It's been a good week for … space fashion
It's that time of year when you start to plan your holiday wardrobe. If you're like me - ie, Scottish - then the same summer gear will still be pristine after a decade, most of it having been spent in cold storage.
For those planning a trip to Mars, however, sartorial life has just got that bit more complicated. The hot-off-the-catwalk news is that US space agency Nasa has been showcasing the wardrobe essentials for future astronauts on their first flight to Mars.
Nasa said the Z-2 spacesuit was as yet just a prototype, but details of it would be used in the suit worn by the first humans to reach the Red Planet.
With lines that evoke visions of Buzz Lightyear meets the Michelin Man, the question "does my bum look big in this?" won't be a concern on Mars.
The design beat two others with 63% of a public vote of 233,431. The contenders were the "bio-mimicry" suit, styled on the bioluminescence of aquatic creatures and the tough scaly skins of fish and reptiles; and a "trends in society" suit, which predicted what everyday clothes may look like in the future. Neither will be hitting M&S in the next light year. Nasa said the Z-2's hard composite upper torso "provides the much-needed long-term durability that a planetary extravehicular activity suit will require", but despite its "aesthetic appeal", the prototype was not made of the same material designed to protect space-walking astronauts from micro-meteorite strikes, extreme temperatures and radiation. A bit of a design flaw, then. Reports that Red Or Dead are providing the accessories are but a rumour.
It's been a bad week for … statues
Poor old David: overcoming Goliath with a mere slingshot, only to be brought down by his own weak ankles. Michelangelo's famous 5.5 tonne statue risks collapsing under its own weight because of signs of micro-fractures in its lower legs, according to researchers in the Italian city of Florence. The carved tree stump behind David's right leg, which bears most of the weight, may also have cracks.
It's been suggested an earthquake, or even road construction, could cause it to topple. It is suggested that the statue should be moved either to a quake-proof room or to a site outside the city. The people of Florence, however, will be loath to part with their beloved David. No-one wants to lose their marbles.
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