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Watch an Astronaut's Dream Come to Life

Leaving Earth, even for a short while, has been known to change people forever. The sight of our planet from a distance has inspired spiritual epiphanies in some space travelers. Others have come home with a fresh appreciation for Earth’s beauty and a renewed determination to preserve it. British astronaut and chemist Helen Sharman was only on the Mir space station for eight days in May 1991, but the experience has lived on in her dreams for decades.

Sharman’s dreams of adventure come to life in this video, which was animated by Andrew Khosravani, animator-in-residence at the UK’s Royal Institution. The video made its debut December 1 as the first day of the Royal Institution's space-themed advent calendar.

In one dream Sharman floats down a very long module on the Mir and takes in the beauty of the Earth from a window alongside her fellow astronauts. When she awakes, "I'm always very disappointed that I've woken up, because I wanted to be back in space," she says.

The British space program is small, to say the least. Sharman’s trip nearly 25 years ago made her the first-ever British astronaut. This month, Tim Peake—who recently announced his plans to run the London marathon from space—will become the second. The program’s inadequate funding is a source of frustration for Sharman, who calls it a “tremendous disappointment.” 

Speaking to the Guardian, Sharman quoted British-Sir Lankan science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke: “[He] once said that when an organism stops pushing its boundaries forward, it starts to die. We should be pushing our boundaries. After all, we Britons are explorers and adventurers.” 

Banner image courtesy of the Royal Institution

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MGM Home Entertainment
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entertainment
The Beatles’s Yellow Submarine Is Returning to Theaters for Its 50th Anniversary
MGM Home Entertainment
MGM Home Entertainment

The Beatles are coming! The Beatles are coming!

In early 1968, at the height of Beatlemania, The Fab Four lent their voices—and visages—to Yellow Submarine, a somewhat strange and slightly surreal animated film, purportedly for children, which saw the band travel to Pepperland aboard the titular watercraft in order to save the land from the music-hating Blue Meanies. (Hey, we said it was strange.)

Though it would be another year before the film’s iconic soundtrack was released, 2018 marks the film’s 50th anniversary. To celebrate the occasion, Pitchfork reports that the psychedelic cartoon will be making its way back into theaters in July with a brand-new 4K digital restoration and a surround sound remix, to have it looking—and sounding—pristine.

To find out where it will be screening near you, visit the film’s website, where you can sign up for updates.

[h/t: Pitchfork]

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DESIREE MARTIN, AFP/Getty Images
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science
Stephen Hawking's Big Ideas, Made Simple
DESIREE MARTIN, AFP/Getty Images
DESIREE MARTIN, AFP/Getty Images

On March 14, 2018, visionary physicist Stephen Hawking passed away at the age of 76. You know his name, and may have even watched a biopic or two about him. But if you've ever wondered what specifically Hawking's big contributions to science were, and you have two and a half minutes to spare, the animation below is for you. It's brief, easy to understand, and gets to the point with nice narration by Alok Jha. So here, in a very brief and simple way, are some of Stephen Hawking's big ideas:

If you have more than a few minutes, we heartily recommend Hawking's classic book A Brief History of Time. It's easy to read, and it's truly brief.

[h/t: Open Culture]

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