The idiom “shoot for the stars” has just taken on a literal meaning for cancer survivor Hayley Arceneaux. On February 22, 2021, the Memphis, Tennessee, native was selected to be one of four crew members of the SpaceX Inspiration4 — the world's first civilian astronaut mission. The 29-year-old will make further history as the youngest American — and the first with a prosthetic limb — to travel to space.
On July 31, 1697, a French lawyer named Jacques Sennacques wrote an urgent message to remind a cousin in the Netherlands to send him a relative's death certificate. To prevent others from reading the confidential memo, the note was carefully folded, or "letter locked." The ancient technique, which transformed the letter into its own secure package, was prevalent before the invention of envelopes.
Mount Etna, Europe's most active volcano, has been erupting regularly since 2011. However, the latest series of explosions, which began on February 16, 2021, has been particularly noteworthy. Emanating from the youngest of the volcano's four craters — the Southeast Crater— they have spewed spectacular fountains of lava as high as 0.9 miles (1.5 kilometers). To put it in perspective, that is about three times the height of One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the United States.
St. Patrick may have been an Irish clergyman, but his death anniversary — observed annually on March 17 — is celebrated worldwide, even in cities and towns with few or no ethnic Irish people. Here is a brief history of the man behind the holiday and the origins of some of the fun traditions associated with the commemoration.
A team of Swedish scientists has successfully extracted and reconstructed the world's oldest DNA from the tooth of a Siberian mammoth, which roamed Earth over a million years ago. Also known as deoxyribonucleic acid, the all-important molecule — which contains the genetic instructions for the development and function of living things. — provides new insights into the evolution of the ancient Ice Age giants. Prior to this, the oldest DNA sequenced came from the bone of a horse that trotted around Canada about 700,000 years ago.
On March 14, 2021, millions of Americans and Canadians will mark the start of Daylight Saving Time (DST) by moving their clocks forward an hour. The time manipulation — which will result in the loss of sixty minutes of precious sleep or leisure time on Sunday — is designed to enable North Americans to enjoy longer days during the upcoming spring and summer months.
In 2011, conservationists moved eight Rothschild's giraffes to Longicharo Island, a rocky peninsula on Lake Baringo in Western Kenya. The scientists hoped the isolated area would save the endangered animals from poachers and allow their numbers to multiply. However, intense rainfall in August 2020 caused the lake water levels to rise substantially, cutting the area off from the mainland and reducing the once lush, 100-acre habitat to about eight acres.
If you have been paying any attention to the news over the past few weeks, you may have heard of the exponential rise and the equally dramatic drop in the share price of video game retailer GameStop (GME) and other "meme" stocks — those favored by millennials — like AMC Theaters. The two-week frenzy, which pitted individual amateur investors against seasoned professionals — and resulted in a Congressional inquiry— began rather innocently in an online community on Reddit.