Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
The revolution lives: Ron Paul stormed to a big win in the CPAC presidential straw poll.
The libertarian hero — whose faithful followers packed the hall for most of the conservative conference’s three days — took 31 percent of the vote. Mitt Romney, who had won the last three straw polls in a row, came in second, with 22 percent. Sarah Palin, who didn’t show up to speak here, was third, with 7 percent. Tim Pawlenty — who did show up — was just behind her, at 6 percent. So was “undecided,” which also got 6 percent. The other runners-up: Newt Gingrich, 4 percent; Mike Huckabee, 4 percent; Mitch Daniels, 2 percent; Rick Santorum, 2 percent; John Thune, 1 percent; Haley Barbour, 1 percent; write-in, 5 percent.
That didn’t please the crowd in the ballroom as the results were announced — the room booed loudly, and cheered wildly for Romney, Palin, Pawlenty and pretty much anyone who wasn’t Paul.
Nearly 2,400 people cast ballots, out of about 10,000 CPAC attendees. More than half of them were between 18 and 25 years old. One other figure stood out: 2 percent of respondents said they approved of the job President Obama is doing, and 2 percent also said they had a favorable impression of both Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Presumably, they were joking. Or Democratic plants.
The results don’t really mean much; as one GOP pollster told Salon just as CPAC started, “Winning a straw poll two years before Iowa, New Hampshire and the rest is the equivalent of being homecoming queen in high school. It’s pretty neat and means you are popular right then, but it doesn’t mean anything for the rest of your life.”
And it mostly just shows that Paul, who has about as much chance of winning the GOP nomination in 2012 as Obama does, has a very devoted following among the conservative activists who flock to gatherings like this.
GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio, whose firm conducted the survey, did find that 53 percent of respondents were not satisfied with the possible field of candidates — which only helps underscore the fact that 2012 is a long way off.
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.