Finally: Affordable Space Travel Comes to San Francisco

Jonathon Keats's Local Air and Space Administration sells Mars-filtered water, plants cacti in extraterrestrial soil, and brings space to the city.

The San Francisco artist Jonathon Keats is a master of delectably deadpan works. He has founded a pornographic theater for plants, screening grainy footage of pollination for an audience of titillated rhododendrons. He once mixed a ring tone based on John Cage’s silent composition, “4’33.” And he gave pencils and easels to Cypress trees so they could express themselves when the wind blew. “Everything I do comes out of practicality,” Keats says. The guy’s just trying to help out.

His latest project is one of his most practical yet. Dismayed at the high cost and downright hassle of private space travel—“I didn’t have $200,000 to spend on Virgin Galactic,” he says, adding that “freeze-dried ice-cream is really disgusting”—Keats wanted a way to bring the extra-terrestrial experience down to Earth. So he formed his own space agency—the Local Air and Space Administration, or LASA—and has designed several convenient tours for Earth-dwellers. In one, the artist embedded pieces of meteorite in the soles of slippers, allowing space walks inside any apartment. Not wanting to exclude plants, he also smashed bits of asteroid into dirt, then planted cacti in the foreign soil. Why cacti? “Initial test pilots tend to be brave and a little bit stupid. And I realized that kind of described a cactus.”

But the simplest way for people to tour space will be to drink it. In an upcoming show at San Francisco’s Modernism Gallery, Keats will be selling bottles of water mineralized with pieces of the Moon, Mars, or a star. Call it the opposite of Neil Armstrong sipping Tang in the LEM. (Keats also offers a trip to potatoes, through osmosis.) And like any good travel agent, he’s ready to cut a deal for the ambitious voyager. “There will be package tours for people who want to experience all three.”

The show opens to the public at Modernism Gallery Thursday, October 21, at 5:30 p.m.


This article was produced in partnership with the United Nations to launch the biggest-ever global conversation on the role of cooperation in building the future we want.

When half of the world's population doesn't share the same opportunity or rights as the other half, the whole world suffers. Like a bird whose wings require equal strength to fly, humanity will never soar to its full potential until we achieve gender equality.

That's why the United Nations made one of its Sustainable Development Goals to "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls." That goal includes providing women and girls equal access to education and health care, as well as addressing gender-based discrimination and violence against women and girls.

While there is still much work to be done, history shows us that we are capable of making big leaps forward on this issue. Check out some of the milestones humanity has already reached on the path to true equality.

Historic Leaps Toward Gender Equality

1848 The Seneca Falls Convention in New York, organized by Elizabeth Lady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, is the first U.S. women's convention to discuss the oppression of women in sociopolitical, economic, and religious life.

1893 New Zealand becomes the first self-governing nation to grant national voting rights to women.

1903 Marie Curie becomes the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. She is also the only woman to win multiple Nobel Prizes, for Physics in 1903 and Chemistry in 1911.

1920 The 19th Amendment is passed in the U.S. giving women the right to vote in all 50 U.S. states.

1973 The U.S. Open becomes the first major sports tournament of its kind to offer equal pay to women, after tennis star Billie Jean King threatened to boycott.

1975 The first World Conference on Women is held in Mexico, where a 10-year World Plan of Action for the Advancement of Women is formed. The first International Women's Day is commemorated by the UN in the same year.

1979 The UN General Assembly adopts the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), also known as the "Women's Bill of Rights." It is the most comprehensive international document protecting the rights of women, and the second most ratified UN human rights treaty after the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

1980 Vigdis Finnbogadottir of Iceland becomes the first woman to be elected head of state in a national election.

1993 The UN General Assembly adopts the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, the first international instrument to explicitly define forms of violence against women and lay out a framework for global action.

2010 The UN General Assembly creates the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) to speed progress on meeting the needs of women and girls around the world.

2018 The UN and European Union join forces on the Spotlight Initiative, a global, multi-year initiative focused on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls.

As the UN celebrates its 75th anniversary, it is redoubling its commitment to reach all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including gender equality. But it will take action and effort from everyone to ensure that women and girls are free from discrimination and violence. Learn more about what is being done to address gender equality and see how you can get involved here.

And join the global conversation about the role of international cooperation in building the future by taking the UN75 survey here.

Let's make sure we all have a say in the future we want to see.

via WFMZ / YouTube

John Perez was acquitted on Friday, February 21, for charges stemming from an altercation with Allentown, Pennsylvania police that was caught on video.

Footage from September 2018 shows an officer pushing Perez to the ground. After Perez got to his feet, multiple officers kicked and punched him in an attempt to get him back on the ground.

Perez claims he was responding to insults hurled at him by the officers. The police say that Perez was picking a fight. The altercation left Perez with a broken nose, scrapes, swelling, and bruises from his hips to his shoulder.

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