Storyboard for Paul Ryan’s new Old Spice commercial.
Okay, this is just fascinating.
What does space smell like?
It’s strange to think that the near-vacuum of space could have a smell, and stranger still that humans—atmospheric creatures—can actually experience it. Astronauts have consistently reported the same strange odour after lengthy space walks, bringing it back in on their suits, helmets, gloves and tools. It’s bitter, smoky, metallic smell—like seared steak, hot metal and arc welding smoke all rolled into one. NASA have asked a chemist, Steve Pearce, to reproduce the smell to use during acclimatization training, mapping out the likely chemistry using natural materials to mimic the odor for accuracy. It’s believed that the smell is caused by high-energy vibrations in particles that mix with the air when brought inside. In the future, we might even recreate the smell of the moon, Mars, Mercury or any place in the universe, provided we have the right chemical information. In fact, we can even recreate the smell of the heart of the galaxy—astronomers searching for animo acids in Sagittarius B2, a vast dust cloud in the middle of the Milky Way, have reported that due to a substance called ethyl formate, it smells and tastes of raspberries and rum—much more pleasant than seared steak and metal.
Barack Obama, in a letter to a long distance girlfriend when he was in New York:
Moments trip gently along over here. Snow caps the bushes in unexpected ways, birds shoot and spin like balls of sound. My feet hum over the dry walks. A storm smoothes the sky, impounding the city lights, returning to us a dull yellow glow. I run every other day at the small indoor track [at Columbia] which slants slightly upward like a plate; I stretch long and slow, twist and shake, the fatigue, the inertia finding home in different parts of the body. I check the time and growl—aargh!—and tumble onto the wheel. And bodies crowd and give off heat, some people are in front and you can hear the patter or plod of the steps behind. You look down to watch your feet, neat unified steps, and you throw back your arms and run after people, and run from them and with them, and sometimes someone will shadow your pace, step for step, and you can hear the person puffing, a different puff than yours, and on a good day they’ll come up alongside and thank you for a good run, for keeping a good pace, and you nod and keep going on your way, but you’re pretty pleased, and your stride gets lighter, the slumber slipping off behind you, into the wake of the past.
If you follow me (why?) but not this, then I ask a thousand times over: why?
Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) dons a hoodie on the House floor, recites Bible verses, and is removed from the rostrum for violating clause 5 of House rule 17, which prohibits the wearing of hats during a session. More here.
I want this to happen! I also want the crosswords in the City Paper to be easier! (No I don’t. I’m a masochist.)
1. What do you propose to do? [20 words]
Buy Washington City Paper and transform it into a non-profit membership organization.
2. Is anyone doing something like this now and how is your project different? [30 words]
While many people are exploring non-profit models for journalism, this is a…
My inner science geek is laughing like a maniac right now
FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING, WHY ISN’T THIS TAGGED SCIENCE?!