May 19, 2013

    Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Russian Space Mice Return to Earth

Possibly dead, still cute

A Russian space capsule carrying 45 mice, 15 newts, and a host of other small, possibly adorable animals, returned from a one-month mission in orbit Sunday. The Bion-M spacecraft landed safely in the Orenburg region of Russia, some 750 miles south of Moscow, according to Russian Mission Control.

Along with snails and gerbils, the capsule holds recorded data that Russian scientists hope will help pave the way for the first manned flights to Mars. A field laboratory has already been deployed near the landing site so that scientists can begin observing the effects of microgravity on the skeletal structure, nervous systems, and circulatory function of the animals.

According to Russian Mission Control, these tests would have been impossible to conduct on humans aboard the International Space Station. They also added that a mission separate from the ISS was necessary since a small zoo on the station would have posed a tremendous health risk.

There is no word yet on whether the animals have actually survived the ordeal or developed super powers.

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Pork loin with peaches.     Photo: David P. Smith/Shutterstock

Bacon Cafe Under Attack For Smelling Like Bacon

Fumes overwhelming neighbors

A popular pork-centered restaurant in the San Francisco area is closing due to its overwhelming aroma of bacon and concerns over grease disposal.

Department of Public Health officials told the SF Examiner that the restaurant, Bacon Bacon, had months to resolve the concerns raised by neighbors but failed to do so. The announcement has led to a swell of online support for the cafe, including a petition with more than 1,600 signatures from Bay Area residents who want to keep Bacon Bacon open. 

A public hearing must be held before Bacon Bacon can reopen, but one may not be scheduled until July. In the meantime, neighbor has offered to install an air filter to reduce the overwhelming smell of bacon, but the "to date, the owner has not accepted that offer," says Ryan Patterson, the attorney for the unnamed but upset neighbors.

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