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Beyond Cloud Nine

On Universe, Claire L. Evans notes the renewed appreciation than can come with a change in perspective—whether it’s seeing the space shuttle Endeavour roll past a Sizzler in South Central, or daredevil Felix Baumgartner leap towards the Earth from 24 miles up. Baumgartner, aided only by gravity and a spacesuit, broke the speed of sound during his four and a half minute freefall. And thanks to a video camera, he shared his experience with the world. Evans writes “The 21st century is an epoch of P.O.V. feats, of go-pros taped to helmets and steering wheels, streaming the direct visual stimulus of unthinkable feats directly to our eyes.” Meanwhile, on Built on Facts, Matt Springer explains why Baumgartner didn’t burn up in the atmosphere.