Want to see 16 sunrises in one day? Float in zero gravity? Be one of the few to have gazed upon our home planet from space? The Aurora Station will be the world's first luxury hotel in OUTER SPACE! Developed by US-based space technology start-up Orion Span, the fully modular space station will host six people at a time, including two crew members, for 12-day trips of space travel. It plans to welcome its first guests in 2022. CEO Frank Bunger says, "Our goal is to make space accessible to all." Upon launch, Aurora Station goes into service immediately, bringing travelers into space quickly and at a lower price point than ever seen before." So what is that low, low price point? Well, a 12-day roundtrip adventure will only set you back $9.5 MILLION! The hotel will orbit Earth every 90 minutes, which means guests will see around 16 sunrises and sunsets every 24 hours. Activities on board include taking part in research experiments such as growing food while in orbit - which guests can take home for a super-smug souvenir - and soaring over their hometown. Guests can also have live video chats with their less-fortunate loved ones back home via high-speed wireless Internet access and, upon their return to Earth, will be greeted with a specially arranged hero's welcome. And again - it's only $9.5 million. Which we assume fits Mr. Bunger's definition of "accessible to all!" (CNN)
A Cosmic Punchline from Uranus
Using the huge telescope on Hawaii's Mauna Kea volcano, scientists have discovered the world's most obvious space joke. "Uranus smells like farts" is an actual, and correct, headline making the rounds these days. It seems the seventh planet from the sun does indeed smell like rotten eggs, which scientists figured out by using the spectrometer on the Gemini North telescope. They found that the planet's clouds are made up mostly of the smelly gas hydrogen sulfide. The discovery, reported in Nature Astronomy, should help astronomers better understand the formation not only of Uranus but of the other outer planets. For one thing, Uranus differs from gas giants Jupiter and Saturn, whose clouds are made up mostly of ammonia ice (and are thus less smelly). (Nature Astronomy)
Stolen Fajitas Cost Man 50 Years in Prison
A guy who stole some fajitas was just sentenced to 50 years in prison. Yes, it was a whole lot of fajitas - $1.2 million bucks worth to be exact! Last summer officers found fajitas in the fridge of Gilberto Escamilla, a then-employee of the Cameron County Juvenile Justice Department, who later admitted to stealing and reselling the marinated meat over several years. Escamilla said, "It was selfish. It started small and got bigger and out of control." An 800-pound fajita delivery tipped off the scam last summer when it arrived at the juvenile center in San Benito, about 10 miles north of the Mexico border. That's because the center didn't serve fajitas. A trail of invoices and vouchers eventually led investigators to Escamilla, totaling a theft of $1,251,578. Cameron County Assistant District Attorney Peter Gilman asked for the 50-year sentencing to send "a strong message." (Brownsville Herald)
Walmart Customer Goes Viral for Help!
For all of you trying to become the next internet viral sensation, it only took Forrest Hunter eight seconds. After becoming exasperated waiting for someone to help him in a Lawrenceburg, KY Walmart store, he finally picked up the store intercom phone and announced: "Customer needs assistance in sporting goods, please? I'm the customer!" He also made a video of his announcement which has been viewed more than 2.6 million times last time we checked on Facebook. Hunter later told local reporters he didn't get in any trouble. "A guy walked up and asked if I needed any help. I said, 'How'd you know?' Then I bought my hunting license." (WKYT News)
That is One Sick and Twisted Dude
In South Korea, a farmer was fed up with the barking of his neighbor's dog, a 2-year-old Welsh Corgi. The 62-year-old man has now confessed to killing and cooking the animal before inviting the owner to join him for a dog meat dinner! His invitation was kindly declined by the dog's owner, and sometime later another neighbor realized what was happening and denounced it. Horrified, the dog's family decided to launch an online plea calling for public support to ensure that the offender is punished sternly. 15,000 signatures have been collected to date. FYI - it's not that uncommon for folks in South Korea to eat dog meat. (JustDogLover.com)
Uh, Drugs Are Bad!
Police in Tulsa responded to a call about a disturbance in the Woodland Hills Mall. They were not disappointed. It seems a man and a woman who dipped their marijuana joint in a cup of PCP and then smoked it, decided to take off their clothes then run through Macy's. Corporal Brian Collum said when officers found the couple they were hugging each other. He added that Macy's employees had wrapped a towel around both of the idiots. They also said the man destroyed plastic displays, broke glass, and cut his arm. Both were taken to the hospital to be checked out. They could be booked on complaints of indecent exposure, vandalism and public intoxication. (NewsOn6)
What the What?
Supermarket shoppers in the western German city of Aachen have stepped out of their comfort zone to sample a new hamburger made of buffalo worms. The worms, highly nutritious due to their high protein content, are the larvae of buffalo beetles and are bred in the Netherlands. Served on traditional burger rolls with lettuce, onions and tomatoes, they are being offered to German customers after a successful run in the Netherlands and Belgium. Shopper Manfred Roedder, who tried one of the burgers, said, "I had reservations at first but I got a second serving because it tasted so good." But not everyone agrees. Store manager Michael Reinartz said, "We have people who are totally thrilled to find out about the whole thing and have been looking forward to it for days. And we have people who say: ‘You're not seriously doing that?!'" (Reuters)