NASA To Retire International Space Station And Crash It Into Pacific Ocean In 2031

In less than 10 years, the International Space Station—the site of many an interstellar marvel—will become a relic in Earthling’s minds, vanishing like it never existed. NASA plans to decommission the orbital outpost at the end of 2030 and actualize the ISS’s retirement by crashing it into the Pacific Ocean in January 2031.

The space station, which made its maiden launch in 1998 and was first occupied by humans in 2000, is destined to make its descent home alone—with no humans on board—before sharply plunging into a very remote area often dubbed the “spacecraft cemetery,” reports Gizmodo.

Point Nemo, as the crash zone is called, is 1,670 miles away from the closest inhabited area.

Although a 2030 date is expected, Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, warns the news outlet that this deadline could arrive earlier, since NASA hasn’t disclosed if partnering space forces, like the one in Russia, would agree to back the ISS through 2030.

Be that as it may, with the outpost’s retirement, NASA will hand over the keys of space exploration efforts to a private sector, whose activities will continue to be supported by the space agency.

“The private sector is technically and financially capable of developing and operating commercial low-Earth orbit destinations, with NASA’s assistance,” explains Phil McAlister, director of commercial space at NASA Headquarters. Combined with the resources of private entities, NASA will continue “sharing our lessons learned and operations experience… to help them develop safe, reliable, and cost-effective destinations in space.”

The ISS was, in actual fact, scheduled to retire in 2024, but the Biden-Harris administration quietly prolonged its operations to last through 2030. It is believed that this will be the last extension.

As it approaches its last legs, the ISS is reported by NASA to be “busier than ever” and entering its “most productive decade,” as well as paving way for more diversity in space exploration roles.

“Today’s youth are tomorrow’s scientists, engineers, and researchers,” notes the space agency. “It is thus crucial to our nation and NASA’s efforts to maintain the interest and curiosity of today’s students so they continue to be inspired by and participate in the wide scope of space exploration roles.”

Source: DesignTAXI

International Student At ESSEC Business School In Singapore Sparks Outrage With Racist Instagram Posts

A foreign student studying abroad in Singapore faced massive backlash this past weekend after a photograph that she posted on Instagram for Chinese New Year earlier in 2020 went viral for all the wrong reasons.

The student, Louise, has since issued an apology on her now-private Instagram account, and Essec Business School, where she studies, has said that they are “looking into the situation”.

On Friday (Dec. 4), Instagram user @beforeik.o posted a screenshot of an Instagram story she had made of Louise’s post, which showed the French student pulling back her eyes with her fingers into a slit shape while wearing a cheongsam.

@beforeik.o’s Instagram post also included a screenshot of another photo posted by Louise for Chinese New Year, which included the words “ching chong” in the caption.

A person also commented, “So chong!! So coronavirus!!”

In her Instagram post, @beforeik.o also shared several screenshots of direct messages (DMs) in which Louise claimed that she was “clearly not racist” and that the photo was “just for fun”.

Louise pointed to the fact that Chinese people may get surgery on their eyes to have more “European” features, and asked whether that would be considered racism.

@beforeik.o replied that Louise should educate herself, remove the post, and apologise “before this whole thing blows up”.

Louise, however, doubled down and claimed to have a master’s degree, as well as a diploma from Harvard University about ethnicity in the workplace.

On Saturday (Dec. 5), the official Instagram page of Essec Business School commented on @beforeik.o’s Instagram post, writing that they are “looking into the situation and will take appropriate action”.

Source: Mothership

CNN Reporter Amara Walker Endures Three Anti-Asian Racist Encounters Within An Hour At Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport

Throughout the U.S. presidential campaign, Donald Trump has been deflecting criticism of his handling of COVID-19 by blaming China.

But the relentless linking of the pandemic to China has had negative consequences for Asian Americans, including CNN correspondent Amara Walker.

She recently described experiencing three anti-Asian racist incidents within an hour while traveling through Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.

Following these events, Walker described what happened in a lengthy Twitter thread.

Amara Walker was trying to catch a flight back home when “a man of color” suddenly approached her and said, “Ni Hao. Ching Chong,” according to her Twitter and Instagram posts last Thursday.

The journalist confronted the man about his actions earlier, but he denied the incident and walked away.

Minutes after her first encounter, while Walker was explaining to her producer what happened, a young man without a mask approached them and asked her if she spoke English.

The unnamed man mumbled incoherently and allegedly started throwing obscenities at Walker. At this point, her producer and the other people nearby demanded the man to leave her alone.

Walker’s producer called airport security, but the officer who arrived angrily denied that what the young man did was racist.

“That was not racist! Ok? Asking if she speaks English is not racist, ok? Do you understand me?” the officer allegedly said.

