Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
In the September issue of Brill’s Content, humorist Calvin Trillin mourned a lost love. “Whenever I hear people lament the passing of a beloved tradition, I find myself growing nostalgic for the days of the Golden Dartboard Award.” Bestowed annually upon the most obnoxious author on a book tour by the media escorts charged with schlepping those authors around, the award met its demise six years ago. Trillin should take heart, though. His wistful words may help raise the dead.
Emily Laisy, the Baltimore-area escort who co-founded the Golden Dartboard, may resurrect the award, whose previous recipients include Martha Stewart and Jeffrey Archer. Before she takes any concrete steps, however, Laisy wants to gather some grass-roots support. “I’m in touch with some of the major escorts, so I’ll ask them,” she said. “In fact, I might send out a little fax to a lot of them to see if they’d give an opinion.”
Before the award was phased out, Laisy and her San Francisco co-founder, Kathi Goldmark, chose the winner based on reports from various escorts around the country. The winner’s mug would then be pinned to a dartboard and displayed at a gathering of the Media Escort Network, a trade organization, during the annual American Booksellers Association convention. The dartboard would then be carried high by Goldmark, the group’s official bearer.
In the award’s final year, the judges debated giving the award to “Fountain of Age” author Betty Friedan (whom some escorts dubbed the “Fountain of Rage”), but in the end, the group couldn’t reach a consensus. Some of the escorts (most of whom are women) felt that Friedan’s contribution to the women’s movement precluded this kind of lampooning. After that impasse, the award was discontinued because of concerns that the press had infiltrated the private event and the results had become too public, damaging the relationship between the escorts, publishers and authors.
Sally Carpenter, a major-media escort in the Boston area, will most likely vote against the Golden Dartboard’s return. “I’m the wet blanket,” she said. “Ninety percent of the authors are great. If there were so many problems, we wouldn’t have been doing this for so long.”
But didn’t the Golden Dartboard give their profession a little color? “I think it was funny,” she conceded. “But it wasn’t a help to media escorts.”
Craig Offman is the New York correspondent for Salon Books.More Craig Offman.
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.