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How to Drink Coffee in Space; Inside an 11,000 Square Foot Hello Kitty Cafeteria

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Five things to know on this Wednesday.

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Inside a new Hello Kitty-themed cafeteria in China
Inside a new Hello Kitty-themed cafeteria in China

It's Wednesday, December 9 and on this day in 1927 Louis Armstrong recorded a little ditty called "Struttin' With Some Barbecue," which, like most of Armstrong's music, is delightful. It's also apparently National Pastry Day. We can't help but harbor a general distaste for national food holidays but what the hell, go watch Dominique Ansel make a giant tower of pastry in honor of this day.

Or, just catch up on the day's top stories, including further insights into what it means to drink coffee in a zero gravity environment; what it's like inside a Communist-themed cafe in Los Angeles; why a Chinese university just opened an 11,000 square foot Hello Kitty-themed cafeteria; and what Napa Valley's new wine seal means for your wine collecting habit.


Drinking Coffee in Space Delights Astronauts

Remember when NASA sent an espresso machine up to space earlier this year? Around the same time, a team of scientists developed a complex coffee cup for use in a zero gravity environment. Not much was known about the 3D-printed cup then, but according to a new report in Science Daily, astronauts are loving the experience of using the cups in space. Researchers report that though most of the astronauts doubted the cup would work, they're pleasantly surprised and say the experience is "eerily like drinking on Earth." The cup is so well designed that coffee drinkers are able to sip while moving about the ISS and can even do flips while drinking coffee. The cup allows them to smell the coffee while drinking it, an experience those aboard the space station have said they missed when drinking liquids through straws inserted into pouches.

Image credit: Weislogel


Inside a Communist-Themed Restaurant Outside of LA

Apparently Communist-themed restaurants are popular in Northern China these days, and now there's a communist-themed eatery just outside of central Los Angeles, according to the LA Weekly. Waiters wear Red Guard-inspired military garb, including red arm bands and black shoes. Propaganda posters are designed to look authentic but don't actually contain any Communist propaganda. Translated from Chinese, the text on these posters reads, "You need to come frequently to this restaurant!" and "If you don't eat, how will you have the strength to lose weight?" NB, the restaurant serves a pound of bacon for grilling at the table, dramatically draped upon a dowel.

Image credit: Yelp


11,000 Square Foot Hello Kitty Cafeteria Opens in China

A university in east China has opened a Hello Kitty cafeteria, apparently in an effort to "attract female students," according to CCTV. The cafeteria, which takes up over 11,000 square feet, opened to the public and students earlier this week. The food served is not exclusively Hello Kitty-themed: Instead, students can pick from a vast array of dishes from all over China. After eating, diners can play games or sing karaoke. Zhejiang Gongshang University says their student body is 70 percent female. This year is Hello Kitty's 30th anniversary. The beloved cat icon finished a food truck tour in the U.S. earlier this year.

Image credit: Weislogel


Napa Valley Gets Government Certification Seal

For the first time in U.S. history an American Viticultural Area has been registered as a certification mark in the U.S. Napa Valley joins the Good Housekeeping "seal," the Energy Star mark on appliances, and other non-food designations officially recognized by the government. Such certification marks validate the origin, production, quality, and integrity of consumer goods. Now, only wine produced in Napa Valley with grapes grown in Napa Valley can use this seal on packaging. This new designation surpasses the existing one which dictates that wines labeled with the words "Napa Valley" must be composed of at least 85 percent of grapes grown in the region.

Image credit: Official


One Night at Kachka

Have a look at what goes into one night at one of Portland's hippest restaurants, Kachka.

Image credit: Eater

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