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Reblogged:Friday Hodgepodge

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Four Things

Let's take a short break from that damned virus today, shall we?
In the process of answering a question about weather vanes, I stumbled across this gorgous picture of one. (Image by SmithVane, via Wikimedia Commons, license.)
1. Did you know that we may soon have a broad-spectrum flu vaccine?
The experimental vaccine now awaits a phase 3 trial that will test how well it actually protects against the seasonal flu, said lead researcher Olga Pleguezuelos, chief scientific officer at SEEKacure, a London-based pharmaceutical development firm.

FLU-v works by targeting parts of the influenza virus that have been shown to evolve the least over time, Pleguezuelos said.
It is worth noting that, if this approach works, it will be tried against several other similarly challenging viral pathogens.

2. Having read in Socialism Sucks about the great strides towards freedom by the nation of Georgia, I indulged my curiosity a bit. One of my rewards was finding a "playful" list of commonalities between the US state and the nation that share the name Georgia:
2) They're both famous for their beverages.

State: Atlanta is internationally famous as the home of Coca Cola.

Country: It has one of the oldest wine regions in the world and the wines, while part of the national fabric for thousands of years, are just now gaining international acclaim. A visit inevitably results in copious amounts of delicious local varieties -- such as Kakheti's Saperavi reds -- being "forced" upon you. [format edits]
A traveller familiar with both compiled this list, which offers four other interesting comparisons.

3. In case you've ever wondered, "What does outer space smell like?" Popular Science has you covered:
Though a pure, unadulterated whiff of outer space is impossible for humans (it's a vacuum after all; we would die if we tried), when astronauts are outside the ISS, space-borne compounds adhere to their suits and hitch a ride back into the station. Astronauts have reported smelling "burned" or "fried" steak after a space walk, and they aren't just dreaming of a home-cooked meal.

The smell of space is so distinct that, three years ago, NASA reached out to Steven Pearce of the fragrance maker Omega Ingredients to re-create the odor for its training simulations. "Recently we did the smell of the moon," Pearce says. "Astronauts compared it to spent gunpowder."
I'm not sure which makes me smile more: The child-like question, or the fact that it has an answer that makes sense.

4. Via Let Grow comes word of a hilarious Instagram account by an artist who appears to have found her niche. It features poster art inspired by one-star reviews of national parks -- like, "There are bugs, and they will bite you on your face." The artist, a military brat who grew up enjoying many of these places, also offers amusing comebacks, such as, "Bugs? Outside? In nature? No thank you."

-- CAV

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