I Can't See My House From Here Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt, the only Apollo astronaut who was also a professional scientist, stands next to the U.S. flag with Earth in the background. PHOTOGRAPH BY NASA

“I Can’t See My House From Here” Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt, the only Apollo astronaut who was also a professional scientist, stands next to the U.S. flag with Earth in the background. PHOTOGRAPH BY NASA

Thanks to an avid space enthusiast, we are now privy to thousands of never-before-seen photos of the moon. Volunteer historian Kipp Teague, a lifelong NASA follower and IT administrator at Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Virginia, operates the Project Apollo Archive, a website devoted to our nation’s journeys to the moon. “I could not leave this world with this stuff sitting on my shelf,” he said.

Teague’s Flickr account contains more than 10,000 Apollo moon mission high-def photos which had been in the public domain for decades, but NASA had never made high-definition scans accessible in one place online, according to National Geographic.

“Teague’s Flickr page supplements – and improves upon – other attempts to digitally archive the Apollo mission photos. NASA’s Human Spaceflight website, for instance, displays many of them, as does the Lunar and Planetary Institute’s Apollo Image Atlas, but navigating the sites just for the photos can be tedious. What’s more, seeing all of the images at once on Flickr gives the collection a more familiar, unguarded feel, like looking through the snapshots of a friend’s road trip,” reports NatGeo.

And while we’re on the subject of photos, check out the winning entries in the 2015 Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest. Top winner is Canadian Don Gutoski, whose picture titled “A tale of two foxes” tells a thousand words. Here is the description and the image.

Best school lunch of the year

Need a break from it all? Watch the faces of these children light up during the best school lunch of their school year!

Love Letters

The art of letter handwriting is disappearing. Realizing that the world is abandoning the tradition in favor of email and texting, artist Ha Schult asked people to send him love letters for a project. Nearly 150,000 handwritten notes poured in from around the world. What did Schult do with them? You will never guess. But here’s a hint:

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A playground from the kitchen?

Guess how this guy amused himself when he was a toddler. Hint: Mom’s kitchen cabinets are where he found his playground!

A world in miniature

You might have seen one of these sets in any of the movies you’ve watched. And you probably thought they were lifesized. But you’d be wrong. The Musée Cinéma et Miniature in Lyon, France, has two rare and exclusive collections. The first features more than 100 miniature scenes delicately created by miniaturists noted for their ability to produce daily life settings with hyper-realism. Like this one:

The Barber by Michel Perez

The Barber by Michel Perez

The second collection is a one-of-its kind film exhibition that focuses on special effects techniques and features over 300 original film props and artifacts.

View the entire gallery and more here.

Weird food

OK, this is weird. Unless you’re a foodie, I guess. Watch this unusual (an understatement) short video of a visual, aural and gastronomic treat, produced by French director and animator Alexandre Dubosc, whose quirky confections somehow mesmerize with their… well, you just have to watch it and see for yourself. Introducing “Melting POP”.

Melting POP © Alexandre DUBOSC

Melting POP © Alexandre DUBOSC

And if you found that fascinating, here are more, including a cake inspired by film director Tim Burton, best known for his off-kilter movies like “Edward Scissorhands” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

Attention outdoorsmen and map lovers!

Thanks and a hat tip to the “Appalachian Mountain Club Equipped Outdoors” website which recently posted a link that takes you to nearly every USGS topo map ever made. For free!

USGS 1893 Mount Washington Topo Map Section

USGS 1893 Mount Washington Topo Map Section

“The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been producing detailed topographic maps for more than 125 years. Today they are nearly all digitized and free to download through the USGS Map Store, an incredible treasure trove for both map junkies and casual hikers alike,” wrote blogger Matt Heid.

Just use the USGS Map Locator and Downloader, which allows you to zoom in or search for your area of interest. Here’s the link. Heid writes, “… one of the single-most useful online tools I’ve discovered in recent years, is the ability to overlay every USGS topo map on top of Google Earth, another free (and extremely powerful) tool to add to your trip planning quiver.”

Number One with a Bullet

A reader sent along a video, commenting: “Eye-opening, highly recommended viewing to the end – is not very long! WARNING: those who do not like or are afraid of guns WILL NOT be convinced!”

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Attached was a clip produced by Bill Whittle. In it, he quotes some surprising facts that reveal how the United States stacks up against other countries with strict gun control laws. It is worth sharing with you.

Another video you might want to view is a four-part series produced by “The Late Boy Scout” about his four-day experience at Front Sight Firearms Training Institute in Nevada. Having personally just returned from Front Sight’s two-day handgun training course last week, it neatly explains and refreshes everything I was taught about handling, shooting, and protecting myself with a handgun. Whether or not you own a firearm, you’ll benefit from watching it.

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