Here's a beautifully photographed collection of timelapse shots from Arizona and Utah, created by one man (Dustin Farrell) using one camera (a Canon 5D Mark II -- hey, it's only a few thousand bucks, why not pick one up?). It shows iconic locations, including many used in my favorite timelapse film, Koyaanisqatsi. But Koyaanisqatsi isn't available in 1080p, so for now this'll have to do. My favorite part: the Milky Way zooming by in the background. Well done, Mr. Farrell!
Most every scale on Earth, from the kind bakers use to measure ingredients to those doctors use to weigh patients, depends on gravity to function. Weight, after all, is just the mass of an object times the acceleration of gravity that’s pushing it toward Earth. That means astronauts have to use unconventional tools when recording changes to their bodies in space, as SciShow explains in the video below.
While weight as we know it technically doesn’t exist in zero-gravity conditions, mass does. Living in space can have drastic effects on a person’s body, and measuring mass is one way to keep track of these changes.
In place of a scale, NASA astronauts use something called a Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device (SLAMMD) to “weigh” themselves. Once they mount the pogo stick-like contraption it moves them a meter using a built-in spring. Heavier passengers take longer to drag, while a SLAMMD with no passenger at all takes the least time to move. Using the amount of time it takes to cover a meter, the machine can calculate the mass of the person riding it.
Measuring weight isn’t the only everyday activity that’s complicated in space. Astronauts have been forced to develop clever ways to brush their teeth, clip their nails, and even sleep without gravity.
Most everyone enjoys a good pizza party: Even astronauts living aboard the International Space Station.
As this video from NASA shows, assembling pizza in zero gravity is not only possible, it also has delicious results. The inspiration for the pizza feast came from Paolo Nespoli, an Italian astronaut who was craving one of his home country’s national dishes while working on the ISS. NASA’s program manager for the space station, Kirk Shireman, sympathized with his colleague and ordered pizzas to be delivered to the station.
NASA took a little longer responding to the request than your typical corner pizzeria might. The pizzas were delivered via the Orbital ATK capsule, and once they arrived, the ingredients had to be assembled by hand. The components didn’t differ too much from regular pizzas on Earth: Flatbread, tomato sauce, and cheese served as the base, and pepperoni, pesto, olives, and anchovy paste made up the toppings. Before heating them up, the astronauts had some fun with their creations, twirling them around like "flying saucers of the edible kind,” according to astronaut Randy Bresnik.
In case the pizza party wasn’t already a success, it also coincided with movie night on the International Space Station.