The thorny devil, named for the sharp spikes that cover its head and body, is a lizard that dwells in the Australian Outback’s hot and arid desert. Though its scary appearance has earned it other equally alarming names like the thorny dragon or the mountain devil, the palm-sized reptile is a harmless, slow-moving animal that has managed to adapt to one of the world’s most inhospitable environments. While researchers know a lot about these hardy lizards, the one mystery that had never been completely solved, is how they keep hydrated.
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During the past 15 years, Yves “Jetman” Rossy has strapped on his jetpack — carbon fiber wings powered by four small engines — to conduct many heart-stopping stunts. The former Swiss Air Force pilot has soared across the Grand Canyon, circled Japan's Mt. Fuji and even flown alongside the world's largest commercial airplane, the Airbus A380. On November 25, the daredevil upped the ante when he and protégés Vince Reffet and Frédéric ‘Fred’ Fugen, flew in formation with eight Alpha Jets from the Patrouille de France, the precision aerobatics demonstration team of the French Air Force.
With Christmas around the corner, Valentine’s Day is probably the last thing on your mind. However, don’t tell that to Motohiro Okai. The chocolatier who works at the Rihga Royal Hotel Chocolate Boutique L’éclat in Osaka, Japan, has been feverishly working to perfect an exclusive line of “shoes” that will delight even the most discerning man.
On Sunday, December 4, Fidel Castro, Cuba’s former President and leader of the Communist revolution, will be laid to rest at the Santa Ifigenia cemetery in Santiago de Cuba, the island's second-largest city. Fidel, who passed away on Friday, November 25 at age 90, ruled the country with an iron fist for 47 years (1959-2006) and was one of the most controversial leaders of our time. Supporters maintain that Fidel was a champion of socialism and think his revolutionary regime protected Cuba from American imperialism. Critics, which include his daughter Alina Fernández, considered him a dictator who allowed human rights abuses and impoverished the country’s economy.
After shopping for deals in stores on “Black Friday, or online on “Cyber Monday,” Americans and people worldwide, are preparing for “Giving Tuesday.” Now in its fifth year, the global event that is celebrated annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, is the brainchild of of 92nd Street Y, a cultural center in New York City and the United Nations Foundation.
On November 19, after two days aboard a Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft, NASA’s Peggy Whitson, along with Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy and rookie ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, docked at the International Space Station (ISS). In doing so, America’s most experienced female astronaut became the oldest woman in space, breaking the former record set by Barbara Morgan who reached the ISS at age 55.
Sweden’s ICEHOTEL has been delighting visitors with its extraordinary architecture, glittering ice sculptures, and unique location since 1989. However, those not brave enough to face the Arctic winters are out of luck. That’s because the hotel, located in the village of Jukkasjarvi, 200 km north of the Arctic Circle, is built entirely from ice blocks which melt when summer comes along. But this year, adjacent to the conventional ice structure, sits the equally impressive ICEHOTEL 365. Though also built entirely from ice, it is designed to remain open year-round.
The fact that ants are fascinating insects has been known for some time. The tiny creatures that make their way around using their built-in GPS, survive floods by morphing into living rafts and are even reputed to predict earthquakes. Now, scientists have discovered a colony of wood ants living in a dark underground barren bunker despite having no apparent source of food.