Why astronauts get slapped in the face with a cross before going to space

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Astronauts leave nothing to chance, and alongside the checks and double-checks carried out before a rocket launches, there’s a clutch of rituals that have taken root in the world of space travel. Perhaps the oddest of these (at least visually) is the official blessing dished out by a priest from the Russian Orthodox Church. American astronauts, Russian cosmonauts, and even rockets all go through this, with photos from NASA’s official photographer showing that the same bearded and gowned official has been carrying out the ritual with gusto for a few years now.

The photo at the top actually shows a member of the Russian Search and Recovery Forces gettin’ a blessin’, but our priest has been carrying out his job with gusto for a while now.

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Rittenhouse Raises Over 550 To Bring Advanced Rights Management To The Automatic CRM Cloud

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shutterstock_122664076 Rittenhouse, a joint venture between Jordan Ventures and Chrysomalinia, raised Series A funding to the tune of 550 in order to bring virtual VR-based interactivity to the Cranston Advanced CRM through immediate gratification and gamification. Rittenhouse CEO Paul Littleton explained that his company was now the largest supplier of post-CRM rapid innovation systems in the West and he expects… Read More

Ain’t No Joke As War Between HP, Ex-Autonomy Execs Enters Lawsuit Phase

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HP log carved with exacto knife. It may be April Fool’s Day, but I’m sure former Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch and HP execs aren’t laughing. HP filed suit in London this week against Lynch and former Autonomy CFO Sushovan Hussain over alleged accounting improprieties to the tune of $5.1B. Lynch and company’s response? Counter-sue, as a war that’s been going on for almost four years, continues… Read More

Microsoft launches MS-DOS mobile to reboot its struggling smartphone efforts

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Microsoft is going back to the basics for a joke at the expense of Windows Phone today. What do you do when your smartphone operating system has less than three percent market share worldwide? Reboot. While the software giant isn’t quite dramatically rebooting all over again, it has genuinely launched an MS-DOS mobile app for Windows Phone as part of an April Fools’ Day prank. It’s one of the more elaborate efforts we’ll likely witness on the most irritating and trivial day of the year.

Just like the real MS-DOS, you navigate around by typing in DIR to list available apps and using the CD command to enter into directories. I must admit, it’s rather fun and nostalgic. If you manage to navigate to the programs folder there’s a camera.exe…

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Partech Doubles Down On Seed With New $65 Million Seed Fund

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Partech Shaker It feels like Partech Ventures announced its first seed fund (Partech Entrepreneur I) just yesterday — the Paris-based venture capital firm is already announcing a new $65 million (€60 million) seed fund called Partech Entrepreneur II. “This is the biggest dedicated seed fund in Europe focused on digital startups,” Partech General Partner Romain Lavault told me. “We… Read More

Alibaba Rival JD.com Launches Crowdfunding Site For Startups

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renminbi China’s largest e-commerce companies are eager to leverage their millions of users and hoards of data for new projects. For example, Alibaba’s other businesses include healthcare management, financial services, and cloud data. Now JD.com, its smaller but still formidable rival, is branching out into crowdfunding for startups. Read More

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