Space Oddity

We called a licensed Virgin Galactic travel agent to answer our burning questions about the company's pioneering space-tourism...

We called a licensed Virgin Galactic travel agent to answer our burning questions about the company's pioneering space-tourism trips.

GOOD: Let's say I wanted to go into space-there are some things I'd want to know. For starters, how high will I go?VIRGIN: The plane elevates 60,000 feet into space. Then the rocket sort of launches into space for 60 to 70 miles, at which point you're floating out of your seat for a little while.G: How long will the flight last?V: The entire thing is about two to three hours. And the part where you are out in space floating lasts about six minutes.G: So it costs $200,000 right?V: The fee is $200,000, and the deposit minimum is $20,000, but the more your deposit is, the sooner you go.G: Can I pay by credit card, like a regular flight?V: No. You need to buy it outright, and money can be wire-transferred to the U.K. offices.G: What should I bring?V: You don't need to bring anything. You'll have time to prepare in advance and you get a suit in the plane, but you don't want to bring anything with you. I've done a weightless experience before, and it was the most amazing thing I have ever done. I tried it with a camera in my hand, and then again without, and trust me, you don't want to be carrying anything with you. Virgin Galactic takes care of all of that.G: Can I bring my dog?V: Um, I doubt it.G: Another possibly stupid question: Are there bathrooms?V: No, there's no time for that. Trust me, you won't be looking for that when you're 6,000 feet up.G: How soon can I go?V: The first-tier founder flight is sold out. There were 100 seats that basically were invitation only. Beyond that, it depends on how much you put down. I'm not 100 percent sure, but if you put down, say, $125,000 now you might be 250th on the list.G: Will I get jet lag?V: Based on what astronauts have shared, after the weightless experience, being up in space, seeing layers of air and the curvature of the earth, you definitely feel different. You won't have jet lag, but you will definitely feel different.G: Do I need a passport?V: Funny you should bring this up. You would fly out of New Mexico, so you might not. But Virgin Galactic might make something kind of like this for space.G: So there's paperwork involved?V: Yes.

via Chela Horsdal / Twitter

Amazon's "The Man in the High Castle" debuted the first episode of its final season last week.

The show is loosely based on an alternative history novel by Philip K. Dick that postulates what would happen if Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan controlled the United States after being victorious in World War II.

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via Mike Mozart / Flickr

Chick-fil-A is the third-largest fast food chain in America, behind McDonald's and Starbucks, raking in over $10 billion a year.

But for years, the company has faced boycotts for supporting anti-LGBT charities, including the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home.

The Salvation Army faced criticism after a leader in the organization implied that gay people "deserve to die" and the company also came under fire after refusing to offer same-sex couples health insurance. But the organization swears it's evolving on such issues.

via Thomas Hawk / Flickr

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes explicitly announced it was anti gay marriage in a recent "Statement of Faith."

God instituted marriage between one man and one woman as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman.

The Paul Anderson Youth Home teaches boys that homosexuality is wrong and that same-sex marriage is "rage against Jesus Christ and His values."

RELATED: The 1975's singer bravely kissed a man at a Dubai concert to protest anti-LGBT oppression

In 2012, Chick-fil-A's CEO, Dan Cathy, made anti same-sex marriage comments on a radio broadcast:

I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, "We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage". I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.

But the chicken giant has now decided to change it's says its charitable donation strategy because it's bad for business...Not because being homophobic is wrong.

The company recently lost several bids to provide concessions in U.S. airports. A pop-up shop in England was told it would not be renewed after eight days following LGBTQ protests.

Chick-fil-A also has plans to expand to Boston, Massachusetts where its mayor, Thomas Menino, pledged to ban the restaurant from the city.

via Wikimedia Commons

"There's no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are," Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos told Bisnow. "There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message."

RELATED: Alan Turing will appear on the 50-pound note nearly 70 years after being persecuted for his sexuality

Instead, the Chick-fil-A Foundation plans to give $9 million to organizations that support education and fight homelessness. Which is commendable regardless of the company's troubled past.

"If Chick-Fil-A is serious about their pledge to stop holding hands with divisive anti-LGBTQ activists, then further transparency is needed regarding their deep ties to organizations like Focus on the Family, which exist purely to harm LGBTQ people and families," Drew Anderson, GLAAD's director of campaigns and rapid response, said in a statement.

Chick-fil-A's decision to back down from contributing to anti-LGBT charities shows the power that people have to fight back against companies by hitting them where it really hurts — the pocket book.

The question remains: If you previously avoided Chick-fil-A because it supported anti-LGBT organizations, is it now OK to eat there? Especially when Popeye's chicken sandwich is so good people will kill for it?


Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

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The Planet
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr and nrkbeta / flickr

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) dropped a bombshell on Tuesday, announcing it had over 900 emails that White House aide Stephen Miller sent to former Breitbart writer and editor Katie McHugh.

According to the SPLC, in the emails, Miller aggressively "promoted white nationalist literature, pushed racist immigration stories and obsessed over the loss of Confederate symbols after Dylann Roof's murderous rampage."

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via Twitter / Bye,Bye Harley Davidson

The NRA likes to diminish the role that guns play in fatal shootings by saying, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

Which is the same logic as, "Hammers don't build roofs, people build roofs." No duh. But it'd be nearly impossible to build a roof without a hammer.

So, shouldn't the people who manufacture guns share some responsibility when they are used for the purpose they're made: killing people? Especially when the manufacturers market the weapon for that exact purpose?

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