Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
Almost half of all African-Americans believe that HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is man-made, more than a quarter believe it was produced in a government laboratory and one in eight thinks it was created and spread by the CIA, according to a study released by the Rand Corporation and the University of Oregon. The paper’s authors say these views are obstructing efforts to prevent the spread of HIV among African-Americans, the racial group most likely to contract the virus.
“The findings are striking, and a wake-up call to the prevention community,” Laura Bogart, a behavioral scientist who coauthored the study, told the Washington Post. “The prevention community has not addressed conspiracy beliefs in the context of prevention. I think that a lot of people involved in prevention may not be from the community where they are trying to prevent HIV.”
African-Americans make up 13 percent of the U.S. population but account for 50 percent of new HIV infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. African-American women constituted 73 percent of new female HIV cases in 2003.
The study, which was supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, also revealed that a slight majority believes a cure for AIDS is being withheld from the poor; 44 percent think people who take new medicines for HIV are being used as government guinea pigs, and 15 percent believe AIDS is a form of genocide against black people. The responses barely fluctuated according to age, income, gender or education level.
Na’im Akbar, a professor of psychology at Florida State University who specializes in African-American behavior, stressed that these views are grounded in experience. Between 1932 and 1972 the federal government conducted experiments on 400 African-Americans in Tuskegee, Ala. They were told they were being treated for syphilis but were allowed to sicken and die, and in some cases were actively denied treatment, until the experiment was exposed in 1972. “This is not a bunch of crazy people running around saying they’re out to get us,” he said.
However, others, including Phil Wilson, executive director of the Black AIDS Institute, insist that African-Americans must come to terms with this past if they are to overcome belief in conspiracy theories and the obstacles they present to effective prevention. “The syphilis study was real, but it happened 40 years ago, and holding on to it is killing us,” he said.
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.