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UncommonGoods / iStock
UncommonGoods / iStock

Give Your Favorite Astronomer a Heart Nebula Necklace or Cuff Links

UncommonGoods / iStock
UncommonGoods / iStock

This Valentine's Day, show that special someone you really care with the help of a celestial body that's 150 arcminutes in size and glows intense, red gas. The Heart Nebula, which is just a short 7500 light years from Earth, is easily the most romantic of all the nebulas thanks to its darling shape. Maryland-based artist Lauren Beacham (known for her space jewelry) takes this charming image and puts it on matching cufflinks—you know, so you can wear your heart on your sleeve—and a necklace.

Now you can give a gift that's the perfect balance of adorable and scientific. Both the cuff links and necklace are made with glass and rhodium-plated brass. If a heart-shaped nebula isn't enough to make you swoon, also consider that it's right next to the Soul Nebula, creating the Heart and Soul complex. With a backstory like that, the accompanying card pretty much writes itself.

You can snag the necklace or cufflinks on UncommonGoods for $65 or $28 respectively.

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Big Questions
How Are Balloons Chosen for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?
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The balloons for this year's Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade range from the classics like Charlie Brown to more modern characters who have debuted in the past few years, including The Elf On The Shelf. New to the parade this year are Olaf from Disney's Frozen and Chase from Paw Patrol. does the retail giant choose which characters will appear in the lineup?

Balloon characters are chosen in different ways. For example, in 2011, Macy’s requested B. Boy after parade organizers saw the Tim Burton retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. (The company had been adding a series of art balloons to the parade lineup since 2005, which it called the Blue Sky Gallery.) When it comes to commercial balloons, though, it appears to be all about the Benjamins.

First-time balloons cost at least $190,000—this covers admission into the parade and the cost of balloon construction. After the initial year, companies can expect to pay Macy’s about $90,000 to get a character into the parade lineup. If you consider that the balloons are out for only an hour or so, that’s about $1500 a minute.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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If You Can Solve This Puzzle, You Might Just Be Qualified to Be an Astronaut
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by Reader's Digest Editors

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

Once a child hits kindergarten, the answer to this question starts to become a bit more reasonable. Sure, at age 3, little Jimmy wanted to be a dinosaur when he grew up, but by age 5, Jimmy realizes how preposterous this career path would be. After all, dinosaur graduate school is entirely too cost prohibitive nowadays.

Beginning in the latter half of the 20th century, more and more kids aspired to reach for the stars, stating firmly that when they grew up they would be an astronaut. And there might just be a way to test the viability of this claim, courtesy of British astronaut Tim Peake. Peake posted a puzzle pulled straight from his astronaut selection test to his Facebook page—can you figure it out?

Since he originally posted the puzzle on October 21, the brain-buster has been shared, liked, and commented on thousands of time.

 
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Good News—People Who Daydream in Meetings Are Actually Smarter!
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10 Myths About Frozen Food You Need to Stop Believing
 

Although the instructions may appear to be pretty vague, there is a correct answer; in the paraphrased words of Maxine Nightingale, the dot ends up right back where it started from, on the bottom.

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