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.
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.
Most seafood lovers — animal or human — would find it hard to resist a tasty shrimp morsel. However, not Kit, a mischievous sea otter that resides at California's Monterey Bay Aquarium. Rather than gulping down the tiny crustacean, Kit used it as a game piece to play what the aquarium officials dubbed "The Shrimp Game."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.