“Asian Americans across the country deal with this on a regular basis and we’re not talking about it,” she said. “Many Asian Americans don’t raise our voices, including myself. I’ve probably wouldn’t have written about this if this wasn’t so egregious.”

Source: NextShark, Straight

Apple launches Apple Music Radio with 2 new stations (Apple Music Hits & Apple Music Country); rebrands Beats 1 as Apple Music 1

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Apple Music Hits will play popular songs from the 80s, 90s and 2000s. Apple Music Country will be playing popular country music songs.

The company has said Apple Music Hits will have daily on-air hosts such as Jayde Donovan, Estelle, Lowkey, Jenn Marino, Sabi, Nicole Sky and Natalie Sky, George Stroumboulopoulos, as well as Ari Melber and others. There are other shows that are set to be hosted by artists like the Backstreet Boys, Ciara, Mark Hoppus, Huey Lewis, Alanis Morissette, Snoop Dogg, Meghan Trainor and Shania Twain.

Oliver Schusser, vice president of Apple Music, Beats, and international content, said this launch has taken a lot of behind-the-scenes work.

“For the past five years, if ever there was a meaningful moment in music culture, Beats 1 was there bringing human curation to the forefront and drawing in listeners with exclusive shows from some of the most innovative, respected, and beloved people in music,” he said. “Now, Apple Music radio provides an unparalleled global platform for artists across all genres to talk about, create, and share music with their fans, and this is just the beginning. We will continue to invest in live radio and create opportunities for listeners around the world to connect with the music they love.”

Apple Music 1 is expected to play the same type of music and have the same content overall as Beats 1.

Source: Appleosophy

Americans Who Trust President Donald Trump are More Likely to Discriminate Asian Americans Over COVID-19, Study Shows

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Amid the COVID-19 crisis, U.S. adults who have greater trust in President Donald Trump are more likely to engage in discriminatory behavior against Asian Americans, a new study revealed.

Trump, who has referred to SARS-CoV-2 as the “Chinese virus” and “Kung Flu,” routinely defends his use of the terms, saying that they were meant to indict China rather than Asian Americans.

However, his followers appear to miss the difference, as the study published in the International Journal of Public Health suggests that they would express more bias against the group than those who trust in science.

“We found over 40% of our sample reported they would engage in at least one discriminatory behavior toward people of Asian descent. Respondents who were fearful of COVID-19 (b = .09, p < 0.001) and had less accurate knowledge about the virus (b = − .07, p < 0.001) reported more negative attitudes toward Asians as did respondents with less trust in science (b = − .06, p < 0.001) and more trust in President Trump (b = .04, p < 0.001).”

Based on surveys of 1,141 U.S. residents in March 2020, the study found that more than 40% were willing to engage in at least one biased and discriminatory behavior toward people of Asian descent, such as refusing to sit next to one.

Researchers found that men, Republicans and non-white individuals reported greater bias toward Asians compared to the rest of the respondents.

Additionally, those who had worse fears of contracting COVID-19, those who knew less about the disease and those who had greater trust in Trump were also linked to having higher levels of bias towards Asian Americans.

Source: NextShark

Nike’s controversial Vaporfly shoes are making runners faster — so runners sponsored by other brands are blacking them out to wear in secret

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Vaporflys (and prototypes of them) have been involved in nearly every major running victory and milestone since 2016, and for good reason: Research suggests the design of their soles gives runners at least 4% more energetic efficiency over shoes from competing brands.

“The runner runs the race, but the shoe enables him or her to run it faster for the same effort or ability,” Geoff Burns, a kinesiology researcher and pro runner, told Business Insider of Vaporflys. “So for two athletes of equal ability on race day, the one with the shoes is going to beat the one without the shoes.”

That has led some athletes sponsored by companies other than Nike to don Vaporflys in secret. In at least three competitions, non-Nike runners have worn “blacked-out” Vaporflys: shoes covered in black permanent marker to make it difficult to spot the Nike swoosh.

Source: Yahoo

2021 Venice Biennale Postponed to 2022

The 59th edition of the Venice Biennale, formerly scheduled for 2021, has been postponed to the following year. The international art show’s next iteration will now run for seven months, from April 23 to November 27, 2022, overlapping with the 15th edition of the contemporary art quinquennial Documenta in Kassel, Germany.

Cecilia Alemani, chief curator of New York City’s High Line, was tapped to curate the 59th Biennale. Among the confirmed names for the show so far are the multimedia artist Stan Douglas for the Canadian Pavilion; Latifa Echakhch for the Swiss Pavilion; and Zineb Sedira, the first artist of Algerian descent to represent France at the biennial.

Source: Vogue