Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
TORONTO (AP) — Canada has begun phasing-out its penny, whose production costs have come to exceed its monetary value.
The Royal Canadian Mint on Monday officially ended its distribution of one-cent coins to financial institutions.
While people may still use pennies, the government has issued guidelines urging store owners to start rounding prices to the nearest nickel for cash transactions. Electronic purchases will still be billed to the nearest cent.
The government has said the cost of penny production is $11 million a year, and that the coins, which feature two maple leaves and Queen Elizabeth II in profile, would remain legal tender until they eventually disappeared from circulation.
Google is marking the passing of the penny with a dedicated doodle on its Canadian home page.
New Zealand, Australia, the Netherlands, Norway, Finland, Sweden and others have also dropped the penny.
The U.S. Treasury Department has said the Obama administration has looked at possibly using cheaper materials to make the penny, which is now made of zinc.
Two separate bills calling for the end of the penny, introduced in 2002 and 2006 by Republican congressman Jim Kolbe, failed to advance in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The American zinc lobby has been a major opponent to suggestions that the penny be eliminated.
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.