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The Composition of Dust: Of Mites and Mars

When the cleaners are finished, you?ll be able to breathe easier. Increase your satisfaction with a look at one thing they?ve banished: dust.

Whether you're resting in a mountain cabin, traveling through a city, or being vented out an airlock into outer space, dust is all around you. Microscopic particles?usually a combination of soil, pollen, skin cells, and minerals?can pile up quickly indoors. The problem is exacerbated by tiny creatures called dust mites, which gather in groups of up to 500 per gram of dust to devour flakes of human skin while multiplying in number, excreting waste, and probably chittering away. No matter where you are on Earth, a mote of dust is presently traveling straight toward your eye, thanks to the persistent creation of dust in almost any climate humans inhabit.

Even beyond our planet, dust is ubiquitous: astronomers face the universe's untidiness every time they peer through a telescope and find formations of cosmic dust, which absorb the visible light around them. Although it comes from exploding stars rather than flaky humans, space dust isn't so different from the domestic variety: a 2007 paper published in IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science explored the similarities between the formation of dust bunnies under beds and the coagulation of space dust into planets.

4516 Hwy 98 E Suite 208
Niceville,
FL
US

Not all 13-year-olds have the foresight to realize their life's calling, or the world would be full of unemployed professional puppy holders. Luckily for the foodies of Pensacola, Dan Pettis had a knack for his more practical dream. He started experimenting in the kitchen just before he entered high school, starting as dish washer and working his way up through the cut-throat world of the restaurant industry. At the top of the food chain, he is now both chef and owner at One 20 A Modern Bistro.

Here, he crafts a menu of innovative, fusion bistro cuisine, drawing inspiration from his southern roots and journeys to Southeast Asia and Japan. The artfully plated dishes take on southern accents with dishes such as blackened garlic sautéed shrimp accompanied by creamy cheese grits and mustard-rubbed pork chops with a side of braised collard greens. Whereas, international influences take the form of range-glazed tuna steak and stir-fried edamame.

120 Partin Drive North
Niceville,
FL
US

Intent on creating a space for quality dance performances, apprentice dancers, and community art appreciation, Bernadette Clements Sims founded Northwest Florida Ballet in 1969. Over the next 40 years, the group recruited former student and acclaimed dancer Todd Eric Allen to serve as artistic director and moved into the 13,000-square-foot Sybil Smith Lebherz Center for Dance Education. In addition to pirouetting alongside the Atlantic Ballet and Miami City Ballet, Northwest Florida Ballet graces the stage with dance-driven versions of classic literature, student concerts, and famous Stanley Cup championships. Ballet, hip-hop, and jazz dance classes allow novice danseurs and danseuses their own stage time, and Northwest Florida Ballet's Académie, aimed at third through eighth graders, combines academic lessons from certified elementary teachers with artistic training from ballet pros. Before practicing choreographed prancing, students can stock up on dancewear at Northwest Florida Ballet's boutique.

100 College Blvd E
Niceville,
FL
US

Inside the 2,100-square-foot facility, two isolation rooms and a live room accommodate solo artists and string ensembles, whose work is captured by a 48-track digital recording platform. During sets, performers can enhance their recordings with tracks from an extensive sample library and take creative breaks in the lounge or on the patio. Many recording packages also include open bar and catering for those who need drinks or gourmet cupcakes to get the creative juices following.

In addition to music producers, the company also employs a staff of graphic designers who await direction for projects such as media kits and website design. Additionally, the facility houses a video-production suite that is calibrated for all aspects of visual projects, including mapped acoustics and setups for aggressive lighting.

1725 Shomaker Dr
Murphysboro,
IL
US

Helen Back believes a meal should be about more than just food. That's why its menu serves up the right portions to enjoy while watching a golf game or lounging on an outdoor patio. Try a white-sauce pizza with pepperoni, mushrooms, and black olives or down a bowl of nachos covered in spicy meat and jalape?os, while washing down your meal with one of the frequent drink specials from the full bar. Weekly specials include free pizza for members of the military and motorcyclists, and the restaurant's connection to the community also extends to fundraising for local youth and the Special Ops Warrior Foundation.

1128 E John Sims Pkwy.
Niceville,
FL
US

With multiple locations throughout northwest Florida, Helen Back Cafe does its best to ensure that cold drinks and hot comfort foods are always nearby. The eateries' signature items are its hearty pizzas. These hand-tossed pies won the 2012 reader' choice poll for Best Pizza in Emerald Coast Magazine, and Esquire urged readers to visit and, "eat the best pizza you've ever shoved in your sunburned face."

With 17 toppings available?including everything from meatballs and jalape?os to chicken and onion?patrons are able to build their own custom pie from scratch. A small selection of sandwiches and other classic finger foods round out the menus, giving visitors snacks to nibble as they enjoy a frosty beer or cocktail from the bar and listen to the live bands on select Friday and Saturday evenings.

For Helen Back Cafe, keeping customers happy is almost as important as giving back to the communities it serves. The staff regularly provides donations to charitable causes, and Helen Back Cafe proudly supports The Special Ops Warrior Foundation, which helps the dependents of fallen soldiers continue advancing their educations.

1701 Highway 85
Eglin Afb,
FL
US