Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Surgery in Space

Ever wished you had more time for a project, but you knew you had to get it done right away? That's the problem astronauts faced when a solar wing powering the international space station station ripped.

The repairs would usually take weeks of planning, but the astronauts didn't have that kind of time: If it wasn't fixed soon, the solar wing could have endangered the whole station. They didn't even have time to figure out for sure how much damage had been done -- they just had to hope their plans would work.

In a tricky seven-hour spacewalk, astronaut Scott Parazynski successfully performed emergency surgery on the wing. No surprise: On Earth, Parazynski is an emergency-room physician.

Griping in Harmony

Next time you want to complain about something, try singing it.

"Valituskuoro" is a Finnish word that refers to people complaining in packs, but it literally means "complaints choir."

Two Finnish artists used that concept to start choirs in several countries, including the United States. The idea: It's healthier to sing about your gripes than to whine about them.

View all comments that have been posted about this article.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company