Day and Night

Day and Night: photograph

I’ve been looking at this photograph for hours, scattered over the last few days.

It was apparently taken from the space shuttle Columbia. No it wasn’t, scroll down for the comments. I shouldn’t need to point out that the big lumpy thing in the foreground is called Africa, and further back there’s the thing they call Europe.

It fascinates me because it — literally! — puts things in perspective. Some of the world’s greatest cities are invisible, at least in daylight. The Low Countries are just starting to blaze in artificial light. But the brightest lights are the flares of oil wells in the deserts of Algeria and Libya, and off the coast of Nigeria.

Hey, aren’t the people there starving? That can’t be right, if they’ve got all that oil, surely?

Thanks to Memex 1.1 for the pointer.

Astronaut charged with attempted kidnapping

Police photo of astronaut Lisa Nowak

This astronaut didn’t have The Right Stuff, it seems. Or maybe she had too much of it. The photo at right is US Navy Captain Lisa Nowak, 43, who flew a shuttle mission to the International Space Station last July.

But on Monday she was arrested and charged with attempted kidnapping and other counts, after she allegedly drove 900 miles and donned a disguise to confront a woman she believed was her rival for the affections of a space shuttle pilot.

The ABC story apparently finds it important to mention that “Nowak raced from Houston to Orlando wearing diapers so she wouldn’t have to stop to urinate, authorities said. Astronauts wear diapers during launch and re-entry.”

Thanks to Richard for spotting this one!