Scientists confirmed rumors that one of the most anticipated cosmic events to date, gravitational waves from the collision of two neutron stars, or a 'kilanova', was observed back on August 17th. Neutron stars are hard to comprehend - they are incredibly dense, weighing about half-a-million Earths packed into a ball about the size of London, or 12 miles across. When two neutron stars approach each other, they accelerate rapidly, rippling spacetime and causing a burst of gravitational waves (whose 2015 detection won this year's Nobel Prize in Physics). It is the first time these hard-to-detect waves can be matched to visual data, unlocking a wealth of new understanding on how the early universe worked. This collision took place in the Hydra constellation, and actually happened 130 million years ago - with the signal only reaching Earth last month. The event is revolutionary for the field - nearly 3,500 scientists, or one-third of all professional astronomers in the world, were listed as coauthors on the paper, released yesterday. 

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held by an extremist group for five years after walking away from his unit's outpost in east Afghanistan in 2009, pleaded guilty to charges of desertion and endangering American troops. The latter charge refers to the massive manhunt that ensued - Bergdahl was captured by local militants within hours of leaving his base, ultimately being delivered to the Taliban and al Qaeda-aligned Haqqani network. Bergdahl said he intended to cause a so-called DUSTWUN - a military term meaning 'duty status—whereabouts unknown' - to draw attention to what he perceived as leadership issues. He was held in various locations in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region until 2014, when he was exchanged in a prisoner swap for five Guantanamo detainees. For a fascinating in-depth look, check out Season Two of Serial, which includes interviews with Bergdahl himself. He faces up to five years for the charges of desertion and life in prison for endangering fellow troops. 

The NBA regular season tips off today following an active off-season that saw a number of high-profile players switch teams. A number of teams upgraded, most notably the Boston Celtics, who snagged both Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving - and begin the season against Irving's former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers (8pm, TNT). Other big changes include Carmelo Anthony and Paul George joining Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City (start Thursday against the Knicks), and Chris Paul moving to the Houston Rockets to join James Harden. Despite the changes, the reigning champion Golden State Warriors - who tip-off tonight against the Rockets - remain almost entirely intact, and enter the season as the odds-on favorites to win the title (odds for 32 teams here). 

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Sports, Entertainment & Culture.

> Kehinde Wiley tapped to paint Barack Obama's official portrait (More) | Who is Kehinde Wiley? (More)
> #MeToo: Social media movement asks users to share stories of sexual harassment or assault, hits 500k tweets (More)
> Rick Pitino officially fired as Louisville basketball coach amid bribery scandal (More)

Science & Technology.

> Facebook buys anonymous teen messaging app, 'tbh', has 2.5M daily active users (More)
> Apple loses $440M patent suit over secure communications protocol (More)
> TX to retire 4GW of coal, wind on track to overtake coal in state (More)

Business & Markets.

> Netflix adds 5.3M subscribers, blowing away Wall Street expectations; stock jumps 2% in after hours (More)
> Colony Capital - $20B private equity fund founded by Trump friend & inauguration chair Thomas Barrack - invests in The Weinstein Company, exploring purchase (More)
> Sears' second largest investor exits stake in business, steps down from Board; shares dive 15% (More)

Politics & World Affairs.

> Study says handgun waiting period linked to 7% homicide, 11% suicide drops (More)
> Trump, McConnell set aside differences in Rose Garden appearance to talk tax cuts (More)
> Ex-VP Joe Biden presents Sen. John McCain with Liberty Medal in honor of leadership (More)

The Rise and Fall and Rise Again of 23andMe. 

Nature | Erika Check Hayden. Direct-to-consumer personal genomics - led by companies like 23andMe - provide low-cost DNA analysis kits for customers to learn about family history. While business is booming, the real value is in the massive stockpile of consumer genetic data these companies have access to. Quickly becoming the world's biggest genetic test, this data could one day be the basis for gene-driven drug design. 

Read This and You May Never Eat Chicken Again. 

The Guardian | Maryn McKenna. Like global climate change, antibiotic resistance is one of those looming problems that make people feel defeated. But did you know that over 80% of America’s antibiotics are used on animals that will eventually be food? With a global crisis potentially emerging in the shadows, discover why it may be imperative that we change the way we eat.
Conspiracy Christmas: Thousands of documents related to the JFK assassination will be made public in a single day - sometime between now and Oct. 26th

Data: The 2017 Teen Report surveying the market shifts of 155k teens.

Photos: Amazing shots of visitors to haunted houses caught at peak fright.  

The new Black Panther trailer hit the streets, looks pretty good

Politics 101: Russian trolls watched House of Cards to learn about US politics.

Hot Dog: This year's top Halloween costumes for your pets.

Support for stricter gun laws edging up in US. 

Check out Europe's highest paid celebs

All the plastic ever produced, visualized.

Unsplash Awards 2017: The open photography movement.   

Hollywood has discovered the Indian gooseberry and celebs can’t get enough. 

Historybook: HBD Arthur Miller (1915); Albert Einstein flees Nazi Germany for US (1933); HBD Evel Knievel (1938); US Olympians stripped of medals following raised-fists salute (1968); HBD Wyclef Jean (1969); HBD Eminem (1972); Department of Education created (1979); Mother Teresa awarded Nobel Peace Prize (1979); Earthquake kills 63 in California (1989); RIP Ralph Abernathy (1990).
-Mother Teresa
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