Donut lovers, rejoice! Friday, June 4, 2021, is National Donut Day. That means it is your civic duty to consume at least one — or even a dozen — of the delicious confections. The fun US holiday, observed annually on the first Friday of June, was started in 1938 by the Salvation Army to help raise funds for those in need.
Antarctica is surrounded by icebergs. However, the finger-shaped chunk of ice that recently broke loose from the western side of the Ronne Ice Shelf — one of the world's most extensive ice platforms — is worthy of a mention. Measuring approximately 105 miles (170 km) long and 15 miles (25 km) wide, it boasts a surface area of 1,660 sq miles (4,300 sq km) and is currently the world's largest iceberg.
While scientists have managed to recover and examine thousands of meteorites, finding their origin or even whether they are from icy comets or rocky asteroids has proved elusive. Now, for the first time, a team of international researchers has traced the source of a boulder-sized rock that landed in Botswana to an asteroid named Vesta. Boasting a diameter of about 326 miles, it is one of the largest and brightest rocks in the asteroid belt that circles the Sun between Jupiter and Mars.
Simone Biles, the world's most decorated gymnast, is well-known for performing moves so tricky and unique that many have been named after her. On May 22, 2021, the 24-year-old phenom made history again by becoming the first woman to perform a Yurchenko double pike in a competition. Even more impressive, the US Classic in Indianapolis, where Biles' accomplished the feat, was the gymnast's first meet since the COVID-19 pandemic caused all events to be canceled in early 2020.
The quarter dollar is both the most commonly-used coin in the American currency and the most unique. Since 1999, the coin's reverse, or "tails," side has showcased all 50 US states, as well as the breathtaking beauty of the country's national parks. Now, the US Mint plans to use the silver canvas to celebrate female leaders who have played a crucial part in shaping the nation's history.
Memorial Day, which will be celebrated on May 31, 2021, is one of the most important American holidays. Observed annually on the last Monday of May, it honors the brave men and women of the US Army, Navy, Marine Corps, National Guard, Air Force, and the Coast Guard who sacrificed their lives to defend America's freedom. Meanwhile, Veterans Day, which takes place each year on November 11, honors all veterans — living or dead—but mainly gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.
While total lunar eclipses are always spectacular, the one on May 26, 2021, promises to be particularly memorable given that it coincides with a supermoon. This means that the Moon — which will be at perigee, or its closest distance to Earth — will appear about 7 percent larger and 15 percent brighter than a standard full Moon. The eclipse will be most visible from the western parts of the Americas, Australia and New Zealand, and Eastern Asia. In the US, the best views will be reserved for Hawaii, Alaska, and the western states.
Given that white was one of the first colors used in art in the 15th century, one would think that there is little room left to improve its "whiteness." It turns out that is far from the case. A team of researchers led by Xiulin Ruan, a professor of mechanical engineering at Indiana's Purdue University, recently revealed an "ultra-white" paint that they believe could even help combat climate change.