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Heroes

On his 4th trip to space, he'll be doing something no American has ever done before.

Astronaut Scott Kelly gives us a tour of his rocket. He also shows us how to use a fancy stick to push the buttons.

On March 27, 2015, Scott Kelly will be leaving Earth for space.

He'll be doing something no American has ever done before: living in space for almost a full year.


He'll be joined by Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko.

They're going to be running experiments that will help NASA—and, therefore, humankind—figure out how we might make it to Mars.


The rocket taking them to the space station isn't too roomy.

I can just see the Craigslist post now: "Cozy one-bedroom, all new appliances, great for sharing. One-year lease required."

The rocket is actually called a Soyuz capsule.

And, it's not all fun and astronaut ice cream in the Soyuz capsule.


For example, because the buttons are so far out of reach during blastoff, a lot of astronauts use a high-tech device to push them.

That high tech device is called a stick. Not even a space stick. Just a stick.

Unbelievable, but true. Unless Scott is playing one last Earth prank on us?

And in that tiny spacecraft, with their "fancy" stick, they fly in circles, not straight lines, to get to the space station.

Maybe, like me, you once imagined that the rocket zooms straight up off the ground and just goes direct as an arrow to the space station?

Nope. It's actually a lot more like looking for parking downtown in a busy city: You circle and circle, making wider and wider loops.

Astronauts literally make a U-turn in the middle of space, then slam on the brakes, and try to glide gently into contact with the space station.

It's called "orbital mechanics," baby.

Then, they have to park their spaceship on another moving spaceship.

At 17,000 miles an hour. No big deal.

¯\\_(ツ)_/¯

They're doing this so that one day we'll get to live on Mars.

"You know NASA's ultimate goal is one day to put people on Mars, so there's a lot we still need to learn about that. Some of it has to do with, you know, how the space environment affects the human body over long periods of time, particularly with regards to bone loss, muscle loss, effects of radiation on our genetics, our vision. We have problems with vision with crew members during long duration space flight. Our immune system, vestibular system. So that's kind of the human part of it, and there's also the hardware part of it, you know, traveling that far away from Earth represents a challenge with regards to how we design our life support systems, how we produce oxygen, produce water, and you know, those kinds of things." — Scott Kelly

That's what makes a year in space worth missing 365 hot showers, 52 pancake breakfasts, and probably the next season of "House of Cards."

Scott's been making longer and longer voyages in space, to practice and research what spending extended time in space is like. (Mars is real far away!)


On prior missions, he's already spent almost 200 days in space. But every day he spends up there, learning and collecting data, is one day closer to the day we land on Mars.

Scott recently gave a tour of his model rocket to a YouTuber named Destin and showed him about all the incredibly challenging things astronauts do while terrifyingly hurtling through space. You can see the whole shebang in the video below. (They also talk about underwear.)

Here's wishing Scott and his team a safe, scientifically-fruitful, and wondrous year in space!

The Prince Charles Cinema/Youtube

Brendan Fraser dressed as Rick O'Connell.

Brendan Fraser might be making the greatest career comeback ever, racking up accolades and award nominations for his dramatic, transformative role in “The Whale." But the OG Fraser fans (the ones who watch “Doom Patrol” solely to hear his voice and proudly pronounce his last name as Fray-zure, for this is the proper pronunciation) have known of his remarkable talent since the 90s, when he embodied the ultimate charming, dashing—and slightly goofball—Hollywood action lead.

Let us not forget his arguably most well known and beloved 90s character—Rick O’Connell from the “Mummy” franchise. Between his quippy one-liners, Indiana Jones-like adventuring skills and fabulous hair, what’s not to like?

During a double feature of “The Mummy” and “The Mummy Returns” in London, moviegoers got the ultimate surprise when who should walk in but Brendan Fraser himself, completely decked out in Rick O’Connell attire. The brown leather jacket. The scarf. Everything.

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Joy

A woman treats her miniature pig like a toddler and it even 'talks' with electronic buttons

Merlin will tap buttons that say “eat,” “outside” and “ice cream.”

Photo by Ben Mater on Unsplash

A woman treats her pig like a toddler and the internet can't get enough.

