Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
Perhaps all the outrage has paid off: AFP is reporting that Iran has not secured a seat on the new U.N. agency devoted to women’s rights worldwide, after all. The country was initially promised a spot — which led to a renewed outcry over its dismal record on women’s rights, but the seat was instead given to East Timor. The country claimed the dishonor last year of having the lowest rate of access to birth control worldwide — but it was also commended for its ratification of the U.N. women’s right treaty (which is more than can be said for either Iran or the United States).
I’d like to think this means that the U.N. women’s board will be intolerant of countries that systematically restrict women’s rights and show resistance to change, but I have two words: Saudi Arabia. The region — which bans women from driving, restricts their movement and has charged women with witchcraft and punished them for their own rapes — was granted a position. A U.S. ambassador told AFP, “I am not going to deny that there were several countries that are going to join the board of UN Women that have less than stellar records on women’s rights and indeed human rights.” In fact, Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi says Saudi Arabia actually has a worse record on women’s rights than even Iran. What’s more, an expert from Human Rights Watch tells AFP that the country “bought” the seat.
This all makes optimism awfully hard to come by — as far as the board’s potential impact and, taken with recent news out of the Congo, the U.N.’s general effectiveness in addressing women’s rights.
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.