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August 20, 2014

Everything I learned about space — how you cry, eat, sleep, vomit, wash, exercise, and more — I learned from Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. During his missions aboard the International Space Station, Hadfield created a bevy of short Q&A-style videos that showed the topsy-turvey life of an astronaut millions of miles above Earth.

In 2013, Hadfield, who is now retired, published a memoir, An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, which serves up equally charismatic lessons about being a good astronaut and Earth-bound human. Adam Savage, who reviewed the book in The Wall Street Journal writes:

Equally autobiographical and instructional, the book goes gleefully against the grain of most "success" books. His perspective is reflected in counterintuitive chapter titles like "Sweat the Small Stuff," where he argues that seemingly unimportant details may loom large in an emergency and thus require our consideration beforehand. In "The Power of Negative Thinking," he says that the normal day of astronauts in training involves having countless meetings about what they got wrong—an approach, he explains, that saves lives. [The Wall Street Journal]

Now, that delightfully unique perspective will be turned into a multi-camera comedy of the same name on ABC. Creators Justin Halpern and Patrick Schumacker, from Fox's recently canceled Surviving Jack, have been given a pilot production commitment by the network. The show, according to Deadline, is "a family comedy about an astronaut who is back from space and finds that re-entering domestic life might be the hardest mission he's ever faced."

I think we can excuse that painfully cheesy description for the moment and put our faith in the fact that Hadfield will serve as a consulting producer.

Check out just one of Hadfield's many YouTube videos below, or go to the Canadian Space Agency channel for more. --Lauren Hansen

2:02 p.m. ET
JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

President Obama landed in Flint, Michigan, on Wednesday for his first visit to the stricken city since its water was contaminated with dangerous levels of lead after the local government changed water sources. In addition to delivering a speech and meeting with city officials and leaders, on Obama's agenda was a meeting with 8-year-old Flint resident Mari Copeny, who had written a letter to the president in March asking to meet with him and his wife during her trip to Washington, D.C to watch Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's congressional hearings. While Obama did not see Copeny, known as "Little Miss Flint," in Washington, he did meet her Wednesday in Michigan — and it was adorable. Watch below. Kimberly Alters

Kimberly Alters

1:18 p.m. ET
George Frey/Getty Images

The last Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, plans to skip his party's national convention in Cleveland this summer and avoid watching the official nomination of Donald Trump, The Washington Post reports. An aide confirmed for the paper on Thursday that "Gov. Romney has no plans to attend."

Romney has spent the past several months firmly situating himself in opposition to Trump, going as far as to rip into him during a formal address in March. In addition, two former Republican presidents, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, both announced Wednesday through their spokesmen that they would not be endorsing a candidate this year. Sen. John McCain, the 2008 Republican nominee, also plans to skip the Cleveland convention.

For his part, Donald Trump doesn't seem too bothered by Romney's likely absence. "I don't care," Trump said. "He can be there if he wants." Jeva Lange

12:20 p.m. ET
Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for City Harvest

Donald Trump's campaign announced Thursday that Steven Mnuchin, chairman and CEO of private investment firm Dune Capital Management LP, will serve as Trump's national finance chairman for the general election. Instead of self-funding his general election campaign as he did his primary run, Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee, has revealed that he will be creating a "world-class finance organization" to actively raise funds to compete with Hillary Clinton's fundraising powerhouse.

Trump's campaign says that Mnuchin, also formerly a partner at Goldman Sachs, will bring the necessary financial experience to what's expected to be a $1 billion campaign. Becca Stanek

11:00 a.m. ET
GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images

For the first time, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is about to start regulating electronic cigarettes, cigars, hookahs, and pipe tobacco just as it does tobacco products. The Obama administration announced the new rules Thursday, which will take effect in 90 days and prohibit teens under the age of 18 from purchasing e-cigarettes. Those purchasing the products will have to show photo identification, and both free samples and sales of the products in vending machines accessible to minors will no longer be allowed.

The rule change will also require manufacturers whose products hit the market after Feb. 15, 2007, to provide the FDA with a list of product ingredients and get approval from the agency for continued sales. Health warnings will now be required on packaging and in advertisements.

Prior to these regulations, the $3-billion e-cigarette industry faced little to no federal oversight or consumer protections. Becca Stanek

11:00 a.m. ET
Matt Cowan/Getty Images for Stagecoach

Most Americans would prefer a more restrained foreign policy and greater attention to solving issues here at home, according to new poll results from Pew Research Center.


(Pew Research Center)

Some 57 percent of respondents preferred having the U.S. "deal with its own problems" while letting other countries deal with theirs, while only 37 percent disagreed, saying America should help other nations solve their problems. Broken down along party lines, Democrats were almost evenly split on this question, while nearly two-thirds of Republicans favored dealing with America's own problems over trying to help abroad.

Partisan differences emerge on defense spending, too. While Republicans prefer a less activist foreign policy, they want higher defense spending. And though Democrats are more comfortable with intervention, they want to do it on the cheap. Bonnie Kristian

10:54 a.m. ET

There's a massive wildfire burning in Canada right now. In the oil town of Fort McMurray in Alberta, a blaze spanning at least 10,000 hectares is raging and has been amplified by the hot, dry conditions in the area. The flames have destroyed more than 1,600 structures, forced the evacuation of more than 80,000 residents, and could "threaten the entire community," according to the CBC.

It can be hard to understand what a wildfire this huge looks like, but Canada's National Post newspaper dedicated its front page to this harrowing photograph:

Because weather conditions are still so unfavorable, the intense heat has interrupted air operations intended to fight the blaze. The CBC reports that more than 150 firefighters have been working the disaster, with many more planned to arrive from other provinces to join the battle. Kimberly Alters

10:28 a.m. ET
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Bill Clinton handily won West Virginia when he ran for president in 1992 and 1996. Hillary Clinton was the state's overwhelming favorite in its 2008 Democratic primary, beating Barack Obama by a whopping 41 percent.

But in 2016, West Virginia doesn't like the Clintons anymore. Bill was booed during a recent campaign stop, and if current polling results hold, Hillary stands to lose the state's May 10 primary to Bernie Sanders.

West Virginians' newfound animosity for the Clintons significantly stems from Hillary's March promise to "put coal miners out of work" if elected president, which predictably did not sit will with the state's many coal miners. She has since backtracked, apologizing for the comment this week. Bonnie Kristian

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