Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check - May 30, 2014
May 30, 2014
Sir RICHARD BRANSON's Virgin Galactic space company says they've made a deal with the Federal Aviation Administration so that the company can begin to launch various suborbital flights from its New Mexico spaceport.
Virgin Galactic says they want to launch the first passenger flight into space this year, and they have a waiting list of 600 people. But they're still testing the spacecraft and the airplane that will carry it.
Basically, there's one big plane that carries the spaceship high enough to launch it --around 50-thousand feet in the air-- then the rocket motors will carry it into space, to up around 60 miles above the Earth's surface.
The FAA agreement covers the first part of the flight through US airspace.
Oh, and if you think you'd like to try it out --be prepared to pony up $250-thousand dollars.
Virgin Galactic says they'll likely begin operations later this year.
Like you really care:
EVA LONGORIA's Las Vegas steakhouse has served it's last filet. The NY Post's Page Six gossip column reports the SHe restaurant catered to female clientele with smaller portions, a catwalk and mirrors on the back of the dessert menus so beauty-conscious customers could reapply their lipstick. The join was temporarily closed by the Southern Nevada Health District last month, but quickly reopened with an "A" grade and shut down permanently due to a disagreement with the landlord. (Lee)
During last week's finale of "Dancing With the Stars," host TOM BERGERON teased winner (with MERYL DAVIS) MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIY over rumors of a romance between him and Meryl by calling him "the Blushin' Russian."
At the time, Maks let it go, but has just released a T-shirt through his Dance With Me dance studio. It features drawings of a glass with light contents, labeled "White Russian," a glass with dark contents labeled "Black Russian," and a photo of his face, labeled "Blushin' Russian Ukrainian."
Turns out Maks was born in Odessa and was Ukraine's Latin Ballroom Dance champion before he emigrated to America and DWTS fame. $30. (Kaye)
There are new nail art decals that light up when you use your Android phone. (Sorry, iPhone fans, this is one trend where you have sit on the sidelines.) The Lumi Deco Nail uses technology that transmits small amounts of power to communicate with your smartphone, or other small electronic device. SheFinds.com says the nail decals may even light up when the person using them uses a card with a magnetic strip, like a credit card or subway card. They're being sold in Asia now. Its Japanese manufacturer, Takama Tomy Arts will consider expanding into the U-S after they see how well it sells overseas. (Bartha)
Diseases and Dat Boid Flu:
Officials at the CDC (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) announced that 288 U.S. cases of measles have been reported in 2014 so far, a 20-year high. Thanks, anti-vaxxers!
Sixty of the cases this year occurred statewide in California; 138 in Ohio, in Amish communities that traditionally avoid vaccination.
Measles was officially eliminated in the U.S. in 2000, but that just means the virus doesn't circulate here year-round. But unvaccinated travelers can bring the illness back with them from places where it does. Measles is currently widespread in the Philippines, and travel to and from the region have been implicated in many of the recent cases in the US. (Kaye)
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