What We’re Following
Hurricane Harvey: The Category 3 storm is expected to make landfall twice—first at Corpus Christi, Texas, and again near Houston—and to dump up to 35 inches of rain on the area, leading to heavy flooding and possible outages of power and drinking water. Harvey’s effects could be devastating: On land, the path of the storm is heavily populated, and at sea it passes close to offshore drilling platforms that are key to oil and gas operations in the U.S. Residents of the areas that will be hardest hit have been advised to evacuate, but some—often gambling on their memories of past storms—are choosing to ride it out.
Party Lines: In the wake of President Trump’s response to the violence in Charlottesville that many saw as implicitly condoning hate groups, the Republican National Committee unanimously approved a resolution condemning white supremacy, stating such attitudes are “completely inconsistent with the Republican Party’s platform.” Meanwhile, Democrats have sought to capture populist momentum with proposals like free college tuition—but as Conor Friedersdorf writes, these plans might be more attractive if they promised paths to success outside of academia.
Out of This World: This week marks 40 years since the twin spacecrafts Voyager 1 and 2 were launched on their mission to explore the solar system. Today, a scientist who worked on the mission remembers the project and its findings as “the most magnificent adventure ever conducted.” And the Golden Record, a compendium of Earth-defining sounds that was launched into space with both Voyagers as a message to alien civilizations, has been transferred to vinyl for the first time—including the mysterious sound of one human’s laughter.