I had got used to thinking of the International Space Station as a scientifically dubious boondoggle, but here are a couple of pieces which make the case for the ISS's merits as a platform for research rather than as simply a relic of early post-cold War optimism for international space cooperation.

And here's a gorgeous video recently posted by NASA which flies (floats?) you through the entire station. Make sure you watch it on full-screen:

Photo by Flickr user NASA.