It looks like Russia didn't read the International Space Station's handbook. The country loudly claimed last week that it was going to defund the ISS come 2020 and prohibit the United States from using it in retaliation for sanctions the U.S. imposed over the crisis in Ukraine. NASA, however, dismissed those claims today.
NASA said that since the ISS is a project run jointly by the U.S., Russia, Japan, Europe, and Canada, no single partner can shutter the station. Administrator Charles Bolden told reporters in Berlin that even if Russia withdrew funding from the ISS, no nation "is indispensable on the International Space Station."
He said that private companies will also begin transporting astronauts to the ISS within three years, thus negating Russia's threats that it will stop transporting U.S. astronauts to the station in 2020. Jordan Valinsky
A Minnesotan dentist isn't the only one wreaking havoc on the wildlife of Africa. Enter: Donald Trump's sons.
In a video that wont be posted here for its upsetting content, the younger Trumps, Eric and Donald Jr., are shown posing with their mammalian (and reptilian) trophies, whom they killed during their time on an African hunting safari.
— Zimbabwe Today (@ZimToday) July 28, 2015
Back in 2012, these pictures got a lot of people pretty upset. Trump Jr. responded to the outcries on Twitter:
@dragonfly_ in some parts its over populated. Bottom line with out hunters $ there wouldn't be much left of africa. Eco is nice but no $
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 13, 2012
Admittedly, that is a little difficult to decipher — but it would seem Trump Jr. believed he'd done everyone a favor. Jeva Lange
High-speed police chases may look really cool in movies, but the reality is a whole lot uglier, according to a USA Today. Their study reports that between 1979 and 2013, 11,506 people were killed in police chases — over 5,000 of whom were innocent bystanders.
The rate of high-speed chase fatalities is actually so high that, on average, they're responsible for the death of nearly one person a day. By comparison, one person a day on average is shot to death by the police, according to an FBI estimate from June (although that number is believed by many to be much higher).
Most chases begin with an attempted traffic stop (89 percent) and end quickly, USA Today reports; 76 percent were over in only five minutes or less in California. But of all the daredevils who try to make an escape, the California Highway patrol calculated 28 percent of high-speed chases ended in crashes; in Minnesota, that number was as high as 40 percent.
The grim long and short of it is, don't try this at home. Jeva Lange
The recent Pluto probe presented a problem for NASA engineers. Spacecraft that are reasonably close to the sun, such as India's Mars Orbiter Mission, use solar panels to supply their electricity. But when you get out to Pluto, the sun is so dim it's barely distinguishable from the rest of the stars.
As Sir Martyn Poliakoff explains, as done before with the Voyager probes, the engineers substituted solar panels for a big hunk of radioactive plutonium. That produces heat, which can be used to generate electricity, and it also keeps the spacecraft warm. The whole thing is rather appropriate given that plutonium was named after the dwarf planet in the first place. Watch the full explanation in the video below. Ryan Cooper
As if the Republican presidential field weren't already big enough, one more candidate has decided to jump in at the very last minute. Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore filed with the FEC on Wednesday, declaring his intention to run for president just eight days before the first GOP debate. Gilmore, who is now the 17th candidate vying for the GOP nomination, served as governor of Virginia from 1998 until 2002 and was chair of the Republican National Committee in 2001.
However, as the Daily Intelligencer notes, Gilmore is "such a long shot that he might not even qualify for the Fox News debate" — and that's after Fox decided to open the debate up to all "candidates who are consistently being offered to respondents in national polls." Gilmore has only appeared in one of five of the most recent national polls, Politico reports, and they, too, have called his launch "his longest of all long-shot presidential bids." Becca Stanek
What comes to mind when you hear the phrase, "Mystical Aphorisms of the Fortune Cookie": Supreme Court opinion or suffocatingly sweet perfume? Now, thanks to Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, you'd be correct in thinking both.
That's right, you can now keep the language of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's famously vivid opinions close to your heart — literally — with the help of six different fragrances, Mic reports.
While many political figures throughout the course of American history have possessed "acid tongues," writes the fragrance maker on its website, "few in the modern era have provided such a constant stream of colorfully vitriolic superlatives as Antonin Scalia."
The names of the fragrances are of course taken directly from Scalia's dissenting opinions, which are peppered with language as rich and varied as the scents they gave rise to. Do you want your perfume to inspire fear in all those who smell you? Look no further than Looming Spectre of Inutterable Horror. Something a little more laid back? Ask The Nearest Hippie is made with patchouli, hemp, smoky vanilla bean, and cannabis accord. The other fragrances in the line include such gems as Pure Applesauce, Mummeries and Straining-to-be Memorable Passages, and of course, Jiggery Pokery.
In addition to doing the public this great service, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab is also donating proceeds of each $26 bottle to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Trevor Project, and the National Center for Transgender Equality. Stephanie Talmadge
If you've seen a single preview for Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, one image undoubtedly stood out in your mind: Tom Cruise, clinging desperately to the outside of a plane as it took off. As per usual, Tom Cruise didn't fake any of this. How do you pull off such a crazy stunt? A behind-the-scenes featurette offers some insight:
"I couldn't sleep the night before," adding that he was "scared s--tless" during filming. Despite the fear and the difficulty of the stunt, Cruise shot the scene eight times to make sure they got it right. Scott Meslow
Former University of Cincinnati police officer Raymond Tensing, who was indicted yesterday on murder charges for shooting Samuel Dubose during a traffic stop, pleaded not guilty in his court appearance this morning. Officer Tensing "purposely killed" 43-year-old DuBose, who was black, after "losing his temper," according to county prosecutor Joe Deters. DuBose, who was a father of 10, had been driving without a front license plate when he was pulled over. Tensing could face life in prison if he is found guilty. Jeva Lange