NASA supervillain, nuclear history and a lost phone: Your weekend reading list

Detail of the Veil Nebula
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has unveiled in stunning detail a small section of the Veil Nebula - expanding remains of a massive star that exploded about 8,000 years ago.
NASA | ESA | Hubble Heritage Team

While NASA's Hubble Space Telescope keeps unveiling spectacular views of our universe, this weekend hear from a NASA scientist mistaken for a supervillain, follow the path of a cellphone into unfamiliar territory (that isn't so unfamiliar), explore a history of U.S. nuclear weapon testing and meet a gaming grandmother.

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What Are Those Kids Doing With That Enormous Gun?

A lost phone provides a keyhole view across the world, to a family not so dissimilar from the phone's original owners. via The Atlantic

Sputnik Planum
High-resolution images of Pluto taken by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft just before closest approach on July 14, 2015, reveal features as small as 270 yards (250 meters) across, from craters to faulted mountain blocks, to the textured surface of the vast basin informally called Sputnik Planum. Enhanced color has been added from the global color image. This image is about 330 miles across.

This Man Was Accused of Trying to Pull Earth Out of Its Orbit

A theoretical exercise, taken as a supervillain's plan, takes on a life of its own, to the chagrin of NASA scientist Gregory Laughlin. via Nautilus

Rich colors of Pluto

The New Horizons probe is well into its phone-home phase, each day streaming new data that peels back darkness and distance shrouded layers surrounding Pluto. via NASA

Building the Atom Bomb: The Full story of the Nevada Test Site

Explore this interactive history of the nuclear weapon testing program of the U.S. government, and how a vast expanse of land northwest of Las Vegas was chosen. via The Guardian

How to Dismantle a Nuclear Submarine

What happens to a deep-water warrior when its nuclear remnants outlast the mission? via the BBC

Watch this

• The New York Pizza Rat

While a pizza-conquering rat has captivated the Internet with rapt recoil, New York has been engaged in a perpetual struggle with the entrenched invasive species. via Motherboard

• Let's Play: Grandma Edition

Gaming is ubiquitous, across the young and old. Watch the wonderful convergence of a 79-year-old grandmother, a gaming computer, Bethesda Softworks' Skyrim game and a desire for connection. [Note: As a longtime fan of Bethesda's games, I find this simply heartwarming.] via reddit

Bonus rodent!

Absurd Creatures: This Tiny Adorable Critter Is Half Kangaroo, Half Velociraptor

Meet the jerboa. via Wired

Twenty-five years after rocketing into the sky, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope is still unveiling spectacular views of our universe, this week revealing a new view of the Veil Nebula, a supernova remnant more than 2,100 light years away.