Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
Early in my marriage, my husband and I were trying to make plans for a certain weekend at the end of January. It was Chinese New Year, and I wanted to visit my family several hours to the north of where we lived. My husband, however, had other ideas.
“My parents are having a big party. All the relatives will be there,” he explained.
“But it’s tradition to spend this weekend with my side of the family,” I countered.
“Why? They don’t even watch the Super Bowl!”
Count it as one of the joys of a mixed-race marriage. We bring some really different cultural perspectives into our lives. One spouse’s important cultural tradition is … well, the same day as the other person’s important cultural tradition. Fortunately, Chinese New Year is determined by the lunar calendar, meaning it’s a moving target — in mid-January one year, late February other years.
This year, Chinese New Year begins on Feb. 3, meaning the Packers and the Steelers will have to face another contender: the Rabbit. As in, Year of the Rabbit.
I set out to create a dish that would spice up the standard Super Bowl chili with some Asian flavors. Chili, with its ground meat and spicy red sauce, has always reminded me of a couple homegrown Chinese dishes: ma pa tofu (with its ground pork, cubes of bean curd, and hot bean sauce) and lo ba bung. What is lo ba bung? It’s a dish rarely served in restaurants, but commonly made at home — Taiwanese comfort food. Minced or ground pork is simmered with soy sauce, rice wine and five-spice, making a simple, hearty meal. Sort of like chili.
Chinese New Year Chili
* Five-spice powder is made of fennel, anise, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. You can also substitute 1-2 pieces of star anise, a cinnamon stick and a dash of the other spices.
** Bean paste is found in Chinese specialty markets. It lends a nice, earthy touch to the dish. But if you can’t find it, use some regular Chinese chili sauce (the kind found in glass jars at restaurants) or Sriracha. They won’t add the complexity of the hot bean paste, but they will add heat.
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.