Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
Vassar College, a small liberal arts school in New York’s Hudson Valley, will be getting a visit from publicity-addicted hate group Westboro Baptist Church later this month.
In a statement on their website, Westboro warned “students, faculty, and alumni that the satanic policies of this nation, especially those of the colleges and universities, are causing God to pour His wrath out upon this nation. Doomed American academics fancy themselves to be smarter than God. They promote the fag agenda with all their might and mock the word of God and His messengers at every turn.”
Well, Vassar might not be smarter than God, but they’re definitely smarter than Westboro. Here’s how the college prepared for their visit from the hate group: By rallying the school’s network of alums and other supporters to raise $100 to go towards an LGBTQ rights organization for every minute the group planned to protest.
And people say liberal arts degrees are useless!
The fundraiser for the Trevor Project, a national organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ young people, exceeded expectations, bringing in $41,529 as of this posting. (Keep an eye on the growing total here.)
Vassar’s acting president Jon Chenette says he is in awe of what his students have done in the face of the hate group’s threats. He is also proud to be affiliated with an institution that supports LGBTQ rights — which attracted Westboro’s attention in the first place. In a statement on the planned protest, Chennete wrote:
We look forward as a college to any opportunity to counter messages of hate and bigotry and to underscore our values… In the face of Westboro’s statements, we want to celebrate the inclusiveness of our community and the multitude of backgrounds, interests, and preferences that enrich our experiences.
Judy Jarvis, assistant director of Campus Life and LGBTQ and Gender Resources at Vassar, was also unfazed by the protesters. In a statement to the student newspaper she said: “The Vassar community is so creative and intelligent, and I look forward to working with students and staff to figure out a response that shows the strength and inclusiveness of our community.”
Students have been using a Facebook group to organize students and the surrounding community in a counter-protest on campus. They are also planning teach-ins on LGBTQ rights at the college and around the country while Westboro protests on February 28.
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.