This Global Footage Comes from Space

In an extreme case of repatriation, three astronauts returned to earth yesterday following nearly 6 months in the International Space Station. The three, Daniel Burbank (USA), Anton Shkaplerov (Russia), and Anatoly Ivanishin (Russia) landed safely in Kazakhstan—inside a Russian Soyuz capsule.

In honor of their arrival, here’s some time-lapse footage of the earth, taken from the ISS from August to October of last year, compiled and edited—complete with inter-galactic-sounding music—by Michael König:


No McAloo Tiki for You!

Back in October, MainStreet came out with a list of 10 glocalized items—from American-based fast-food chains—that aren’t available in the US. Among the food that the author writes “we wish we could have” are McDonald’s McVeggie (India), Burger King’s Meat Monster (Japan), Pizza Hut’s Chunky Loaded Pizza (Malaysia), Wendy’s Rugby Combo (New Zealand), and McDonald’s Bubur Ayam McD (Malaysia)—”juicy chicken strips in mouth-watering porridge, garnished with spring onions, sliced ginger, fried shallots and diced chilies . . . just like mum’s cooking!”

(Matt Brownell, “10 Fast Food Items You Can’t Have,” MainStreet, October 11, 2011)

By the way, did you know that since late 2010 Burger King has been owned by a Brazilian investment firm? At the time of the purchase, for $3.26 billion, 3G Capital planned to increase BK’s international presence, including opening 500 new restaurants in Latin America by 2015.

(“Brazilian-Owned 3G Capital Buys Burger King,” Business Pundit, October 11, 2011)

[the photo is of a lady enjoying McDonald’s fried chicken in Thailand: “IMG_7529 by weenie dog, used under a Creative Commons license]

Joplin, Missouri, USA, World

It’s been ten months since an EF5 tornado hit Joplin, MO, where we live. (We moved back here in June.) The city is still recovering, but even though there’s still a long way to go, a lot of progress has been made, in large part because of the thousands of volunteers who have given time to help. It’s spring break now, and workers are coming in from all over the country. Since May 22, help has come from outside the US, as well: For instance, after the Joplin school district announced its plans to provide Joplin high schoolers with MacBooks, the United Arab Emirates decided to donate $500,000 to help pay for them—with an additional pledge of another half-million dollars in the form of matching funds for the laptop program.

(Kelsey Ryan, “United Arab Emirates Donates $500,000 for High School Laptops,” The Joplin Globe, August 9, 2011)

And then there’s Toshiya Muto, who came to Joplin from Japan, to help in the cleanup. Muto wanted to pay back the US for what Americans did for his country after the tsunami. While in Joplin, Muto rode his bike 10 miles round trip everyday from his hotel to the disaster zone. “Of course it has an impact on my life,” said Muto, “but though my strength may be soft, slightly weak, if it has some impact, if someone needs me to exert myself, I’d like to do my best to help.”

 (Ethan Forhetz, “Joplin Tornado Victims Get Help from Japan,” WCTV, June 28, 2011)

[photo by BabyBare11, used under a Creative Commons license]