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No Small Tales: The Time That Never Passed

The heart of author Emily Aaronson's story begins with the celebration of the Jewish holiday of Passover, a holiday that commemorates the ancient Israelites' escape from Egyptian slavery. Passover has come to symbolize liberation, redemption, and rebirth, and is celebrated for seven (or eight, depending on the tradition) days every spring. The holiday begins with two evenings of ritual meals called seders, at which Jews read the Haggadah to recount the story of the Exodus. During the holiday, Jews are not allowed to eat leavened bread or leavened bread products. Bread is replaced with matzah, a flat cracker-like bread. The legend goes that the ancient Israelites had to leave Egypt so quickly, their bread didn't have time to rise, and so the matzah is a reminder of this.

Aaronson says her story was inspired by Jonathan Safran Foer and Nicole Krauss, who, in addition to being acclaimed novelists, are husband and wife. It wasn't long after Foer published Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Krauss published The History of Love, that Aaronson went to hear them speak at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. But "The Time That Never Passed" is more than an homage. Give it a read and see what I mean. And for more great short stories, head on over to apt23.com, our partners in this feature.

The Time That Never Passed

by Emily Aaronson

She was the more restless writer of the two. For her, a place could run out, just like a song could run out or a favorite food could run out or the way she hoped the right person never would. For a time, she found her voice sipping tea in an ivy-covered café as the tiny upscale bookstore next door offered silent advice. There was the chair-in-the-studio-apartment phase, which worked until the studio apartment, inhabited for five years, became cluttered and old and the cat destroyed the chair. A park offered inspiration but low battery life. Now, she found herself in the basement of a synagogue, her presence allowed by an unlikely friendship with the local Rabbi. She found the place comforting, despite her previous distaste for all things synagogue, with its musty smelling prayer books and kindergarten-scribbled menorah pictures covering the walls. Even the bathrooms had the same smell as her childhood temple, nearly three thousand miles away, and she often wondered but kept forgetting to ask her mother whether there was such a thing as kosher hand soap.

He, on the other hand, picked a place and stuck to it and wrote only with the same type of pen on the same type of paper with the same illegible scrawl.
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Space
Can’t See the Eclipse in Person? Watch NASA’s 360° Live Stream
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Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images

Depending on where you live, the historic eclipse on August 21 might not look all that impressive from your vantage point. You may be far away from the path of totality, or stuck with heartbreakingly cloudy weather. Maybe you forgot to get your eclipse glasses before they sold out, or can't get away from your desk in the middle of the day.

But fear not. NASA has you covered. The space agency is live streaming a spectacular 4K-resolution 360° live video of the celestial phenomenon on Facebook. The livestream started at 12 p.m. Eastern Time and includes commentary from NASA experts based in South Carolina. It will run until about 4:15 ET.

You can watch it below, on NASA's Facebook page, or on the Facebook video app.

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Art
Cephalopod Fossil Sketch in Australia Can Be Seen From Space

Australia is home to some of the most singular creatures alive today, but a new piece of outdoor art pays homage to an organism that last inhabited the continent 65 million years ago. As the Townsville Bulletin reports, an etching of a prehistoric ammonite has appeared in a barren field in Queensland.

Ammonites are the ancestors of the cephalopods that currently populate the world’s oceans. They had sharp beaks, dexterous tentacles, and spiraling shells that could grow more than 3 feet in diameter. The inland sea where the ammonites once thrived has since dried up, leaving only fossils as evidence of their existence. The newly plowed dirt mural acts as a larger-than-life reminder of the ancient animals.

To make a drawing big enough to be seen from space, mathematician David Kennedy plotted the image into a path consisting of more than 600 “way points.” Then, using a former War World II airfield as his canvas, the property’s owner Rob Ievers plowed the massive 1230-foot-by-820-foot artwork into the ground with his tractor.

The project was funded by Soil Science Australia, an organization that uses soil art to raise awareness of the importance of farming. The sketch doubles as a paleotourist attraction for the local area, which is home to Australia's "dinosaur trail" of museums and other fossil-related attractions. But to see the craftsmanship in all its glory, visitors will need to find a way to view it from above.

[h/t Townsville Bulletin]

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