Wonders of Life

Cheetos Lip Balm. That’s right, you can purchase lip balm imbued with the delicate flavor of Cheetos. Somehow I lived in blissful ignorance of that fact until quite recently, when I discovered that chemists had pulled off this minor miracle back in 2005. As I pondered the idea of a cheese-puffy lip protector, a flood of memories of never having read Proust rose up within me, and I thought of what marvelous recollections he might have come up with had he ever tasted a crunchy curl of faux cheese delicately lifted from a greasy plastic bag, the junkified morsel staining thumb and forefinger a sickly, artificial orange. But I couldn’t think about that for long because I was soon busy thinking about other stuff, stuff I’ll now ask you, dear reader, to think about, too.

Here’s something else I just learned about: in a 2007 poll respondents on average estimated NASA’s funding to be 24 percent of the federal budget. Fixing those busted space toilets is expensive, but not that expensive: NASA has in fact been getting about $18 billion annually in recent years, less than 1 percent of the budget. NASA would get about $1 billion more each year under the draft budget President Barack Obama announced in early February, although that money would go to scientific research and robotic missions rather than sending guys back to the moon to look for Alan B. Shepard’s golf balls. (There are two up there: he shanked his first shot and took the rare moon mulligan.)

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