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Millions around the world are currently isolating themselves in quarantine as a way of social distancing to prevent the current spread of COVID-19. Many are trying to adapt to a new daily routine that’s 100% indoors including working from home, binge-watch entire series on Netflix and finding a way to exercise and keep active. But for decades, astronauts have been quarantined to ensure they are virus-free and not incubating an illness when they get to the space station.

What’s quarantine like for an astronaut?

It’s a two-week period where a pre-flight quarantine only allows controlled visits from close family are permitted, to ensure minimal risk of the astronauts bringing a virus with them to space. While in quarantine, astronauts spend their time preparing for the mission ahead and get a good rest and workout to make sure that they're in peak physical and mental condition.

Quarantine became the norm for astronauts after Apollo 7 crewmen got sick in space with colds and medication quickly ran out. Nowadays pre-flight quarantine, which is known as "health stabilization” is an essential safety precaution for every crew going on a mission to space. The procedure is especially important for astronauts because spending a prolonged amount of time living in microgravity can actually affect the immune system.

With the coronavirus pandemic going on at the moment, NASA officials are discussing lengthening the quarantine time and take additional measures to ensure no astronaut is infected before boarding upcoming flights. One thing’s for sure: the folks at NASA know that the most important thing is staying healthy and protecting the NASA family during these critical times.

Space has always fascinated humankind, especially since it became possible to send whatever items we want into space like dogs, plants, insects, etc. Basically, if it fits into a spaceship, you’re good to go!

These are some of the nuttiest things that have crossed the atmosphere and sailed into space

  1. Pizza delivery: In 2001, Pizza Hut became the first company to make a delivery to the International Space Station for a salami pizza! They paid around $1 million at the time for this promotional stunt.

  2. Car: SpaceX performed the launch of the Tesla Roadster on 2018 on space while riding atop of the Falcon Heavy Rocket. Both companies are owned by multimillionaire.

  3. Buzz Lightyear: The world’s most famous astronaut toy was sent to infinity and beyond in 2008, where it spent 450 days before returning to its home, Earth.

  4. Voyager’s Golden Records: Inspired by astronomer Carl Sagan, NASA sent out to space two 12-inch golden record in 1970. The idea was to send 115 images in analog form, greetings spoken in 55 languages followed by the "sounds of Earth" and a 90-minute selection of music throughout the ages from around the world, to be picked up along the way by an extraterrestrial intelligent life form

  5. Luke Skywalker’s Lightsaber: The original lightsaber used in the 1983 film Star Wars was flown into space and back in 2007, to commemorate the influence of Space in our modern culture and everyday lives.

There are many, many more random items that have traveled to outer space. Given the chance, what would you send beyond the earth’s atmosphere? Something to think about!

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Crazy Space

There’s nothing better than combining the thrill of the game with the beauty of a good film. The grandeur of Las Vegas casinos has been a real inspiration for dozens of films to add a level of intrigue and luxury when a director is making their movie. Let’s take a quick look at 5 of the best casino and gambling themed movies:

  1. Ocean’s Eleven: Perhaps the most famous casino themed films is 1960’s ‘Ocean’s Eleven’. This movie is packed with action and stylish suits and inspired by a series of Las Vegas casino robberies. Its 2001 remake also received critical acclaim, with George Clooney and Brad Pitt as Danny Ocean and Rusty Ryan who plan a heist of $150 million from a casino owner.

  2. Rounders: This 1998 film starts Matt Damon as Mike McDermott, one of the best poker players in the world who is now trying to stay away from the game and end up increasing the stakes so he can pay off the money he owes to loan sharks.

  3. The Sting: Starring Paul Newman, Robert Shaw and Robert Redford, this 1973 drama tells the story of a young man from Chicago seeking revenge for the death of his partner. The film was nominated for ten Oscars and winning seven, including Best Picture.

  4. Casino: This classic directed by Martin Scorsese in 1995 tells the story of a mobster, played by Robert De Niro, who starts operating Mafia-run casino hotels. Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone also appear in this thrilling film.

  5. High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story: This 2005 movie tells the story of the life of poker player Stu Ungar and the road to his success in several World Series of Poker. The film features cameos from several poker starts including Vince Van Patten, Andy Glazer and Al Bernstein.

What other gambling-related films can you think of that had a major impact on you and your gameplay? Maybe it’s time for a movie marathon to relive these beauties!

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Best Casino-Themed Movies

Daniel Craig achieved international fame the day he was announced to take over Pierce Brosnan’s seven-year tenure as James Bond, the timeless British Secret Service agent created in 1953, appearing on the big screen 26 times in over 65 years! James Bond was also previously portrayed by some of Hollywood’s biggest names like Sean Connery, David Niven, George Lazenby, Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton.

‘No Time To Die’ is Craig’s fifth and final outing as the MI6 agent also known by his code number 007. His 2006 ‘Casino Royale’ performance, as well as it did in his other films ‘Quantum of Solace’, ‘Skyfall’ and ‘Spectre’, gave Craig positive reviews from critics and fans.

The upcoming film is set to be released on April 2, 2020 in the United Kingdom and features the return of Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes and Naomi Harris on their previous roles, while Ana de Armas, Billy Magnussen and Rami Malek join the cast.

Director Cary Joji Fukunaga became the first American in the history of the series to direct an Eon Productions James Bond film and singer Billie Eilish is the youngest artist to record a Bond film title track at the age of eighteen.

Recruited to rescue a kidnapped scientist, James Bond finds himself behind the plans of a mysterious villain, Safi (played by Malek), who is armed with a dangerous weapon. Teaser trailers have also shown impressive stunts, amazing cars, and the incredible cinematography that everyone expect in a James Bond film.

Craig’s last-go around as Bond opposite the award winning Malek as villain promises to be one of the best films of the year. Will he be able to finally retire peacefully? Let’s wait and see!

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007 James Bond No Time to Die

The Marcel Cinematic Universe (MCU) Phase 4 officially kicks off this summer with its first feature film ‘Black Widow’. Set between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, Black Widow will tell the story of how the former Russian spy, portrayed by Scarlett Johansson, became an Avenger.

Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow has to fight against a dangerous conspiracy tied to her dark past before becoming an Avenger. While being hunted, Natasha revisits the relationships left behind before joining with S.H.I.E.L.D. Not much is known about the plot, but one thing is for sure: the film will certainly be action-packed with great special effects and an epic music score!

Black Widow is scheduled to be released on May 1, 2020 in the US, and will also star actors Florence Pugh, Ray Winstone and Rachel Weisz. The film is directed by Cate Shortland, who directed dramas like 2012’s ‘Lore’ and the Australian-French psychological thriller ‘Berlin Syndrome’

What’s next for MCU Phase 4? For a change, this is the first phase to include television series as part of its main storyline, with Marvel Studios already producing several shows for the streaming service Disney+ in addition to the feature films. Some of the announced titles include ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ with Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, WandaVision - featuring Elizabeth Olsen and the awaited ‘Loki’, starring the popular Tom Hiddleston.

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