"Juno over Jupiter" by Kevin Gill is Licensed under CC-SA 2.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)

Late on July 4th, NASA tweeted that their space probe, Juno, successfully entered Jupiter’s orbit after five years and 1.7 billion miles of travel. Juno is the first spacecraft to reach Jupiter since Galileo in 1995. The probe broke multiple records during its journey, including fastest man-made object at 165,000 miles per hour, and farthest solar-powered spacecraft from Earth. Juno more than broke the 492-million-mile record held by the Rosetta mission.

"2016-06-14_20-03-47_ILCE-6300_DSC08367" by Miguel Discart is licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0 (via Flickr)

In the wake of the largest mass shooting in the United States to date, Facebook and other social media sites have been flooded with posts honoring the victims in Orlando. Many such posts include the faces of the victims, rainbow banners and “share if you’re praying for Orlando” posts. Although there is nothing particularly harmful about sharing encouraging thoughts through social media, opinions are surfacing that it might do more harm than good.

Keep Abortion Legal - "Protest against Focus on the Family's “Stand for the Family” event" by Tony Webster is licensed under CC by 2.0 (via Flickr)

On June 27th, the Supreme Court decided on the hotly debated case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which dealt with access to abortion clinics in Texas. In 2013, Texas proposed a law requiring that all abortion clinics in the state hire only doctors that have “admitting privileges at local hospitals and meet outpatient surgical center standards.” This law would have shut down nearly 30 of Texas’ 40 abortion clinics, a state home to 5.4 million women in the reproductive age range.

"CMRF 08/10 OLCHC Photos 44" by CMRF Crumlin is licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Flickr

Recently, a 5-year-old child named Julianne Snow passed away from from a neurological disease known as Charcot-Marie-Tooth, causing nerves in the brain to degenerate and loss in the muscles related to chewing, swallowing, and eventually breathing. Although Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is one of the world’s most commonly inherited neurological disorders, this story made national headlines due to Julianne’s independent decision to refuse treatment.

"Voting United States" by Tom Arthur is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia

Donald Trump. Not a day goes by when I don’t hear that name. It is constantly on the news and it is what everybody is talking about. So much so, it is almost inescapable. This man has killed it. Since the start of his campaign he has managed to grasp the attention of the media, the nation and the world by saying whatever he wants, especially if it causes controversy. This tactic—whether purposeful or a mere reflection of his values and beliefs—has worked: Donald Trump is essentially the de facto Republican nominee. So hats off to you Mr. Trump, you have shown us how anger (against “Washington” politicians) and fear (of economic instability, foreigners, etc.) can be preyed on to mobilize a campaign to win. In the meantime, the Republican Party is struggling and making a concentrated effort to unite the party behind their champion. This might prove to be a challenge because Trump has essentially vilified everyone: not only his former opponents running for the Republican nomination (and in one case their wife) but entire nationalities, ethnicities and religions.

"Wind turbines and Corn, HDR" by Patrick Finnegan is licensed under CC BY 2.0 (via Flickr)

Take a drive through Greencastle and the surrounding areas, and you’ll see corn, and lots of it. This may seem fitting for the rural Midwest, but corn’s reign is much larger than that. The reality is that in 2015, the total acreage of corn planted in the US could cover the entire nation of Germany. That is a lot of corn.

"Coral Reef at Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge" by USFWS - Pacific Region is licensed under CC BY 2.0 (via Flickr)

In a recent piece entitled Unnatural Selection published in the New Yorker, Elizabeth Kolbert writes of the challenges confronting conservation as the world moves into a new, warmer, more acidic equilibrium as a result of human-induced climate change. In her piece, Kolbert profiles two ongoing efforts to genetically-modify wild species for the purpose of regenerating natural populations. Should humans assist evolution in an attempt to fix the detrimental effects of climate change?

"Romance" by Unsplash is licensed under CC0 Public Domain (via pixabay)

Last week, I spoke with an elderly couple. They’re both in the sixties now, but when they married each other, he was seventeen and she was eighteen. Sounds crazy, right? Furthermore, they were both virgins when they put the rings on each other’s fingers. A situation like this is nearly unheard of today—especially for millennials. On college campuses across America, casual sex has become the norm, and long-term relationships and marriage are generally regarded as an endeavor to undertake far in the future.

"Gun Show" by M&R Glasgow is licensed under CC BY-2.0 (via Flickr)

Last week, the New York Times reported that, thanks to a set of fairy tales creatively recreated by the National Rifle Association, children can now read their favorite fairy tales from the perspective of if the characters had guns.  

In the retelling, Little Red Riding hood confidently tromps through the forest with a rifle across her back, and Hansel and Gretel hold the wicked witch off at gunpoint.  Even the Grandma, the unfortunate first casualty of the traditional Little Red Riding Hood story, now has a shotgun she makes use of to hold the wolf at bay.

"Gun Wall" by Michael Saechang is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 (via flickr)

The issue of gun violence is pervasive in American society. Mass shootings are reported regularly; our phones buzz with news notifications of mass shootings so regularly that it’s not surprising to most people anymore. Gun violence claims 30,000 lives per year – enough that if it were a disease, it would be considered a huge threat to public health. Yet the Central for Disease Control no longer researches gun violence as they do other public health issues, and hasn’t for nearly two decades.