Pigs are cute. Well, piglets are cute, but they usually don't stay those tiny little snorting things very long. That is unless you get a mini pig and name it something majestic like Merlin. (I would've gone with Hamlet McBacon, but no one asked me.)

Mina Alali, a TikTok user from California, has been going viral on the internet for her relationship with Merlin, her miniature pig. Of course, there are plenty of folks out there with pigs—mini pigs, medium pigs, pigs that weigh hundreds of pounds and live in a barn with a spider named Charlotte. But not everyone carries their pig around on adventures like it's their child.

Alali's videos of her sweet interactions with her little pig have gotten a lot of people wanting their own piggy, but training Merlin wasn't always easy. According to Yahoo Finance, the 25-year-old told SWNS that she has wanted a pig her whole life and finding Merlin was a "dream come true," but she wasn't expecting how challenging it would be to train him. If you've never been around pigs, then you may not know that they squeal—a lot—and unless you're living on an actual farm, that could be a problem.

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Women are looking for love at Home Depot.

Even though people have endless options to find love these days, whether in real life or online, finding the perfect person still isn’t easy. In fact, according to Pew Research, 55% of women believe dating is harder today than it was 10 years ago. So it’s understandable that some are considering ditching the apps to meet people in real life.

Studies show that for people looking for a serious relationship, real life may be the better option.

According to Newsweek, a study by Illinois State University sociology professor Susan Sprecher found that young people who first met face to face were 25% more likely to report feelings of closeness than those who initially met online. Aditi Paul, a communications professor at Pace University in New York, found that people who first met in real life lasted four times longer than those who met online.

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Democracy

More than seven thousand people shared their best ideas to stop mass shootings. Here are the best.

Everyone agrees mass shootings need to end. But what can really be done?

A makeshift memorial after the 2019 El Paso mass shooting.

As of January 24, 2023, at least 69 people have been killed in 39 mass shootings across the United States . The deadliest shooting happened on January 21 in Monterey Park, California, when a 72-year-old man shot 20 people, killing 11. On January 23, a 66-year-old man killed 7 people and injured another in a shooting in Half Moon Bay, California.

It’s hard to see these stories in the news every few weeks—or days—and not get desensitized, especially when lawmakers have made it clear that they will not do anything substantive to curb the availability of assault weapons in the U.S.

After the assault weapons ban, which had been in effect for 10 years, lapsed in 2004, the number of mass shootings tripled.

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Pop Culture

People rally behind a 12-year-old actress who was 'humiliated' with a 'Razzie' nomination

The parody awards show has now enforced an age limit rule to its nominations.

Ryan Kiera Armstrong in the 2022 film 'Firestarter'

Since the early 80s, the Golden Raspberry Awards, aka the "Razzies," has offered a lighthearted alternative to the Oscars, which, though prestigious, can sometimes dip into the pretentious. During the parody ceremony, trophies are awarded to the year’s worst films and performances as a way to "own your bad," so the motto goes.

However, this year people found the Razzies a little more than harmless fun when 12-year-old actress Ryan Kiera Armstrong was nominated for "Worst Actress" for her performance in the 2022 film "Firestarter." She was 11 when the movie was filmed.

Sadly, this is not the first time a child has received a Razzie nom. Armstrong joins the ranks of Jake Lloyd, who played young Anakin Skywalker in "Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace," as well as Macaulay Culkin, who was nominated three times.

Armstrong's nomination resulted in a flood of comments from both industry professionals and fans who felt the action was cruel and wanted to show their support for the young actress.

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Surrendered mama dog reunited with puppies after she refused to leave the corner.

People surrender animals to Humane Societies for all kinds of reasons, but many do it because they don't feel like they can properly care for their animals anymore. It could be that they have to move to a home that doesn't allow pets or they lost a job, making caring for an animal difficult.

Two small dogs were surrendered to Marin Humane Society in Novato, California and the female had recently given birth to puppies. It's not clear if the previous owners felt like they couldn't care for both the older dogs and the puppies so they just kept the puppies, or if something else prompted the drop-off.

Either way, this mama dog was in distress after being left at the shelter without her babies. She refused to leave the corner of the large kennel and just looked so sad. The employees felt for the sweet mama dog and decided to do some detective work to see if they could figure out where the puppies were located.

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