Mount Etna, Europe's most active volcano, has been erupting regularly since 2011. However, the latest series of explosions, which began on February 16, 2021, has been particularly noteworthy. Emanating from the youngest of the volcano's four craters — the Southeast Crater— they have spewed spectacular fountains of lava as high as 0.9 miles (1.5 kilometers). To put it in perspective, that is about three times the height of One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the United States.
St. Patrick may have been an Irish clergyman, but his death anniversary — observed annually on March 17 — is celebrated worldwide, even in cities and towns with few or no ethnic Irish people. Here is a brief history of the man behind the holiday and the origins of some of the fun traditions associated with the commemoration.
A team of Swedish scientists has successfully extracted and reconstructed the world's oldest DNA from the tooth of a Siberian mammoth, which roamed Earth over a million years ago. Also known as deoxyribonucleic acid, the all-important molecule — which contains the genetic instructions for the development and function of living things. — provides new insights into the evolution of the ancient Ice Age giants. Prior to this, the oldest DNA sequenced came from the bone of a horse that trotted around Canada about 700,000 years ago.
On March 14, 2021, millions of Americans and Canadians will mark the start of Daylight Saving Time (DST) by moving their clocks forward an hour. The time manipulation — which will result in the loss of sixty minutes of precious sleep or leisure time on Sunday — is designed to enable North Americans to enjoy longer days during the upcoming spring and summer months.
In 2011, conservationists moved eight Rothschild's giraffes to Longicharo Island, a rocky peninsula on Lake Baringo in Western Kenya. The scientists hoped the isolated area would save the endangered animals from poachers and allow their numbers to multiply. However, intense rainfall in August 2020 caused the lake water levels to rise substantially, cutting the area off from the mainland and reducing the once lush, 100-acre habitat to about eight acres.
Matthew Walzer, who was born with cerebral palsy, had overcome most of the mobility and motor skills challenges associated with the congenital disorder by the time he turned 16 in 2012. However, with limited dexterity in his right hand, one essential task remained elusive — tying his shoelaces. Realizing there were probably millions of others facing a similar challenge, he reached out to his favorite shoe company, Nike, for help. Little did the teenager know that his heartfelt request would lead to the creation of Go FlyEase — the world's first fully hands-free sneaker.
On February 12, 2021, over a billion people in China and millions worldwide will celebrate the first day of the Chinese New Year. Also known as the Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival, the exact date of the 15-day commemoration, which marks the end of winter, is determined by the lunar calendar. It falls somewhere between late January to mid-February each year.
The invention of plastic has been a double-edged sword for humanity. While the cheap, versatile material has made life convenient, it is virtually indestructible and takes centuries to decompose. Since avoiding plastic is impossible, companies worldwide are coming up with innovative ways to repurpose the millions of tons of polymer waste that end up in our landfills annually. Among the latest is California-based TechniSoil Industrial, which has devised an ingenious way to reuse plastic waste to repave roads.