Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
It’s an accepted – and often much appreciated – fact of modern American life that there aren’t too many places you can smoke. It’s been a long time since anybody was allowed to light up on an airplane, in an office, in most bars and restaurants. In New York City, you’re not even legally permitted to smoke in many outdoor public places. And in Orange County, you can’t light up on your own patio or balcony. Well, at least you can still come smoke in your own home, right? I said, right?
Not so fast, Don Draper.
On Wednesday, the city of Elk Grove, Calif., began discussions to ban smoking from rental apartments. Unsurprisingly, the California Apartment Association and the Rental Housing Association of Sacramento Valley are opposed to the smoker-repelling measure. The Sacramento County Tobacco Control Coalition, meanwhile, is urging the city to become the first in the county to enforce an apartment-smoking ban. Several complexes in Elk Grove already have privately issued residential smoking bans — bans that are echoed in apartment complexes and co-ops around the country.
But the possibility of making a smoking ban a city issue is a thorny issue, one that permeates the public and private sectors like a freshly lit Newport on wool fibers. Cigarette smoke unquestionably and unavoidably stinks. It’s also a bona fide health hazard, especially for the very young, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems. And it’s not like your neighbor’s smoke stays neatly in your neighbor’s two-bedroom. As local resident Mimi Dixon, who lives in a senior facility, told the city council recently, secondhand smoke “comes in through the walls, the plumbing, through the lighting. It comes through everywhere.”
As someone who’d prefer her own home not smell like an ’80s frat party, I’m not thrilled when the heady aroma of tobacco (or other smokable substances) wafts into my apartment. And if my building were to suddenly issue an all-points ban on smoking, it would bother me only to the extent that our awesome, eternally puffing super would probably have to move. But I was more aromatically offended when we had a neighbor who had cats and a penchant for never cleaning the litter box. True, secondhand cat box stink isn’t a health issue, but how serious a threat is a smoker when you’re not under the same roof?
Left to the needs and desires of individual landlords, co-operative shareholders and tenants, smoking bans can potentially raise the value of a property and increase the quality of life for everybody. But when it becomes a city mandate about what you can do with a legal substance in your own home, it’s an encroachment on the privacy of everybody, not just smokers. And that shouldn’t make anybody feel like breathing easier.
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.