Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
Oct. 25, 1999
Virginia, do you want your children to be “virgins” forever? Is that why you’re screwing the Bill of Rights? To “protect” them?
Cyberspace doesn’t care how old the finger on the mouse is, but presumably Old Dominion does. So on April 7, the General Assembly of this Southern state passed a porn-paranoid law to criminalize any “knowing” display on the Internet of commercial material deemed “harmful to juveniles.” The new state law targets Virginia-based Internet sites. They could be taken to court or banned for all kinds of illicit content. The murkily defined but explicitly sex-censorious measure took effect July 1.
Although three other states (New Mexico, Michigan and New York) passed smut-scared regulations that criminalized Internet content, the federal courts found the laws unconstitutional. Now Virginia’s effort to establish itself as a Christian fundamentalist “family values” oasis is also being contested. On Oct. 6, 16 plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Alexandria against the new measure, claiming it violates the First Amendment and the commerce clause of the Constitution.
Since then the coalition of free-speech advocates, sexperts, media companies, authors, nonprofit groups and bookstores has rallied together to fight the anti-cybersex law. Along with author Harlan Ellison, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and A Different Light Bookstores and others, Salon columnist and sex writer Susie Bright has recently joined the battle. Since announcing her participation last week, she says, she has “heard from a lot of people who are thrilled to have someone take this nonsense on.”
What exactly is the Virginia legislature getting its panties in a twist about? Is it cyber-savvy teens who accidentally surf across safe-sex info or discover whole online bookstores of gay literature? Critics say the bill is dangerously broad and could prohibit the transmission of important information for youth. One of the plaintiffs, People For the American Way, a nonprofit dedicated to free speech, has decried the bill as banning “valuable communications, such as business transactions and the dissemination of health information.”
Poor Virginia! Her personality is so erratic! While the AOL-headquarters state waves in Internet investors with one friendly hand, the other repressive paw frantically pushes them out.
Hank Hyena is a former columnist for SF Gate, and a frequent contributor to Salon.More Hank Hyena.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.