Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
Even close readers of How the World Works may not be aware that the hoppy goodness otherwise known as Sierra Nevada Pale Ale has blessed this blog with visits on no less than four occasions: “A Cornucopia of Beer,” “The Great Sprinkler Storm of Greenbelt 2007,” “An Inconvenient Beer Cap” and “Beer, Happiness, and Academic Productivity.”
Moreover, I don’t just talk the beer talk in my blog. I am also the proud owner of a Sierra Nevada biking jersey, the sight of which has been known to send parched fellow cyclists into paroxysms of thirst, as mirages of oases sometimes do to travelers lost in the desert.
With this context in mind, you will doubtless appreciate the satisfaction I took in learning today, via Treehugger, that the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. announced on Tuesday a joint venture with E-Fuel, “the inventor of the world’s first home ethanol system — the Efuel100 MicroFueler” — to brew ethanol from beer dregs.
On average, Sierra Nevada resells 1.6 million gallons of unusable “bottom of the barrel” beer yeast waste to farmers each year [as dairy feed]. Containing 5 percent to 8 percent alcohol content, the waste includes enough yeast and nutrients to enable the MicroFueler to raise that level to 15 percent alcohol, allowing for an increased ethanol yield.
“Creating ethanol from discarded organic waste is an excellent example of how the MicroFueler can help eliminate our reliance on the oil industry infrastructure. This is especially true when considering Americans reportedly discard 50 percent of all agricultural farmed products,” said Tom Quinn, E-Fuel founder and chief executive officer.
I’ve had a lot to be thankful for in 2009, but the notion that draining a six-pack of Sierra Nevada Pale could help deliver the United States from its parlous state of foreign oil dependence is a bounteous gift so great that I might have to consider whether, perhaps, just maybe, there is a God.
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.