Though thousands of adventurers have scaled Mount Everest, the highest and most famous of the world's 14 tallest mountains, only 40 climbers have conquered them all. Located in Asia's Himalayan and Karakoram ranges, the "eight-thousanders" each stand over 8,000 meters (26,247 feet) tall, above the so-called "death zone," where the amount of oxygen is insufficient to sustain human life for an extended period.
Two years ago, aerospace manufacturer SpaceX stunned the world by landing its reusable booster engine — the biggest and most costly part of the rocket used to power spacecrafts into low orbit — on an autonomous drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. Now, California-based startup Rocket Lab, has come up with an even bolder idea: using parachutes and helicopters to capture the returning booster, or first stage as it is often called, in midair!
Though there are more than 100 Indian festivals observed annually, few are as anticipated or as popular as Diwali. Also known as Deepavali, or the Festival of Lights, the five-day celebration extends across many cultures and beliefs and is commemorated by almost a billion people worldwide. Though Diwali always falls between October and November, the festival's exact date changes in accordance with the Hindu lunar calendar.
Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge has been dominating the world marathon stage since winning the Chicago Marathon in 2014. In the years following, the elite runner has won every marathon he has participated in, including the gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics. In 2018, Kipchoge made history when he crossed the finish line of the Berlin Marathon in 2:01:39, crushing the existing men's world record by a minute and 18 seconds. On October 12, 2019, the 34-year-old further cemented his legacy by running the 26.2 miles in Vienna, Austria in less than two hours, faster than any other person in history. His time of 1:59:40 required him to maintain an average pace of about 4:35 per mile!
Japan, which gets hit by an average of three typhoons annually, is no stranger to the powerful tropical storms. However, Typhoon Hagibis, which made landfall in the Shizuoka Prefecture at about 7:00 pm local time on October 12, 2019, is the worst storm experienced by the island nation in almost 60 years. Dropping as much as 35 inches of rain in some areas, it caused massive landslides, flooded rivers, and damaged homes and businesses in eight of Japan's 47 prefectures.
Swimming across the English Channel — the 21-mile-long body of water separating southern England from northern France — is no easy feat. In addition to the strong ocean currents, swimmers also have to endure temperatures that can range from a chilly 64 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius) to a near-freezing 42 degrees Fahrenheit (6 degrees Celsius). However, don't tell that to Sarah Thomas. The 37-year-old American recently became the first person ever to swim across the length of the treacherous stretch of water, which links the southern part of the North Sea to the Atlantic Ocean, not once, but four times non-stop!
Though Bianca Andreescu was expected to be a formidable opponent, it was Serena Williams who was favored to win the US Open Tennis Championships finals in New York City on September 7, 2019. The 37-year-old US tennis phenom is after all an experienced veteran, with 23 Grand Slam titles to her name. Meanwhile, prior to 2019, her 19-year-old challenger had never even reached the finals of the four prestigious tournaments — the US Open, the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the French Open — that comprise the Grand Slam. But in a true-life underdog story, Bianca managed to oust Serena with a resounding 6-3, 7-5 victory in less than two hours.
On Wednesday, September 11, 2019, Americans will commemorate the 18th anniversary of one of the most tragic days in modern US history. On September 11, 2001, 19 members of the Islamic extremist organization Al Qaeda conducted a series of brutal, well-orchestrated attacks on American soil. In addition to cutting short the lives of 2,977 innocent people, the tragedy also set in motion events that would change the course of life both in the US and worldwide.