Who Took the Photo of the First Man on the Moon?

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iStock

Who took the photo of the first man on the Moon?

C. Stuart Hardwick:

If you mean this:

This is a frame from the slow-scan, low resolution TV camera mounted in the Modularized Equipment Stowage Assembly (MESA). The MESA folded down out of a small equipment bay clockwise from the ladder (as you look down on the LEM) when Neil Armstrong pulled a release prior to descending to the surface.

The image above shows the MESA deployed, so that the camera is roughly upside down, its pistol grip protruding at the top center of the frame, its lens facing away. Here is a closeup of the camera from the other side:

By today’s standards, this was a pretty crappy camera, but it was a technological wonder at the time, some dozen times smaller than the commercial TV cameras of the time. Because it transmitted in a non-standard format, and because footage of the moon landing had to be broadcast over dozens of different formats around the world, all the images you’ve ever seen from this camera were actually filmed second hand, off high-intensity TV monitors provided by NASA for that purpose. The whole rig was hopelessly crude and expensive, but that was the only way to do it at the time.

If you mean this (and any of several similar images):

This is Buzz Aldrin (the second man to leave the LEM), photographed by Neil Armstrong (the first) using a 70mm Hasselblad medium format film camera, to this day one of the finest cameras ever made, loaded with a specially made magazine of fine-grained Kodachrome film on an ultra-thin mylar base that permitted each magazine to hold twice as many feet of film as on standard commercial stock.

These cameras were modified such that they could be mounted on the astronaut’s chest:

This post originally appeared on Quora. Click here to view.

Why Are There 10 Hot Dogs to a Pack But Only 8 Buns?

tacar/iStock via Getty Images
tacar/iStock via Getty Images

Watching competitive eating champion Joey Chestnut cram dozens of hot dogs down his throat would make anyone crave a grilled log of processed meat this summer. But shopping for hot dogs can be a confusing experience. The dogs are typically sold in packs of 10, but the buns are sold in packs of eight. What's behind this strange dog and bun inequality?

According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council—yes, there is a National Hot Dog and Sausage Council—there’s a good reason for the discrepancy. For starters, distributors of hot dogs are almost always different from manufacturers of baked goods like rolls. The hot dogs are sold in packs of 10 because producers of meat (or meat-like) products selected that quantity when hot dogs started to sell at retail grocery stores in the 1940s. Oscar Mayer, which led the charge into direct-to-consumer hot dog packaging, sold hot dogs by the pound in accordance with how meat is typically priced. Having 10 dogs that weighed 1.6 ounces each seemed like the ideal distribution of weight.

Bakeries, meanwhile, have standards of their own. Buns and sandwich rolls are usually sold eight to a pack because the baking trays for the elongated buns are typically sized to fit that number. Two sets of four buns come off the tray, which is the reason why buns are often still attached to one another when you open a bag.

These standards were created independently of one another: Bakeries weren’t too preoccupied with hot dogs when they were settling on a four-roll tray standard, and hot dog manufacturers weren’t thinking about how difficult it would be for bakeries to break from their conveyor system to offer 10 buns to a pack.

It can be frustrating if you buy just one or two packages of each, but if you’re hosting a big enough party, the uneven number doesn’t matter. You just need to buy five packages of buns and four packages of hot dogs to have 40 matching pairs. No complicated calculations required.

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When Are the Dog Days of Summer?

Dorottya_Mathe/iStock via Getty Images
Dorottya_Mathe/iStock via Getty Images

The official “dog days” of summer begin on July 3 and end on August 11. So how did this time frame earn its canine nickname? It turns out the phrase has nothing to do with the poor pooches who are forever seeking shade in the July heat, and everything to do with the nighttime sky.

Sirius, the Dog Star, is the brightest star in the sky. The ancient Greeks noticed that in the summer months, Sirius rose and set with the Sun, and they theorized that it was the bright, glowing Dog Star that was adding extra heat to the Earth in July and August.

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