Eliot Spitzer & WR 104: Lessons In The Life & Death Of Stars

They say it’s written in the stars…and today’s news seems to have been all about the rise and fall of stars…those that occupy a distant point in space that we can barely fathom…and one that occupies a pivotal political office in the state of New York.

Whether it’s a quirky cosmic alignment or a karmic calamity, the death of a star can be menacing…or it can simply be messy. Either way, it is bound to draw some attention. The time it takes a star to explode or implode varies. In the case of the cosmos, it’s apt to be millions of year; in the case of Governor Spitzer, it appears to be a matter of days.

Let’s have a look at the trajectory of both.

From USA Today:

A beautiful pinwheel in space might one day blast Earth with death rays, scientists now report.

The pinwheel, named WR 104, was discovered eight years ago in the constellation Sagittarius. It rotates in a circle “every eight months, keeping precise time like a jewel in a cosmic clock,” Tuthill said.

Both the massive stars in WR 104 will one day explode as supernovae. However, one of the pair is a highly unstable star known as a Wolf-Rayet, the last known stable phase in the life of these massive stars right before a supernova.

“Wolf-Rayet stars are regarded by astronomers as ticking bombs,” Tuthill explained. The ‘fuse’ for this star “is now very short — to an astronomer — and it may explode any time within the next few hundred thousand years.”

When the Wolf-Rayet goes supernova, “it could emit an intense beam of gamma rays coming our way,” Tuthill said. “If such a ‘gamma ray burst’ happens, we really do not want Earth to be in the way.”

Unfortunately for us, gamma ray bursts seem to be shot right along the axis of systems. In essence, if this pinwheel ever releases a gamma ray burst, our planet might be in the firing line.

From The New York Times:

It was after 9 p.m. the night before Valentine’s Day when she arrived, a young brunette named Kristen. She was 5-foot-5, 105 pounds. Pretty and petite.

This was at the Mayflower, one of Washington’s finer hotels. Her client for the evening had booked Room 871. He was a return customer. The hundreds of dollars he had promised to pay would cover all expenses: the room, the minibar, room service should they order it, the train ticket that had brought her from New York and, naturally, Kristen’s time.

A 47-page federal affidavit from an F.B.I. agent investigating a prostitution ring lists the man at the hotel as “Client 9,” and includes considerable details about him, the prostitutes and his methods of paying for them. A law enforcement official and another person briefed on the prostitution case have identified Client 9 as Eliot Spitzer, the governor of New York.

So as this day comes to an end, one star has been fully exposed and is almost certain to crash. The other star lurks beyond our view…but it too will one day crash. The former is a spectacle we watch with unflinching amusement; the latter is a hypothetical we’ve barely begun to consider. The former will end the political life of one politician; the latter may bring an end to us all.

Regardless, the world goes round and round. How’s that for an illuminating astrological forecast?

Eliot Spitzer: Hittin’ The Sheets Of New York:


Cross-posted at Thought Theater

7 Responses to “Eliot Spitzer & WR 104: Lessons In The Life & Death Of Stars”

  1. Christopher Radulich Says:

    Certianly is ironic since he was a DA. Maybe someday we will grow up and stop considering sex dirty and immoral( though cheating on your wife should still be considered immoral). The we can just regulate the industry instead of making the people criminals.

  2. Lisa Says:

    He deserves it becase he spent his career going after people and putting them in jail even for prostution.
    We need to get the democrat out of our minds because remember how everyone was ready to lock up a guy for tapping his foot in a men’s room.
    I don’t recall any comments defending Vitter .
    So because Spitzer, Mcgreevey,and Barney Frank are dems we should get over it and be more accepting.(more of a reply to Chris) Don’t get all defensive of me Daniel. :)

  3. Christopher Radulich Says:

    I don’t defend him. He certainly is as hypocritical as the other people like Vitter. I wish that the feds went after the johns as well as the prostitutes. Perhaps it would help get the laws changed if the men were also prosecuted.

  4. Lisa Says:

    You didn’t actually defend him but I believe you are being more kind because of the “D” yes?

    I agree though,they should legalize it and regulate it. And of course tax it,lol!

  5. Christopher Radulich Says:

    your are right. Part of it is that he was a democrat, part of it is because he has not been crusading against prostitution. His reputation was not made by bagging prositutes.But the bottom line is that if you are running as a law and order candidate who has also prosecuted people for these crimes you can’t do those things with looking hypocritcal.

    I will tell you that had he made his rep by rallying against the wages of sin, it would have made no difference to me that he was a democrat. I would still feel glad that one more jerk got hoisted on his own petard.

  6. Lisa Says:

    Well he’s a politician just goes to show no party is immune to unlawful behavior because in a postion of power no matter who you are there is a feeling of entitlement.

  7. Christopher Radulich Says:

    Turns out he was a bigger hypocrit than I thought.
    Foes of Sex Trade Are Stung by the Fall of an Ally

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