Here are five stories we’ve been reading and watching today (now that we’re finally back from vacation):

1) NPR Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon has been tweeting his experiences and observations while caring for his mother, Patricia Lyons Simon Newman Gilban, while she is in intensive care. His twitter stream is followed by roughly 1.2 million people, and provides the public with a window into Simon’s intimate thoughts as he both cares and grieves for his mother.

Fellow public radio host Peter Sagal of “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me” encouraged his followers to “pay attention” in a tweet Saturday:

While this isn’t the first chronicling of grief on social media, Simon’s tweets have attracted the attention of NBC’s “Today”, the Los Angeles Times and the Guardian. Perfect strangers are sending Simon and his mother their good wishes. Simon tweeted his mother’s response Saturday:

Here is Simon with his mother in 2008 discussing the story of a new dog his parents had acquired before he was born. The interview was conducted as part of the kick-off for the National Day of Listening project:

“I think the thing I have learned from you,” she says during their conversation, “number one, you’re a beautiful companion. You’ve always been a lot of fun. … It’s been a beautiful journey knowing you.”

2) In case you missed it, here’s the CBS interview with Bill Gates, during which he runs through the highlights of the Gates Foundation and his admiration for Leonardo DaVinci:

3) NASA turns 55 today! (The Switch)

4) Have you ever wondered what would happen if Superman punched you in the face? ASAP Science has an explanation. The big takeaways: You literally wouldn’t see it coming, and it would result in an explosion unlike anything ever seen on planet Earth. Needless to say, the analysis makes a number of (fun) assumptions:

(via Big Think)

5) And here is an absolutely gorgeous tour of Saturn’s rings via photographs taken by NASA’s Cassini orbiter. The video was created by Fabio di Donato, and dedicated to the memory of astrophysicist and science writer Margherita Hack who died June 29 at the age of 91.