Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
The much-awaited monsoon rain showers are always a cause for celebration in India. When the rains finally arrived in Delhi, as a kid I remember rushing outdoors with my sisters, fully clothed, jumping for joy and singing out loud, trying to catch the first raindrops on our tongues. Kids here have songs to make the rain go away; we had chants to entice the clouds to shower more rain.
After the scorching heat of the dry summer and the almost daily onslaught of the dust-laden winds from the neighboring western desert, nothing was more welcome than the torrential downpour that signaled the start of the monsoon season. The dry, parched land soaked up the first raindrops eagerly, scenting the air with a heady, earthy aroma. Flowers bloomed again, adding to the fragrance. If you were lucky, you might be able to hear the call of the peacocks, and maybe even see a male unfurl the full splendor of its iridescent plumage, dancing in the rain for a mate.
Needless to say, we’d get soaking wet in no time at all. Eventually, we’d be coaxed inside with promises of pakoras, savory fritters made with a chickpea flour batter, and some ginger-cardamom chai. It takes great willpower to just have one or two pakoras; what usually starts off as a snack turns into a meal, ending with improvised sandwiches of bread slathered with mint-cilantro chutney and filled with the remaining pakoras. These fritters are not only good for a rainy day, but make a great snack any day, any time.
For lunch today, my family and I indulged in pakoras as we watched the liquid Oregon sunshine through the windows. With a hot cup of ginger chai tea, it was the perfect Sunday indulgence.
Here is a simple recipe to try. To make it easier, I’ve made many spices optional. No need to fret if you don’t have them all on hand. The chickpea flour is available in many ethnic stores.
Pakoras: Indian-style fritters
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.