Happy Birthday, Darius Rucker
Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield’s Music Video
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who’s beginning the trip back to Earth today (May 13th) after spending five months at the International Space Station, marked his imminent departure by doing an in-orbit cover of David Bowie’s classic song, “Space Oddity” — probably familiar to more people as the “Major Tom” song. The song was mixed with the help of staff at the Canadian Space Agency and others, and features lyrics that were modified to refer to the Soyuz capsule that will return Hadfield to Earth.
Air Force One For Sale
A plane that served as Air Force One for several presidents is being put up for sale by the General Services Administration this week, and could be had for as little as $50,000. The DC9-32 flew every president from Gerald Ford to George W. Bush, as well as vice presidents and other VIPs. The auction, which begins on Wednesday, is of items now considered surplus federal equipment, which in addition to the plane includes things like space shuttle parts, real estate, vehicles, heavy machines and scientific items. The plane, which has a minimum bid of $50,000, is currently being stored at Phoenix/Mesa Gateway Airport in Arizona, and anyone who buys it is responsible for removing it and carting it away.
Woman Accused Of Stealing From Cemetery To Decorate House
Authorities in St. Cloud, Florida said a 57-year-old woman stole 146 items from the Mount Peace Cemetery to use as part of her home decor. Among the items are statues, lights, planters and trinkets which Debra Farinella allegedly placed around her yard and inside her home as decorations. Officer Chad Durham said, “She was not very particular. She would take them from baby gravesites, as well as adult gravesites.” An anonymous tipster reported a license plate number and a description of the robber which lead authorities to Farinella. She told police that she bought the items at a yard sale. Farinella has been charged with grand theft and petty theft. Police are asking victims of the cemetery bandit to call the St. Cloud Police Department to get their belongings back. (Huffington Post)
Potential Treatment For Parkinson’s, Alzheimers, and Dementia Discovered
Researchers say they’ve found that a drug that is currently being used to treat leukemia has been found to help fight Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and various forms of dimentia. Georgetown University researchers say the drug has been found to halt the production of toxic proteins linked with the illnesses.Lead study author Dr. Charbel Moussa says, “In degenerative diseases these proteins accumulate and kill the cell. The best strategy to make the cell survive is to clean the debris.” Moussa says nilotinib acts like a garbage disposal, in that is helps to eliminate trash, or toxic proteins, from brain cells. (Fox News)
First Lady Urges Grads to Make Friends Across the Political Divide
In a commencement address Saturday (May 11th) at Eastern Kentucky University, First Lady Michelle Obama urged graduates to make friends across the political divide, saying they should reach out to people who aren’t like them and don’t think like them. Mrs. Obama said, “Try visiting a different congregation every once in a while; you might just hear something in the sermon that stays with you. If you’re a Democrat, spend some time talking to a Republican. And if you’re a Republican, have a chat with a Democrat. Maybe you’ll find some common ground, maybe you won’t. But if you honestly engage with an open mind and an open heart, I guarantee you’ll learn something. And goodness knows we need more of that, because we know what happens when we only talk to people who think like we do — we just get more stuck in our ways, more divided, and it gets harder to come together for a common purpose.”
School That was Site of Newtown Massacre to Be Demolished, Rebuilt
A task force made up of elected town officials decided unanimously on Friday (May 10th) that Sandy Hook Elementary School, the site of last December’s Newtown massacre, will be demolished and a new school rebuilt on the site. Rebuilding the school, which has been closed since Adam Lanza killed 20 first-graders and six educators before fatally shooting himself, will cost an estimated $57 million. While the razing and rebuilding is going on, Sandy’s Hook’s students will continue to attend classes in the neighboring town of Monroe, where they were relocated after the massacre. In many of the other recent school shootings, such as at Columbine High School in 1999, towns decided to tear down only parts of the school, rather than raze it all and build entirely new facilities.