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  • Hi, I'm Carl Azuz; it's good to see you, as always.

  • A dramatic increase in violent crime is challenging American cities from coast to coast.

  • In early December, ABC News reported that at least 12 US cities saw more murders in 2021 than they'd ever seen before.

  • That number rose to at least 13 cities after Milwaukee, Wisconsin joined the list.

  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Portland, Oregon; Louisville, Kentucky; Austin, Texas; Albuquerque, New Mexico; the problem was all over the map.

  • Experts and government officials have cited several reasons for it.

  • Problems rippling from the COVID pandemic, underfunded and understaffed police forces, not enough crime-fighting resources.

  • The US government has set aside hundreds of millions of dollars for law enforcement and community programs aimed at curbing crime.

  • And state, city, and community officials have promised action locally.

  • There were cities whose murder rate actually decreased last year, according to the Washington post.

  • They included Boston, Massachusetts and Dallas, Texas.

  • Pharmacies in those cities and all across the country are expecting shipments of face masks from the federal government; specifically, these are N95 masks.

  • Health officials say they give the best protection against the spread of disease.

  • 400 million of them are being distributed; the Biden administration says it's the largest deployment of personal protective equipment in US history.

  • There's no charge for them, though critics say this is a government program and would be funded by tax revenue.

  • Some health officials have said the Biden administration needs to do more to make COVID tests and masks available, that it's been too focused on vaccines.

  • President Joe Biden says the N95 masks are an important tool to stop the contagious Omicron variant of COVID.

  • There are indications that it's slowing down in some places; infections and hospitalizations are decreasing.

  • And while it's infected both the unvaccinated and the vaccinated, some health experts are hopeful that Omicron might leave people with immunity to COVID in the future.

  • Across the Atlantic, the future is uncertain for the nation of Ukraine.

  • There's been a conflict taking place there in the eastern part of the country since 2014.

  • People who want closer ties to neighboring Russia have been fighting against the Ukrainian government, which wants closer ties to other European countries.

  • Russia supports the side that wants independence; NATO and alliance of European and north American countries support the Ukrainian government.

  • So you can see how there's international interest in what happens here.

  • Russia has gathered tens of thousands of troops near its western border with Ukraine, and though Russia says it has no plans to invade, the Ukrainian government and its allies are concerned that Russia will.

  • The US has sent weapons and military equipment to the Ukrainian government.

  • In December, President Biden said he had ruled out sending American troops into a potential conflict there.

  • But last week, the US leader said if Russia moved against Ukraine, the US would send troops into the region.

  • And this week, America told non-essential staff and family members at a US Embassy in Ukraine to leave.

  • All sides involved have been holding meetings to try to calm down the situation.

  • Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelinski says everything is under control, but at the same time, his government is also building up its military presence in Eastern Ukraine.

  • The Ukrainians don't want to, uh, contribute in any way, shape, or form to panic.

  • They're worried that the local population here will get nervous if they see that the US is starting to evacuate some non-essential personnel and family members.

  • They're worried that that projects, uh, an image, potentially, that there really is Russian aggression expected imminently.

  • But, uh, while everyone is waiting for the diplomatic process to play out and... and hoping that it bears some fruit, there's no question that very real preparations are being made on all sides for the possibility of a military conflict.

  • NATO has just announced that it will be sending, uh, additional resources, ships, fighter jets to deployments of NATO in eastern Europe; that has already been greeted, uh, by the Kremlin with a negative tone saying that this is increasing tensions.

  • The Kremlin [is] also grousing about what they called "informational hysteria" and accusing the Ukrainians of building up, uh, military personnel and hardware along the border with the Donbas region, which is where those pro Russian separatists are based.

  • It would come as no surprise to many, though, that, of course, the Ukrainians are building up their presence along their border there because that is exactly where many fear some type of incursion may occur, if and when it does so.

  • So I think it's a sense of people still hoping that the diplomatic efforts might bear some fruit, but preparing, in the meantime, for the worst as well.

  • 10-second trivia: Which of these inventions was developed for the space program in the 1960s?

  • Floppy disc, memory foam, Explorer 1 satellite, or Carbon water filter?

