Ironman Chris Nikic Proves That No Dream Or Goal Is Unachievable

The next time you find an excuse to abandon your aspirations, think of Chris Nikic. On November 7, 2020, the 21-year-old Maitland, Florida, resident made history as the first person with Down Syndrome to attempt and complete an Ironman. Organized by the World Triathlon Corporation, the grueling competition requires athletes to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and run a full, 26.2-mile, marathon — in under 17 hours!

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Thanksgiving Turkeys "Corn" And "Cob" Trot Away To Retirement

On November 24, 2020, President Donald Trump exercised his executive powers for a beloved Thanksgiving tradition — the turkey pardon. The gorgeous toms, dubbed "Corn" and "Cob," were raised at an Iowa family farm owned by National Turkey Federation Chairman Ron Kardel, a 6th generation turkey, corn, and soybean farmer. The lucky birds will spend the rest of their days under the watchful eyes of animal science students at Iowa State University.

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Austrian Stuntman Puts World's First Electric Wingsuit To Test

Extreme athletes have been using wingsuits — unique jumpsuits with fabric stitched between the arms and body and between the legs — to fly untethered for many years. However, while the "birdman" or "squirrel" suits allow daredevils to soar in the skies, the pull of gravity makes it impossible to accelerate or fly higher. To push past the limitations, Austrian stuntman Peter Salzmann teamed up with German car manufacturer BMW. The result is an electrified wingsuit, which allows flyers to zoom to higher altitudes at speeds of up to 186 miles per hour!

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Heartwarming Video Captures Gorilla Helping Injured Bird

Gorillas, which can weigh as much as 400 pounds, are the largest of the great apes, a family of primates that include bonobos, chimpanzees, and orangutans. Despite their size, the intelligent mammals are known to be surprisingly gentle. Evidence of the animals' kind nature was recently caught on tape at a zoo in New South Wales, Australia.

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Fun Thanksgiving Facts To Share Around The Dinner Table

Thanksgiving, which is observed annually on the fourth Thursday of November, is one of the most anticipated American holidays. The celebrations usually center around a delicious feast enjoyed with extended family members and friends. While the COVID-19 pandemic will put a damper on large in-person gatherings, the holiday can still be enjoyed with those living within the same household or part of the same social bubble. Here are some fun Thanksgiving tidbits to get the party started.

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Help Smithsonian's National Zoo Name Its Adorable Giant Panda Cub

While giant panda cubs are always popular, 22-year-old Mei Xiang's latest offspring, born at the Smithsonian's National Zoo on August 21, 2020, is particularly so. The daily live-stream of the adorable male cub, whose birth brought much-needed cheer during the COVID-19 pandemic, has garnered over a million virtual visitors. Hence, it is only fitting that zoo officials are asking fans to help name the precious 12-week-old.

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Astronomers Witness Star Getting Devoured By A Black Hole

Stars that get too close to black holes usually end up getting sucked in by the strong gravitational forces of the dense space objects, from which no light can escape. Now, for the first time, researchers have been able to observe the cosmic phenomenon — nicknamed "spaghettification" because it pulls apart a star into thin "spaghetti-like" strands — in real-time.

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Massive Jurassic Park-Sized Alligator Strolls Through Florida Golf Course

The residents of Florida, which is home to over one million alligators, are no strangers to the apex predators. The massive animals are frequently encountered in swimming pools, ditches, and garages. In 2019, Palm Coast resident Donna Heiss even saw a 7-foot gator peeking through her window! However, the giant reptile recently spotted in Naples, Florida, impressed even the most jaded Floridians.

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Glowing Squid Robot Can Explore The Ocean Without Harming Sea Creatures

Soft robots, which can move around the ocean without harming sea life, are ideal for underwater exploration. However, they are rarely deployed because they are extremely slow and have a hard time maneuvering through the water. But that may change soon thanks to an innovative, self-propelling soft robot created by researchers at the University of California, San Diego.

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The History And Significance Of Diwali, India's Festival Of Lights

Starting Thursday, November 12, 2020, over a billion people worldwide will begin celebrating Diwali, the Festival of Lights. Also known as Deepavali, the ancient tradition, which dates back over 2,500 years, is observed by Indians of many faiths, including Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, and Sikhs. While the commemoration lasts five days, the most important day — the celebration's namesake — falls on the third day. This year, Diwali will be celebrated on Saturday, November 14, 2020.

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How Friday The 13th Became So Feared

For non-believers, this year's second — and final — Friday the 13th is just the start of a weekend. However, for the estimated twenty million people in the US, and scores more worldwide, that suffer from "friggatriskaidekaphobia," or "paraskevidekatriaphobia," November 13, 2020, will be fraught with bad luck. Though some of the fear can be blamed on the Friday the 13th movie franchise, the day's bad reputation began long before the film’s hockey-masked villain, Jason Voorhees, made an appearance.

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Joe Biden Elected 46th President Of The United States

After almost a week of painstaking ballot counting, Joseph R. Biden Jr. was elected president of the United States on Saturday, November 7, 2020. The Associated Press — which bases its determination on freelance local reporters who accumulate vote counts from clerks in every county of the 50 states — announced that the former vice president had secured 290 electoral college votes, 20 more than the 270 needed to be selected the country's president.

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NASA's SOFIA Finds Water On The Moon's Sunlit Side!

The presence of ice in the permanently shadowed craters around the Moon's poles has been known for some time. However, researchers had been unsure if the hydration detected on the satellite's sunlit areas was "molecular" water (H2O), or hydroxyl (OH), a molecule that's one hydrogen atom shy of becoming water. On October 26, 2020, NASA confirmed that the liquid was indeed water.

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Why Veterans Day Is Celebrated On November 11 And More

Celebrated annually on November 11, Veterans Day gives Americans an opportunity to show their appreciation for some real-life superheroes — the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces, who risked their lives to protect the nation's freedom. This includes all those who have served in the US Army, Navy, Marine Corps, National Guard, Air Force, and the Coast Guard.

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Meet Amy Coney Barrett, The US Supreme Court's Youngest Justice

On October 26, 2020, the US Senate voted 52-48 to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett as the 115th Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. The 48-year-old, who was nominated for the lifetime appointment by President Trump on September 26, 2020, will fill the vacancy left behind by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died from complications of pancreatic cancer on September 18, 2020.

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It's Time To Fall Back! Set Your Clocks Back An Hour This Weekend

Planning to stay up late on Halloween? Then you will be thrilled to hear that Sunday, November 1, 2020, marks the end of Daylight Saving Time (DST). This means that most Americans will add an extra 60 minutes of day time, by moving their clocks back. The simple act will effectively shift daylight back into the morning hours, and make waking up for school and work a little easier during the shorter winter days.

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Mask Up! It's Time To Celebrate Halloween!

Halloween, which is observed annually on October 31st, is one of the most anticipated holidays of the year. Many families begin preparing for the fun celebration, which centers around dressing up in creative costumes and collecting candy, weeks in advance by giving their homes spooky makeovers. Filmmakers use the occasion to release horror movies, while enterprising entrepreneurs cash in on the holiday with creative haunted homes, corn mazes, and hayrides. So how did an obscure holiday transform into the fun, spooky celebration that we know today? Read on.

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