While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are all about finding the best deals on holiday gifts for yourself and family members, Giving Tuesday serves a more altruistic purpose. Observed annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, it encourages people to help those in need by making financial donations or doing good in their local community. The “Global Day of Giving” was started in 2012 by New York City nonprofit 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation.
The residents of Florida, which is home to over one million alligators, are no strangers to the apex predators. The massive animals are frequently encountered in swimming pools, ditches, and garages. In 2019, Palm Coast resident Donna Heiss even saw a 7-foot gator peeking through her window! However, the giant reptile recently spotted in Naples, Florida, impressed even the most jaded Floridians.
On October 26, 2020, the US Senate voted 52-48 to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett as the 115th Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. The 48-year-old, who was nominated for the lifetime appointment by President Trump on September 26, 2020, will fill the vacancy left behind by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died from complications of pancreatic cancer on September 18, 2020.
When 22-year-old giant panda Mei Xiang gave birth to a healthy cub on August 21, 2020, Smithsonian's National Zoo officials were both excited and anxious. That's because giant panda cubs, which weigh about 100 grams — the equivalent of a stick of butter — when born, are challenging to keep alive. Unable to see, hear, or crawl, the helpless infants are completely reliant on their mothers for food and protection. As it turns out, they had little to worry about. The newborn, who celebrated his eight-week birthday on October 16, 2020, is thriving under Mei Xiang's care and showing signs of becoming a feisty toddler.
Visitors enjoying a quiet breakfast at the Singita Ebony Lodge, a luxury hotel in South Africa's Sabi Sand Game Reserve, were treated to a rare encounter with a leopard in early September 2020. The handful of guests watched in awe —and a little trepidation — as the majestic animal, who appeared to be searching for a tasty morsel, calmly explored the various areas of the restaurant. Fortunately for the humans, nothing on the "menu" seemed to catch the leopard's fancy, and it left as abruptly as it had arrived.
On September 5, 2020, almost 800,000 fans worldwide tuned into American illusionist and endurance artist David Blaine's YouTube channel to witness his first major live event since 2012. Called Ascension, the stunt involved Blaine strapping himself to 52 colorful helium balloons and soaring into the clear blue skies above Arizona's Great Basin Desert.
Bei Bei's 2019 departure from the Smithsonian's National Zoo, to join the giant panda breeding program in China's Wolong Nature Reserve, left a big void for fans. What made the loss of the adorable cub even more poignant was the belief that his mother, Mei Xiang, was too old to have more offspring. However, on August 21, 2020, the 22-year-old proved experts wrong by giving birth to a healthy cub.
The San Francisco Zoo's annual "March of the Penguins," to celebrate the graduation of their Magellanic penguin chicks from "fish school," is usually attended by hundreds of cheering fans. Unfortunately, COVID-19 restrictions forced this year's ceremony, held on August 8, 2020, to be limited to a handful of lucky guests and officials. However, the lack of fanfare did not appear to bother the six adorable graduates proudly waddling over to their permanent home on Penguin Island.