Billionaires Jeff Bezos And Richard Branson Blast Off To Space!
Blue Origin's Jeffrey Bezos and Virgin Galactic's Richard Branson have dreamed of going to space since childhood. The billionaires have also been competing to become the first to launch commercial space travel. In July 2021, the two men fulfilled both quests with two separate jaunts to space in their respective company's rockets. The historic flights kicked off a new era of space tourism for anyone that can afford it.Read news articleNew Russian Lab Briefly Nudges The ISS Out Of Position
The seven astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) recently encountered an unexpected and potentially dangerous situation. The Russian laboratory module, Nauka, inadvertently fired its thrusters while docked at the ISS. The force nudged the space station out of its normal flight position for a short time.Read news articleThe Perseid Meteor Showers Are Back!
Mark your calendars! It is once again time for the world's biggest and most spectacular meteor showers. The Perseids have been flashing in the night skies at a rate of about a dozen an hour since mid-July. However, the number of meteors will sharply escalate in the coming week. Though the meteors will peak the night of August 11, 2021, they will be visible on the days before and after as well.Read news articleAthletes To Watch At The 2020 Tokyo Olympics
The countdown to the 2020 Summer Games has begun. On July 23, 2021, about 11,000 athletes from 206 countries will gather at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, Japan, for the opening ceremony of the Games of the XXXII Olympiad. Here are a few contestants to keep an eye on at the world's most prestigious sporting event.Read news article14-Year-Old Zaila Avant-Garde Wins 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee
On July 8, 2021, Zaila Avant-garde outspelled 11 finalists to clinch the prestigious Scripps National Spelling Bee title. The 14-year-old from Harvey, Louisiana, is the first African American and only the second Black winner in the national competition's 93-year history. The first was Jody-Anne Maxwell from Jamaica, who won in 1998 at the age of 12. Avant-garde is also Louisiana's first spelling bee champion!Read news articleThis Prehistoric Rhino Was Taller Than A Giraffe And Four Times Heavier Than An Elephant
Modern-day rhinos, which weigh anywhere from 1,800 to 5,100 pounds, are no lightweights. However, they pale in comparison to their prehistoric cousin that roamed China about 26 million years ago. The massive mammal weighed 46,000 pounds — almost as much as four large African elephants. Standing at a height of 23ft (7m), it was also taller than a giraffe.Read news article"Rosetta Stone" Eruption On The Sun Provides Insights Into Solar Explosions
Our seemingly calm Sun can have a nasty temper that comes in the form of powerful explosions. The star's unpredictable outbursts can disrupt satellites in orbit and be dangerous for astronauts. Though the flares are well-documented, researchers have never been able to pinpoint the cause of the erratic behavior. Now, the Sun's incredible multi-staged "tantrum" may help scientists get closer to solving the long-standing mystery.Read news articleLandmine Detecting Superstar Magawa Retires
Magawa, an African giant pouched rat trained to sniff out concealed explosive devices, has retired. The rodent, who received British veterinary charity PDSA's gold medal for bravery in 2020, was one of Belgian non-profit APOPO's most successful HeroRATs. During his illustrious five-year career, Magawa discovered more than 71 landmines and helped clear over 2,420,000 sq. feet (225,000 sq. meters) of land in Siem Reap, Cambodia.Read news articleGet Ready To Celebrate National Ice Cream Month!
Here is some good news for those wilting in the sweltering summer heat — July is National Ice Cream Month! The "cool" holiday can be credited to Proclamation 5219, signed by former US President Ronald Reagan on July 9, 1984. The decree urges citizens to observe the entire month, or at the very least the third Sunday of July — designated National Ice Cream Day — “with appropriate ceremonies and activities."Read news articleItalian Artist Sells An Invisible Sculpture For $18,000!
Some artists seem to excel at impressing the world with artwork that can only be called unusual at best. First, there was Maurizio Cattelan's Comedian, a series of three sculptures — each comprising a single banana affixed to a wall with duct tape — that sold for $120,000 apiece in 2019. Now, contemporary Italian artist Salvatore Garau has managed to sell an immaterial, or imaginary, masterpiece to an anonymous buyer for an astonishing 15,000 euros (about $18,000)!Read news articleChina's Wandering Wild Elephant Herd Captivates The World
A group of wandering wild elephants, nicknamed "The Northbound Wild Elephant Eating and Walking Tour," have become an overnight Internet sensation in China and globally. The pack first captured the attention of the locals in March 2020, after they suddenly left their home in the Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve.Read news articleThe Statue Of Liberty Is About To Welcome A Smaller "Sibling"
This year's US Independence Day celebrations promise to be extra special due to the arrival of a second, smaller Statue of Liberty from France. The bronze replica, nicknamed "Little Sister," is expected to reach New York City in time for the Fourth of July festivities. The statue will be displayed on Ellis Island – across the water from the original Statue of Liberty, which sits on Liberty Island — from July 1 through 5, 2021. It will then be moved to the French Embassy in Washington, DC, where it will remain until 2031.Read news articleEnterprising Kenyan Engineer Finds An Innovative Solution To Use Plastic Waste
The East African country of Kenya has been at the forefront of the global war on plastic since 2017, when officials outlawed plastic bags. In June 2020, the government upped the ante with a ban on single-use plastics in protected areas. Unfortunately, the preemptive measures have barely made a dent. Hundreds of tons of industrial and consumer polymer waste continue to get dumped into landfills daily. However, if 29-year-old Nzambi Matee has her way, the unsightly plastic heaps will soon be transformed into colorful bricks.Read news articleFather's Day Solstice Marks The Longest Day In The Northern Hemisphere
Father's Day, which will be celebrated on June 20, 2021, promises to be extra special this year. The Earth will join in the festivities with the June solstice, kicking off the Northern Hemisphere's first day of summer. Conversely, Southern Hemisphere residents will celebrate the astronomical start of winter, or winter solstice, with the shortest day of 2021.Read news articleThe Importance Of Juneteenth Explained
Juneteenth — a combination of the words June and nineteenth — is one of the oldest known holidays commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. It was on June 19, 1865, that the nation's last enslaved people — a group in Texas — learned that slavery had been outlawed and that they were free. The events leading to what many call "America's true Independence Day" began with the Emancipation Proclamation, signed by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863.Read news articleEarth Now Officially Has Five Oceans!
The icy waters surrounding Antarctica have long been called the Southern Ocean by scientists, the media, and even the US Board on Geographical Names. However, it never received the official recognition it deserved - until now. On June 8, 2021, the National Geographic Society, which has been making maps since 1915, announced that from now on, there would be five oceans: the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, and Southern Ocean. Fittingly, the decision was revealed on World Oceans Day!Read news article10-Year-Old Tanitoluwa Adewumi Is America's Newest Chess Master
Since being introduced to chess at the tender age of six, Tanitoluwa "Tani" Adewumi has had one goal. He wants to become the world's youngest-ever Grandmaster — the highest title a chess player can achieve. The record is currently held by Russian chess player Sergey Alexandrovich Karjakin, who qualified for the title in 2002 at the age of 12 years and seven months.Read news articleNASA Sends Baby Bobtail Squids And Microscopic Tardigrades To Space
In the early hours of June 5, 2021, astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) welcomed some unusual visitors: 128 baby bobtail squids and 5,000 tardigrades. The micro-animals were part of SpaceX's 22nd cargo resupply mission that delivered over 7,300 pounds of equipment and supplies — including treats like fresh apples and oranges — to the station. NASA researchers hope that the tiny critters will enable them to better understand the impacts of space travel on the human body.Read news article