopes from around the world that were trained on the black hole.

Famed physicist Albert Einstein predicted the existence of black holes as part of his theory of general relativity, but Johnny Cash gets credit for first describing what happens when falling into a burning ring of fire.

Yeah, I’ll get right on that: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has missed a deadline from House Democrats to turn over President Trump’s tax returns for the past six years. Mnuchin said in a letter to a committee chairman that he hadn’t decided whether to comply with the directive outlined by U.S. statute and was reviewing the issue further.

The letter was seen as an attempt to stall Democrats until Israel could finish work on a space probe loaded with Trump’s tax records that would be sent into the M87 black hole where not even congressional subpoenas could reach.

I Am Curious (Yellow): Attorney General William Barr said he expects to release a redacted version of the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election “within a week,” after members of Congress demanded more than the four-page summary that Barr offered at the completion of Mueller’s investigation. Barr said the redactions would be color-coded to indicate specific reasons for why the information is being withheld.

And it’s also being used as a sponsorship opportunity. The report will include paid advertisements noting, “This redaction brought to you by Crayola.”

You’re only going to make them angry: Seattle Police arrested a man for pointing a realistic-looking airsoft rifle into traffic along I-90. The man told police he was using the rifle, which shoots plastic pellets, to hunt rats.

Had the man just used a magic pipe to lure the rats out of town, he probably could have gotten an arts grant from the city.

No, it’s not Gwyneth Paltrow’s latest beauty tip: Doctors examining a 29-year-old Taiwanese woman who believed an infection had swollen one eye shut discovered four small live bees, called “sweat bees,” in her eye. The bees. which crave salt, were living off the woman’s tears.

And here we thought the only thing that could sustain itself on the tears of women was the Hallmark Channel.

Jon Bauer: jbauer@heraldnet.com.

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