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12 absolutely stunning photos of Earth taken from space.

I'm just gonna go ahead and say that the ISS might just be the greatest photography vantage point ever.

12 absolutely stunning photos of Earth taken from space.

Astronaut Tim Peake just posted an incredible time-lapse video of what a lightning storm over Earth looks like from space.

GIF via Tim Peake/Facebook.


Captured by the International Space Station (ISS) as it passed over Turkey on its way to Russia, the video offers a breathtaking portrait of what it looks like to live in space — in fact, it makes "Interstellar" look like a middle-school science project gone awry.

"Amazing how much lightning can strike our planet in a short time," Peake wrote on Facebook.

Peake's video is just the latest in an extraordinary series of images the ISS has given us over the years. In fact, there are many more pictures of our Earth from space, too. Check 'em out:

1. London at night.

All photos via NASA.

Speaking of Peake, the British astronaut first headed to space in December 2015 and has been regularly posting brilliant images and videos to his Instagram ever since. A former British Army Air Corps officer and the first British European Space Agency astronaut, Peake uploaded this photo of his native London at night on Jan. 31, 2016. Kind of the defeats the notion that England is all gray clouds and fog, doesn't it?

2. The aurora borealis.

Believe it or not, some astronauts are actually trained in photography as part of their preparation for traveling into outer space. Among them is current ISS Commander Scott Kelly, who took this photo with Peake on Jan. 20, 2016.

"Getting a photo masterclass from @StationCDRKelly – magical," Peake wrote on Twitter.

Sign me up.

3. Earth art from Australia.

Not to be outdone, Commander Kelly posted this photo during a flyover of Australia back in October 2015 as part of a 17 photo series. G'day, indeed.

4. Fan art from Australia.

Of course, you don't have to be a professional photographer — or even an astronaut, apparently — to take some stunning space photos. This image of the northwest corner of Australia "was snapped by a student on Earth after remotely controlling the Sally Ride EarthKAM aboard the International Space Station," according to NASA.

5. Fingerprints of water on the sand.

Photographs taken from the ISS serve a much greater purpose beyond simply being gorgeous to look at. In rain-deprived areas like Oman, where this photo was snapped by NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, there are thousands of people who lack access to clean water on a daily basis. By teaming with local aid organizations, NASA is able to discover previously untapped water sources and provide these at-risk areas with water purification technology used onboard the ISS.

6. The eye of the storm.

Another benefit of space photography: incredibly precise storm-tracking. Kelly took this photo of Hurricane Danny as the ISS orbited over the central Atlantic Ocean. So again, there's more than just a bunch of pretty views going on here, people...

7. Those views, though.

...which is not to say that ISS astronauts aren't able to capture some remarkable images, like this shot of British Columbia's Coast Mountains taken by Tim Peake on Jan. 5, 2016.

8. The ultimate skybox.

Kelly snapped This photo of Levi's Stadium on the evening of Super Bowl 50. Think of it as the ultimate skybox, if you will. I can only imagine how Eli Manning would've reacted to this.

9. Starry night.

Here's a photo of England, the Baltic Sea, and the Persian Gulf captured by Samantha Cristoforetti. I'd guess this one would have given Vincent Van Gogh a heart attack (ack-ack-ack).

10. Sunrise.

Can't ... look ... away ... too ... awesome...

11. America, the beautiful.

I don't know if it's even possible, but I want this picture on my gravestone. SOMEONE FIGURE OUT THE LOGISTICS FOR ME.

12. EPIC space selfies.

The commander himself, Scott Kelly.

Your move, Ellen DeGeneres.

Aside from doing some of the world's most prestigious whisky-aging, the ISS might just be the greatest photography vantage point ever as well.

Peake's video has already been viewed almost 1 million times on Facebook since being posted on Tuesday, and thousands of eager parents have flooded their social media pages to thank both Peake and Kelly for inspiring their children, too.

This is just another reason to reach for the stars, kids. Because one day, you might actually get to touch them.

Check out the full video here:

Researchers at Harvard University have studied the connection between spanking and kids' brain development for the first time, and their findings echo what studies have indicated for years: Spanking isn't good for children.

Comments on this article will no doubt be filled with people who a) say they were spanked and "turned out fine" or b) say that the reason kids are [fill in the blank with some societal ill] these days are because they aren't spanked. However, a growing body of research points to spanking creating more problems than it solves.

"We know that children whose families use corporal punishment are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and other mental health problems, but many people don't think about spanking as a form of violence," said Katie A. McLaughlin, director of the Stress & Development Lab in the Department of Psychology, and the senior researcher on the study which was published Friday in the journal Child Development. "In this study, we wanted to examine whether there was an impact of spanking at a neurobiological level, in terms of how the brain is developing."

You can read the entire study here, but the gist is that kids' brain activity was measured using an MRI machine as they reacted to photos of actors displaying "fearful" and "neutral" faces. What researchers found was that kids who had been spanked had similar brain neural responses to fearful faces as kids who had been abused.

"There were no regions of the brain where activation to fearful relative to neutral faces differed between children who were abused and children who were spanked," the authors wrote in a statement.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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