Four NASA astronauts from the final space shuttle mission tonight presented host Stephen Colbert with a pretty fucking cool artifact — a “frangible nut.” As Commander Chris Ferguson explained,
The space shuttle is actually held to the launch pad with eight very large nuts. …At the moment that the solid rocket boosters — the big white ones — fire, there’s charges in either side of that nut that will split that nut in half and actually release the space shuttle from the state of Florida (!!!) so that it may ascend in(to) orbit.
Stephen then snarked, “As if launching a rocket were not phallic enough, you literally bust a nut when you go into space.”
Learn something new every day! Also, may your nuts never be frangible.
"We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Sahara. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here."
Rainbow Eucalyptus, is the only species of eucalyptus that grows in the northern hemisphere and is normally grown for its pulpwood, used to create white paper. But why does it look like it’s been painted? The secret behind the Rainbow Eucalyptus is that the trees shed multiple patches of bark every year, but not at the same time. As the patches are gone, the green inner bark is exposed, and as it matures it turns bluish, then orange, purple and maroon. This creates the rainbow effect.
Emotionally}Vague is a research project about the body and emotion asking: how do people feel anger, joy, fear, sadness and love? In order to answer this, a simple survey was developed, the results of which were compared and combined to reveal patterns of feeling. This site shows some of these outcomes.