This astronaut got a once-in-a-lifetime view of the planet. Here's what he learned.

"So there I am one day, a few years back, doing a spacewalk outside the space station."

This is how Piers Sellers, an astronaut, begins his story.

The space station was flying across the Atlantic Ocean, headed toward Europe as the sun was setting.

And Sellers was "hanging out underneath the vehicle itself, this 500-ton space station gleaming in the sunlight, the shuttle docked on the end of it."


Photo by NASA/Newsmakers.

Sellers is describing an experience that only a couple hundred people have had. Ever.

Not many people have been 200 miles above the planet, looking down with nothing between them and the massive blue ball except for empty space and the glass of their helmets.

Floating gently over the European night sky, the sun dwindling behind the horizon, Sellers watched as the cities below him came to life.

Sellers was struck by his once-in-a-lifetime view of the world and the people in it.

After all, there he was on a space station, tethered to $100 billion of the most advanced technology humanity is capable of, watching millions of people going about their lives at once.

He's right — there's an undeniable romance to the fact that, in the relatively short time humans have existed on Earth, we've gone from looking at cave paintings to orbiting our planet on a space station.

And it was all of that art, science, engineering, and creativity that got us — that got him and his fellow astronauts — there.

But, Sellers points out, sometimes with all that creativity, art, science, and engineering, humans can get themselves into trouble.

It doesn't take a trip to space to care about the health of our planet. Just this week we've learned that sections of the Middle East may soon be uninhabitable, we've seen massive coral damage off the coast of Miami, and Louisiana had its first group of climate change refugees.

So, yes, it's easy to get caught up in the despair and pessimism often associated with climate change issues.

Floating in orbit outside the space station, feeling protective of this great blue and green ball we all call home, Sellers was filled with hope.

"The human creativity that got us into this [climate change] mess, I'm pretty sure could get us out," he says.

"I've always had faith in humanity," Sellers concludes. "But to see humanity living and breathing down there ... somehow made me feel better."

Heroes
Alie Ward

Your dinner plate shouldn't shame you for eating off of it. But that's exactly what a set being sold at Macy's did.

The retailer has since removed the dinnerware from their concept shop, Story, after facing social media backlash for the "toxic message" they were sending.

The plates, made by Pourtions, have circles on them to indicate what a proper portion should look like, along with "helpful — and hilarious — visual cues" to keep people from "overindulging."

There are serval different styles, with one version labeling the largest portion as "mom jeans," the medium portion as "favorite jeans," and the smallest portion as "skinny jeans."

Keep Reading Show less
Well Being

In today's installment of the perils of being a woman, a 21-year-old woman shared her experience being "slut-shamed" by her nurse practitioner during a visit to urgent care for an STD check.

The woman recently had sex with someone she had only just met, and it was her first time hooking up with someone she had not "developed deep connections with."

Keep Reading Show less
Well Being
Youtube

Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Keep Reading Show less
Most Shared