John Hodgman: A Brief Digression on Matters of Lost Time

John Hodgman is known to millions as the "PC" of recent Apple ads, but that's hardly his best work. Hodgman wrote the instant classic The Areas of My Expertise (check out the audiobook if you have a chance -- it's the best thing ever), and his regular appearances As Resident Expert on The Daily Show are some the show's best segments. In February Hogdman gave a brilliant TED Talk in which he discussed a series of strange events in his past, each of which led him to believe that something strange was afoot. Something having to do with space aliens and girlfriends. The talk is now available online (in an improbable coincidence, his new book, More Information Than You Require was just released). I encourage you to view this talk.

Discussed: Enrico Fermi on aliens, Roswell, fairies, Sasquatch, God, the possibility of love, atomic piles, Enrico Fermi was an alien, UFOlogy, evolution, alien abductions, pyramids, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, women who love Dune, Communion's improbable casting, travels through Portugal, five Liberians, and "Portuguese doctors." THAT IS ALL.

Watch, learn, and have a nice Friday:

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Watch a Rogue Pet Dog Interrupt a Russian News Anchor on Air
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Last week, a Russian news broadcast briefly went to the dogs after its host was startled by a surprise co-anchor: a friendly black canine that wandered on set, announced its presence with a loud bark, and climbed onto her desk.


As TODAY reports, Mir24 TV anchor Ilona Linarte went off script for a few minutes, telling viewers "I've got a dog here. What is this dog doing in the studio?" After the initial shock wore off, she gave her furry guest a tepid welcome, patting its head as she gently pushed it off the desk. ("I actually prefer cats,'' Linarte remarked. "I'm a cat lady.")

Linarte’s query was answered when the TV station announced that the dog had accompanied another show’s guest on set, and somehow got loose. That said, rogue animals have a proud tradition of crashing live news broadcasts around the world, so we’re assuming this won’t be the last time a news anchor is upstaged by an adorable guest star (some of which have better hair than them).

[h/t TODAY]

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Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Image credit: SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 1.0
SpaceX Is Sending Two Private Citizens Around the Moon
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Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Image credit: SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 1.0

Two members of the public are set to take an historic trip around the Moon, according to an announcement from SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. As The Verge reports, the anonymous private citizens have already placed substantial deposits on the commercial space flight.

The private spacecraft company SpaceX revealed on Monday that the Falcon Heavy rocket will be launching with its Crew Dragon spacecraft in late 2018. The mission will consist of a circumnavigation of the Moon, passing over the body’s surface before traveling farther into space and returning to Earth. In total, the trip will cover 300,000 to 400,000 miles and take a week to complete.

A noteworthy part of the plan is the human cargo that will be on board. Instead of professional astronauts, the craft will carry two paying customers into space. The passengers, who’ve yet to be named, will both need to pass several fitness tests before they're permitted to make the journey. According to The Verge, Musk said the customers are “very serious” and that the cost of the trip is “comparable” to that of a crewed mission to the International Space Station. The goal for SpaceX is to eventually send one or two commercial flights into space each year, which could account for 10 to 20 percent of the company’s earnings.

[h/t The Verge]


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