Massachusetts 8th Graders Instigate Legislation To Clear The Name Of The Final Salem "Witch"

The infamous Salem witch trials, which took place in colonial Massachusetts between 1692 and 1693, were a dark period in America's legal history. More than 200 people were wrongfully accused of practicing witchcraft, and 20 were executed. In the 328 years since most of the accused have been cleared of any crimes. However, for reasons unknown, Elizabeth Johnson Jr., who was just 22 at the time, was never pardoned. Now, thanks to the hard work of an eighth-grade class from North Andover Middle School, MA, her name may finally be cleared.

Read news article
2,191-Pound Mega Gourd Takes Top Prize At The "Super Bowl" Of Pumpkin Competitions

For most Americans, fall is synonymous with pumpkins. Some use the fruit to make delicious soups and bread, others to carve out scary jack-o-lanterns. Then there are those that spend months nurturing massive gourds for pumpkin weigh-off contests. Though there are numerous competitions nationwide, the most impressive pumpkins usually end up at the Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay, CA.

Read news article
Russian Crew Is The First To Film A Fiction Movie In Space

Space-related films have come a long way since A Trip to the Moon — a silent movie with no camera movement or close-ups — was released in 1902. Filmmakers now use the extensive technology at their disposal to immersively transport fans to alien worlds. However, no one has attempted to shoot a feature film in space — until now! On October 5, 2021, astronauts at the International Space Station (ISS) welcomed their first fiction film crew — Russian actress Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko.

Read news article
Oil Spill Off The Coast Of California Closes Beaches And Threatens Wildlife

A ruptured undersea oil pipeline off the coast of Huntington Beach, CA, has leaked thousands of gallons of oil into the Pacific Ocean, threatening fish and wildlife and causing numerous beach closures. The spill, caused by a 13-inch tear in a pipeline that transports crude oil from an offshore drilling platform to a pump station in Long Beach, CA, was first reported by locals on October 1, 2021. Experts are still trying to determine the amount of oil leaked before the pipeline was shut down on October 3, 2021. The estimates range anywhere from 25,000 gallons to 136,000 gallons.

Read news article
Should A Blank Canvas Be Considered Art? One Dutch Artist Certainly Thinks So!

A mirror coated in red paint, a banana stuck to the wall with duct tape, and an invisible sculpture — these are just a few of the abstract artworks that have recently sold for astounding amounts. Now, Dutch artist Jens Haaning has taken the genre to a whole new level. His aptly named "TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN" masterpiece, comprising two empty frames, have set a local museum back 534,000 Danish krone ($84,000)!

Read news article
The Columbus Day Debate

The second Monday in October has traditionally been known as Columbus Day in honor of the Italian explorer's "discovery" of the Americas on October 12, 1492. However, the US federal holiday, which will be celebrated on October 11 this year, has always been controversial due to the European settlers' cruel treatment of the Native American people.

Read news article
Chain Mail-Inspired Fabric Can Stiffen On Demand

Many superheroes wear capes. But Batman's imposing floor-length cloak is legendary. The twisting sheath not only adds to the Dark Knight's mystique but also transforms into a rigid fabric that allows him to fly for extended periods. Now, engineers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore have replicated the shape-shifting material in real life.

Read news article
Canary Island Volcano Continues To Erupt After Two Weeks

La Palma, one of Spain's Canary Islands, has been feeling the wrath of the Cumbre Vieja volcano since September 19, 2021. The explosive volcano, which came to life shortly after 3:00 pm local time, has been spewing out large amounts of molten lava, sometimes up to 20 feet (6 meters) high. The slow-moving rivers of magma have destroyed nearly 400 homes, buried dozens of kilometers of roads, and consumed hundreds of acres of farmland.

Read news article
Pig-Faced Shark Found In The Mediterranean Sea Becomes An Overnight Sensation

A fish with the body of a shark and the face of a pig may sound like something straight out of a science fiction movie. But that precisely describes the dead shark retrieved from the waters off Italy's Elba Island on August 15, 2021. Not surprisingly, photos of the unusual animal, posted on the Elba Island App Facebook page on September 3, 2021, have caused a stir worldwide. However, locals are not impressed.

Read news article
This Ingenious Portable Desalination Device Makes Seawater Drinkable

Humans have flown to the Moon and may even make it to Mars. But providing clean water to all remains a challenge. The World Health Organization estimates that one in three people globally still do not have easy access to clean water. While desalinating ocean water is an obvious solution, the current process is both expensive and harmful for the environment. Now, some Malaysian students may have found a cheaper, more sustainable way to transform seawater into drinkable water.

Read news article
Adorable Video Captures Black Bear Cub's First Playground Slide Experience

The school day had just ended at Isaac Dickson Elementary School in Asheville, North Carolina. Most students had left, and the ones in the school's "supervised homework help" program were inside the campus. Fifth-grade teacher Betsie Stockslager Emry was also heading home when she noticed two playful black bears entering the empty playground. What happened next will bring a smile to your face.

Read news article
France's Arc de Triomphe Gets A Temporary Artistic Makeover

One of the world's most iconic landmarks just got transformed into a work of art. From September 18 to October 3, 2021, the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France, will be embellished with 25,000 square meters of shimmering silvery-blue plastic fabric, held in place by 9,842 feet (3,000 meters) of red rope. The installation, dubbed "L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped," is the brainchild of the late artist duo Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

Read news article
SpaceX's All-Civilian Inspiration4 Crew Completes Historic Mission

Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX is known for making history. It was the first private spaceflight company to transport astronauts to the International Space Station and the first to develop a reusable rocket booster. On September 18, 2021, the American aerospace company did it again by completing the world's first-ever all-civilian mission to space.

Read news article
Firefighters Save Sequoia National Park's Beloved Giant Forest From Raging Wildfire

The Sequoia National Park in California's southern Sierra Nevada mountains is best known for its namesake giant sequoias. The park boasts 40 groves of the massive trees, which occur naturally only on its western slopes. But the most beloved is the Giant Forest, a collection of 2000 trees that includes half of the Earth's largest and longest-living trees. This past weekend, the ancient wonders came dangerously close to being scorched by the KNP Complex Fire. But thanks to quick-thinking firefighters, the precious grove has been saved.

Read news article
Retired Circus Elephants Move To New Home With Plenty Of Room To Explore

After years of intense public pushback, the now-shuttered Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus finally announced the retirement of their Asian elephant performers in 2016. While the decision was a resounding victory for animal lovers and activists, it raised a new issue. The mighty pachyderms were raised in captivity and lacked the skills to survive in the wild. Now, thanks to Florida-based White Oak Conservation, the animals have a new home — one where they can roam freely.

Read news article
Commonly Found North American Wildflower Turns Out To Be A Carnivore

The western false asphodel — an herb-like plant found in abundance along North America's West Coast — has been known to science since 1879. But it is only recently that researchers from the University of British Columbia discovered the innocent-looking plant's penchant for insects. The finding is particularly exciting given that this is the first new predatory plant to be discovered in 20 years.

Read news article