Japan, the host country of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, has promised to deliver "the most innovative Games ever organized." On July 24, 2019, a year before the competition begins in Tokyo on July 24, 2020, the Olympic Committee unveiled its first ingenious idea — medals made using precious metals extracted from discarded electronics.
On July 23, 2019, Boris Johnson resoundingly defeated rival Jeremy Hunt, to become the leader of the United Kingdom's (UK) Conservative Party and the country's 77th prime minister. The nation's highest government seat became vacant after Theresa May, who served the role from 2016 to 2019, tendered her resignation on June 7, 2019. The 62-year-old leader stepped down after failing to garner parliamentary support for her proposal to end the UK's four-decade-long economic and political partnership with the European Union (EU) with as little disruption as possible.
BBC Earth host Lizzie Daly and underwater photographer Dan Abbott released several videos of exciting encounters with marine animals off the English coast from July 7 to July 13, 2019. The pair swam alongside gray seals off the coast of Northumberland, minke whales off the northwest coast of Scotland, and seabirds near Wales. However, the highlight came on the final day of the tour, when the underwater adventurers stumbled upon a massive barrel jellyfish off the coast of Falmouth, Cornwall. The sighting of the mesmerizing animal was a fitting way to end Daly's "Wild Ocean Week" campaign to raise ocean awareness and funds for the UK's Marine Conservation Society.
July 20, 2019, marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. The groundbreaking journey began on July 16, 1969, when NASA astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins launched into space from Florida's Kennedy Space Center. Four days later, on July 20, half a billion people across the globe — or about one-seventh of the Earth's population at the time — watched Armstrong and Aldrin descend the lunar module ladder to become the first humans ever to set foot on the moon. The grainy footage, along with Armstrong's now-famous quote, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," remain forever etched in the minds of those that witnessed the event live.
The US women's national soccer team's quest for the 2019 FIFA World Cup began on June 11, 2019, with a resounding 13-0 win over Thailand. In addition to being the largest margin of victory ever in a women’s World Cup match, the score also set a new record for the most goals in a single World Cup game — for both men and women. The team's incredible journey ended almost a month later on July 7, 2019, with a thrilling 2-0 victory against the Netherlands.
If the rising summer temperatures have you craving a scoop or two of ice cream, you are in luck: July happens to be National Ice Cream Month. The fun tradition was started in 1984 by former US president Ronald Reagan, in recognition of the treat's "nutritious and wholesome qualities." Proclamation 5219 urges citizens to observe the entire month, or at least the third Sunday of July — designated National Ice Cream Day — “with appropriate ceremonies and activities." As you go about performing your civic duty, here is some fun trivia about the delicious treat to keep you entertained.
Researchers have long envisioned deploying armies of tiny flying robots to tackle vital tasks. The versatile machines could be used as first responders to trace gas or pollutant seepage during natural disasters, to survey crops in large farms, to help astronauts on space missions, and even to assist bees with plant pollination. However, fitting the heavy electronics required to power and control the wings into the robot's tiny frame has been challenging. Now, there is hope, thanks to RoboBee X-Wing — the world's lightest aerial vehicle that can fly without being tethered to a power source.
Since late March 2019, local fishers and sightseers on whale watching excursions along the Southern California Coast have been treated to a rare sight — dozens of school bus-sized basking sharks lumbering through the water. This is the first time the "gentle giants of the sea" have frequented the area in such large numbers in over thirty years.