Since 2012, Canada’s WestJet Airlines has been delighting unsuspecting customers with well-deserved Christmas cheer. The gifts, usually restricted to the passengers of two or three late night flights, have ranged from iPods to fulfilling even the most exorbitant gift requests.
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As is the case each year, cities worldwide welcomed the New Year with dazzling fireworks shows. In case you missed them, here are a few of the thousands of spectacular displays that lit up the skies around the globe at the stroke of midnight on December 31, 2017.
For most Americans, the holiday season begins around Thanksgiving. However, for Kathy Rombeiro and her dad, Edmundo, it starts in September, when they begin the laborious process of converting their Novato, California home into a winter wonderland. By the first Sunday of December, the ordinary suburban home is transformed into a magical “Christmas House,” complete with over 200,000 lights, fake snow, model trains, countless decorations and figurines, and even a real-life Santa Claus (Edmundo) on a sleigh.
Milan-based sushi chef Yujia Hu is making headlines with his innovative “shoe-shi” creations. The intricate works of art that resemble popular sneakers are made using strands of black seaweed called nori, sashimi, rice, and any other edible ingredients needed to recreate the streetwear it is being modeled after.
A week before the December 2 season-opening race of the 2017 FIA Formula E Championship, Techeetah team driver Jean-Éric Vergne got behind the wheel for an unusual challenge. The French driver, who placed fifth at the 2016 FIA championship, tested his driving skills against the world’s fastest land animal – the cheetah. And, unlike the Michael Phelps race against a shark earlier this year, this one did not rely on a CGI animated replica.
Since 2015, members of the Incredible Science Machine have been mesmerizing fans with their complex chain reactions using tens of thousands of dominoes and props. This year was no exception. On March 23, the team set into motion their latest spell-binding creation that culminated in the toppling of a massive centerpiece comprising 76,017 dominoes.
While a wild cat chasing down prey sounds perfectly reasonable, one who sprints to fetch sticks might seem a little bizarre. However, that is precisely what Serabie, a rescued adult lioness at the Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary in South Africa’s Limpopo province, loves to do.
On October 20, British adventurer Tom Morgan soared over South Africa seated in a camp chair strapped to 100 helium balloons. During the two-hour flight, the balloonist covered 16 miles and reached heights of up to 8,000 feet. Though the daredevil later called the experience “unbelievably cool,” he did admit feeling “somewhere between terrified and elated” during the flight.