The United Arab Emirates (UAE), a federation of seven monarchies on the Arabian Peninsula, is mostly a desert. However, this has not deterred the leaders from setting and achieving lofty goals that include massive building projects, most bordering on the impossible. Dubai, the UAE’s largest and most populous city, is home to the world’s tallest building, the world’s biggest mall, as well as the world’s second largest choreographed fountain system. On September 26, UAE officials announced yet another ambitious project – a space simulation city, the world’s largest of course!
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.
Facial recognition is a complex task which requires as many as 200 neurons in the brain’s temporal lobe, called “face patches,” to fire up simultaneously within milliseconds. Hence the skill has always been believed to be the realm of “intelligent” animals such as humans, monkeys, apes, dogs, and horses. Now, British scientists have found that the unassuming cud-chewing sheep also possess this skill.
Years of low rainfall and poor agricultural practices, such as livestock overgrazing, have transformed the Sahel region of Africa into a semi-arid desert. The lack of fertile soil along the almost 8,000-kilometer stretch extending east-west across the breadth of the continent from Senegal on the Atlantic coast to Eritrea on the Red Sea coast, is making it increasingly hard for the residents, who depend on farming, to survive.
After months of anticipation, Britain’s Prince Harry finally announced his engagement to American actress, model, and humanitarian Rachel Meghan Markle. As per British royalty tradition, the official statement released on November 27, came from the groom’s father, Charles, Prince of Wales — the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and heir apparent to the British Throne.
Over the past few years, the art world has seen some astronomical bids for the works of famous painters. In 2015, Pablo Picasso’s Women of Algiers became the most expensive painting to be sold in an auction, after an anonymous buyer paid $179 million. That same year, a $300 million private sale of Willem de Kooning's abstract landscape Interchange broke the record for the most expensive artwork ever sold. However, both the sales pale in comparison to the $400 million paid for Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi on November 14. The buyer also paid an additional $50.3 million to cover the auction house’s fees and taxes.
While Black Friday and Cyber Monday help kickstart the holiday shopping season, #GivingTuesday, which will be observed on November 28, attempts to galvanize the season of giving. Now in its sixth year, the charitable day uses the power of social media to encourage organizations and individuals to donate funds or resources to worthy causes. Created by the team at the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact at New York City’s 92nd Street Y, its mission is to bring positive change to communities through giving.
From December 4 through 10, tens of millions of people from over 180 countries will participate in the Hour of Code Challenge. Now in its fifth year, the event aimed to introduce the world of computer science to anyone from ages 4 to 104, is organized by Seattle-based nonprofit, Code.org.