Monday marked the 15th anniversary of continued habitation of the International Space Station. Ever since the first crew arrived on Nov. 2, 2000, at the big tin can in the sky, 220 people from 17 countries have called it a temporary home. Zipping around Earth at 17,500 mph, 26,500 meals have been served at Chez ISS. Drinks have been from water recycled through the station’s Water Recovery System. Don’t think too hard about where that water comes from.
Holy smorgasbord! That’s one heck of a bed and breakfast. People have been staying longer at the ISS than some Homer inns have been around. Though we have Kachemak Bay, no one can beat the view from space. You get the stars, awesome sunrises, northern and southern lights, ocean and mountain views, and to top it all off, no snow shoveling.
No rain, either, or sleet or wind … You have just the vast emptiness of the cosmos and the challenge of keeping air inside a big cylinder and staying fit in zero gravity. Easy peasy. Even though the residents of ISS come from sometimes competing countries like America and Russia, in space they’re all pals, or try to be.
There’s a lesson in that. People can live off this planet, sometimes for a year or longer, in tight quarters and a pretty tough environment, tougher even then a Fritz Creek dry cabin, except you don’t have to chop wood. Keep those solar panels clean and you’ll do fine.
We’ve been doing fine here at the Cosmic Hamlet in our little corner of Spaceship Earth, even when the snow gets icy. Celebrate another turn of the planet with something awesome to do, like these Best Bets:
BEST FOREVER FRIDAY BET: That’s the joy of First Friday art openings. If you miss one, the art stays up all month. But you won’t want to miss this month’s new shows, because it’s the hottest social scene around in our art culture. See page 6 for the listings.
BEST MORE THAN A CRACKER BET: We’re talking The Ritz, the Pratt Museum’s annual gala fundraiser, now in its 30th year, always the place to dress up nice, have a good time and bid early, bid often on fabulous art and other items. The big do is 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Wasabi’s. Tickets are on sale at the Pratt if there are any left.
BEST GIVE IT UP BET: Kids, if your tummy is feeling a little funny, you’ve probably been eating too much Halloween candy. Donate your stash for the Great Candy Exchange at 10 a.m. Saturday at the 32nd Annual Rotary Health Fair at Homer High School. The health fair starts at 7:30 a.m. and runs to 1 p.m. See schedule, pages 12-15. Candy will be boxed and sent to military service members. Speaking of service members, don’t forget Veterans Day on Nov. 11. The big parade starts at 11 a.m. at Lake Street and Pioneer Avenue.
BEST LIVE FOREVER BET: That’s the idea of fame, right? Well, maybe. Letters Aloud, a traveling performance group, presents “Fame,” based on letters of celebrities, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Mariner Theatre. It’s a part of a collaboration for Hospice Month between the Homer Council and the Arts and Hospice of Homer. Also check out the community art project, “Loss,” opening Friday at HCOA.