The future of travel is here

In 2018, two space tourists will make a loop around the moon. SpaceX, the private rocket company owned by billionaire and mad scientist Elon Musk, has announced that it is going to send two tourists on a loop around the moon in 2018. Unfortunately for us, those two people have already been chosen, and are going to be paying big money. The exact amount has not been disclosed, but it’s safe to assume it’ll be in the tens of millions at least. This would be the farthest any human has traveled from earth in over 40 years, back when Apollo 13 used the moon’s gravity to slingshot itself back towards earth. [Time]

Also in futuristic travel science: Airlines are using science to make plane food better. You know how every comedian has a joke about bad airline food? Turns out, that’s not because of a lack of culinary expertise in the skies. It’s because the low air pressure, the noise, and the dry air can mess with your taste buds and your dining experience. Now, airlines are trying to use science to make plane food taste better. They know, for instance, that grapes grown at higher altitudes (like in Chile) make for better wine in the air. So they’re going to push more Chilean wine in-flight. They also know that our sensitivity to sweet or salty foods decrease in flight, while our ability to taste umami foods increases — so they’re offering more umami foods. One brewery based out of Denmark is even brewing beer specifically for airlines. Scientists may just make airline food jokes a thing of the past. [New York Times]

This week in “people being awesome.”

Leftovers from Oscars after-parties fed over 800 people in LA. The Oscars are known for their extravagance. The after-parties are known to be exquisitely catered, but all of those beautiful people don’t really eat all the food that’s put in front of them. So actress Freida Pinto (most famous for Slumdog Millionaire) teamed up with local charities to make sure that food didn’t just end up in the trash. The charities made sure that the leftovers ended up in local food banks, and in the end, 800 people were fed with what was left behind. [Global Citizen]

A Michigan Muslim woman is running the Boston Marathon to raise money for refugees. Rahaf Khatib is from Damascus, Syria, originally, but has lived in Michigan since the 1980’s. She’s also a pretty serious marathon runner — she’s done 6 in the past two years. This year, she decided to run the Boston Marathon in order to raise money for Syrian Refugees. She’s already raised nearly 10,000 of her 12,000 goal with 46 days left. You can help close that gap here. [MuslimGirl.com]

Muslims are stepping up to fight anti-Semitic vandalism across the country. Over the past few weeks, 2 Jewish Cemeteries have been vandalized in St. Louis and in Philadelphia. The vandalism has been received with near-unanimous horror across the country, but a silver-lining story has come out of both attacks: Muslims are leading the way in fighting the vandalism. In both cities, local Muslim cultural centers have stood up in solidarity with their Jewish neighbors, and have raised crazy amounts of money to repair the damages headstones in the cemeteries. It hasn’t been just Muslims, either: police, politicians, and labor unions have all chipped in as well. As horrifying as the vandalism has been, it’s been heartening to see the rest of the country rise up in rejection of the anti-Semitism. [CNN]

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