  • American engineer Charles Yost developed memory foam for NASA Astronauts in the 1960s.

  • Freeze-dried foods, portable hand vacuums, scratch-resistant lenses, smoke detectors.

  • Not all of these inventions were created for space exploration, but they all saw improvements under space programs that eventually made their way to store shelves.

  • Flash forward a few decades; the International Space Station cost $150 billion to build and it takes several billion dollars to maintain it every year.

  • Critics say it hasn't yielded enough scientific advancements to justify its cost.

  • But a European astronaut has been working to apply the research it has conducted to modern life on Earth.

  • When you look at the Earth from the Space Station, it's... it's absolutely magical; it glows in blue and it's the most beautiful scenery you could possibly imagine.

  • When you take a step back and you see the Earth in its entirety, you understand it is just an oasis, uh, in the cosmos.

  • All... all around, there's nothingno life, just blackness, emptiness.

  • And there's this... this blue ball with everything we need to sustain human life and life in general, which is absolutely fragile, and it makes you want to cherish the Earth.

  • I'm Thomas Pesquet; I'm an astronaut for the European Space Agency.

  • I'm coming back for my second mission to space, all on board the International Space Station; it's a permanent laboratory that orbits the Earth.

  • Just like us on the... onboard the space station, the Earth is a spaceship and... and we are its crew.

  • It flies around the sun, it has limited resources, it has some protection means, but that can be overcome.

  • You don't control the amount of resources that you have onboard, but you have to manage them.

  • And what you can control: the way you care about the spaceship, the way you maintain it, because you want the flight to be as long and peaceful as possible.

  • I'm an ambassador for the Food and Agricultural Organization of [the] United Nations.

  • During my mission on the Space Station, we had a lot of research done on plants because space is a harsh environment for plants.

  • By studying plants in the environment of space, then we can study how they can resist to a drought or water scarcity, and then we can feed all those results, uh, to research being made on earth and to create some more resistant crops, the crops that will resist to climate change.

  • We've also worked a lot on all our packaging, just like on earth.

  • We're trying to limit the production... the use of plastic, the production of waste, and, so, we came up with edible packaging, which is just a... such a fantastic and simple concept.

  • We need foam to protect everything from shocks during launch into space; so, what we did is, we turned that foam into food and it's like gingerbread.

  • Now our packaging is, at the same time, our source of food.

  • It reduces the need to send cargo up; it reduces the production of trash.

  • It's... it's brilliant.

  • So, hopefully, that technology can also transfer to packaging on the ground, and then we can reduce our environmental footprint every time we go buy something in the supermarket.

  • If we set ourselves on the right path, there's nothing we cannot do.

  • We built that unbelievable facility in space; we're using it every day.

  • Peaceful cooperations between countries that were not always friends.

  • And, so, if we can transfer that model to the way we deal with the environment, I think we'll get there.

  • I'm optimistic for the future.

  • If we can make a space station fly, then we can save the planet

  • Ice bites, ice jams, and ice pancakes sound like new menu items at "Icehop".

  • But these unique formations recently appeared in Lake Michigan, not far from Chicago, Illinois, and meteorologists say they're of the ice pancake variety.

  • They form when chunks of ice start bumping into each other as they float on the waves.

  • Eventually they get these round, raised edges andvoila! Ice pancakes.

  • Mother Nature commonly serves these up in the Arctic, but it takes several days of subfreezing temperatures for them to form in the lower 48 states.

  • For "coniceours", they sound like an "ice" addition to a dessert menu.

  • It might include "icebox" cookies, apple "pice", pumpkin "ice" latte, "cold-cross" buns.

  • Unless you're a snowbird, everyone loves "frosting", so let's go ahead and set the table with some fresh "picetries" or chocolate chip "cookice", 'cause that would be the "icing" on the "crepe".

  • From Springfield, Tennessee, we heard from Springfield High School on our YouTube channel.

  • Thank you for your comment on Monday's show.

  • I'm Carl Azuz.

Hi, I'm Carl Azuz; it's good to see you, as always.

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Lessons From Space | January 25, 2022

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    林宜悉 posted on 2022/02/07
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