On November 10, 2019, nine agile mini cheetah robots, built by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), were let off their leash to demonstrate their superior athletic abilities. The four-legged machines, controlled by their human creators, began with a warm-up run across the field in full formation. They then took turns maneuvering a soccer ball. As often happens in games, a couple of the team members got into a skirmish and jostled with each other until they both fell onto their backs. Fortunately, they reconciled for the grand finale — a perfectly synchronized backflip, one that would make even a world-class gymnast like Simone Biles proud!
Cinder-Block, an overweight cat, has become an internet sensation thanks to a workout video posted on social media by the Northshore Veterinary Hospital in Bellingham, Washington. The brief footage, published on October 19, 2019, shows the gray feline reluctantly exercising with one foot on an underwater treadmill while protesting loudly.
Halloween dog parades, where pooches get to strut around in fun costumes, are a fairly common occurrence during this time of the year. However, very few compare to New York City's Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade, the largest and most popular gathering of its kind. The annual event attracts over 300 pooches and their proud owners, who often dress in coordinated outfits to help their furry, four-legged friends win the coveted Best in Show title.
The Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, DC, is home to 2,700 animals representing more than 390 species. However, few are as beloved as giant panda cub Bei Bei, whose progress, from a frail newborn weighing less than a third of a pound to a healthy, 240-pound (109-kg) "toddler," has been eagerly followed by millions of fans both online and on-site. On November 19, 2019, America will bid farewell as its favorite panda cub departs for Chengdu, China, to join a cooperative breeding program to try to save his vulnerable species, which currently numbers just 1,864 specimens in the wild.
Ever since humans began venturing into space, 227 astronauts have left the spacecraft to perform some sort of extravehicular activity (EVA). While 14 of those have been women, the female astronauts have always been accompanied by a male counterpart. On October 18, 2019, US astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir became the first all-female team to conduct a spacewalk to replace a failed battery controller.
An Australian dog is still recovering from a hilarious case of mistaken identity. On October 6, 2019, Tony was out in his yard in Adelaide, South Australia, with his owner Henry when a baby koala leaped onto his back. The bewildered pooch squirmed around to nudge the adorable joey, which was clinging to its fur, off his body. Every time he thought he had succeeded, the smart koala found a way to clamber back on.
On October 5, 2019, astronomers and space fans worldwide will celebrate the 10th International Observe the Moon Night. The annual event was started by NASA in 2009 to "celebrate lunar science and exploration, celestial observation, and our cultural and personal connections to the Moon."
Octopuses in the wild have often been observed changing their skin color and texture to avoid predators or to catch unsuspecting prey. Now, for the first time, a researcher has captured a spell-binding video of a cephalopod called Heidi rapidly changing into a multitude of colors while sleeping.