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Out of the Blue

Okay, as recently promised, we have launched a pilot support campaign for Blue's News after many of you raised the topic when we were once again dropped by Amazon's affiliate program. This page has all the details on what this is all about, much of which is covered by the rest of this post as well. It explains our mission for this: "Your support will allow us to remain completely independent from the influence of game companies, media conglomerates, advertisers, and sponsored content."

Funds are being collected through PayPal and Patreon, and they work the same way, though if it affects your choice, it looks like PayPal takes less of a cut. You can sign up as a recurring supporter for USD$3, USD$5, or USD$8/month. This will entitle you to a forum badge designating you a bronze, silver, or gold supporter, respectively. You will also have the option of hiding your level of support or hiding your support altogether. Our informal poll revealed a general sentiment that readers are looking for a way to support the site on an ongoing basis without other tiered rewards, so that's how this is being handled for now. Also, while many of you use ad blockers already (one of the reasons this is necessary), we will add optional ad-blocking for contributors as quickly as possible. Those of you willing to sign on before that feature goes live will receive an extra designation as "founding" supporters. Update: Please be aware that forum badge assignment is a manual process. I handle these as quickly as possible, but under some circumstances there may be a delay.

You can also make one-time contributions through a separate PayPal link. You can also use Patreon to do this by pledging however much you want and cancelling your support after that goes through. Here's a note about that: Patreon requires a permanent decision up front of whether or not patrons get charged right away upon pledging. But recurring charges always come on the first of the month. So even though there are only a few days left until March, since this option cannot be changed, we have chosen to allow them to collect this upfront payment to allow for one-time pledges going forward. But everyone will still get a full 30 days membership for each monthly pledge regardless of their start date. So pledging today and getting charged on March 1st covers you until April 24th. Those who make one-time payments will still get a supporter badge for the length of time appropriate to the amount they pledge.

Feel free to ask questions or leave comments about this in the forums or by email, and sincere thanks to all of you who have expressed a desire to directly support the site in this manner.

Obituary: Katherine G. Johnson, the Groundbreaking NASA Mathematician Featured in Hidden Figures, Has Died at 101.

Supported Links: Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.
Link: Fans grossed out by sex scene on 'The Walking Dead.' Thanks Yiddish.
Science: Physics undergrads crunched numbers for Star Trek’s tribble problem.
Here's NASA's new idea to get its stubborn Martian drill to work. Thanks Acleacius.
Nuclear weapons tech could allow scientists to 'hear' tornadoes. Thanks Yiddish.
Media: Avalanche in Colorado partially buries snowmobiler in 'terrifying' video. Thanks Acleacius.
Mesmerizing Kinetic Sculptures.
Aquatilis-Under The Ice.
Follow-up: "Watchmen" Reclassified As Limited Series. May mean more is coming.