Massive footprint discovered

The biggest dinosaur footprints ever discovered were found in northwestern Australia. Thousands of tracks belonging to 21 different types of dinosaurs were found on a 25-kilometre stretch of the coastline. The area is being called “Australia’s Jurassic Park”. The largest footprint is nearly 5 feet 9 inches (1.75 meters) long. The tracks are estimated to be between 127 to 140 million years old. Here is a video about it.

Did you know?

Jurassic Park is a novel and a series of films about an island theme park populated by dinosaurs.

Image Credits: https://www.uq.edu.au for the image of the footprint
Sources: https://www.uq.edu.au, CNN, www.imdb.com

Free chickens and ducks in Tonga

The nation of Tonga has given out thousands of free baby ducks and chickens to its citizens. The reason? The government wants Tongans to be healthier by eating less fatty meats. The expectation is that people will raise these animals, breed them, and eventually use them for their meat.

According to the CIA World Factbook, Tonga is the world’s fifth most obese nation. That means Tonga has the 5th largest percentage of a country’s adult population in the obese category. Many people suffer from illnesses such as diabetes and heart diseases caused by being overweight. Tonga imports meats from other nations, and many of the meats are “fatty”. The government has also been offering discounts on fresh fish, a healthier alternative.

Tonga is an island nation consisting of about 170 islands in the Pacific Ocean. The capital of the country is Nukuʻalofa. Tonga is one of the first countries to welcome each New Year since it is just west of the International Date Line.

Here is a video about obesity.

 

Image Credits: google.com for the tonga map, http://www.time2draw.com for the chick’s image
Sources: http://www.radionz.co.nz, CIA World Factbook, BBC

Zebras everywhere

There is an explosion of dancing zebras in videos posted on the Internet. A recent episode of the TV show “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” had Oliver talking about his discovery that Bolivia is using folks dressed as zebras to control traffic. He encouraged people to #JustAddZebras in videos to make them more fun. The show released a video of a zebra dancing in front of a green screen that people could use to add to their favorite videos.

In 2001, a new program was launched in La Paz, Bolivia. The program used folks dressed up as zebras to slow down cars, assist folks in crossing roads, and stop vehicles at traffic lights. The program is still going on. La Paz is Bolivia’s administrative capital and is the world’s highest capital city. Sucre is its constitutional capital. Bolivia is named after Simón Bolívar (image), a political leader who helped several South American countries get their independence from Spain.

Did you know?

One of the most dangerous roads in the world is the North Yungas Road from La Paz to an area called the Yungas Valley in Bolivia.

Image Credits:  Jacob A. Ware for the image of the zebra, LastWeekTonight for the zebra image
Sources: https://www.theatlantic.com, http://www.globaltimes.cn, http://www.wonderslist.com, guardian.com, CIA World Factbook

2017 Formula One begins

The 2017 Formula One (F1) World Championship, one of the most prestigious open-wheeled car races in the world, started on March 26 with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, Australia. Sebastian Vettel of Germany won the race. He is with the Ferrari racing team.

 

 

 

Formula One consists of a series of races called Grand Prix. The number of Grand Prix races held in a year can change. The results of all the Grand Prix races are combined to determine the overall winner of the F1 Championship. The length of each race is around 300 km (200 miles). F1 started in Europe in 1950. Its roots are from Grand Prix motor racing which started in the early 1900s in France.

This year, there are going to be 20 Grand Prix races. The last race will be held on November 26 in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Twenty drivers from ten teams are participating. Here is a video showing the highlights from the Australian Grand Prix.

Did you know?

Sebastian Vettel has won the Formula One World Drivers’ Championship four times (2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013).
Image Credits: Sven Mandel for Vettel’s image, formula1.com for its logo
Sources: https://www.formula1.com

A bit more news

Starbucks is going to get a new CEO on April 3. The current CEO Howard Schultz (right, image) will step down and Kevin Johnson (left, image) will take over. Starbucks was founded in Seattle in 1971.

 

 

Norway is ranked as the world’s happiest nation by the World Happiness Report. The report ranked 155 countries by their happiness levels. Norway was followed by Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and Finland.

 

 

A 25-year-old sea turtle passed away in Thailand. The turtle, nicknamed “Piggy Bank”, lived in a pond where people threw pennies for good luck. The turtle had swallowed nearly 1,000 coins. Piggy Bank recently went through surgery to have the coins removed.

 

Black Insomnia Coffee has claimed the title of the world’s strongest coffee. Its caffeine level is 702 mg per 12 fl oz cup. As a comparison, a 12 fl oz can of coke has 34 mg of caffeine

 

 

 

 

MONOPOLY fan? Hasbro, the toy company that owns the game, recently announced that the boot, the thimble, and the wheelbarrow tokens are going to be replaced with a rubber ducky, a penguin, and a T. Rex in the next version of the game. MONOPOLY was introduced in 1935.

 

Arrogate, a 4-year old American racehorse, won the 2017 Dubai World Cup, a horse race held annually in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Arrogate had a late start, fell behind, and still went on to win. You can watch part of the race here.

 

 

Elon Musk recently announced that he has founded a new company called Neuralink. It is a medical research firm that is going to create technology that connects human brains to computers. Musk is a 45-year-old entrepreneur born in South Africa. He helped create the electric car company Tesla Motors, the Internet payment company PayPal (now owned by eBay), and the aerospace manufacturing company SpaceX. Here is a video about Musk.

 


 
Image Credits: https://news.starbucks.com for Schultz and Johnson’s image, http://www.chula.ac.th for the coins image, https://www.hasbro.com for the MONOPOLY image, http://www.dubairacingclub.com for Arrogate’s image, https://blackinsomnia.coffee for the coffee image, https://twitter.com/elonmusk for Musk’s image
Sources: https://news.starbucks.com, http://worldhappiness.report/ed/2017, http://www.chula.ac.th, CNN, http://newsroom.hasbro.com, http://www.dubairacingclub.com, https://blackinsomnia.coffee, https://twitter.com/elonmusk, http://www.npr.org

South Korean president forced to step down

South Korea’s president, Park Geun-hye, has been removed from office by the country’s Constitutional Court. The country’s prime minister is the acting president. Elections are expected to be held in May to choose the next president.

 

 

Park (image) was accused of giving classified information to her friend, Choi Soon-sil. Choi used the information and her connection with Park to meddle in government affairs and to get lots of money from businesses in South Korea. Choi is being tried for her crimes. Park was the country’s first female president, and is now also the first democratically elected leader to be forced to step down. She is the daughter of Park Chung-hee who was South Korea’s leader from 1961 to 1979.

 

The official home of the president is called the Blue House (image), and is located in Seoul, the country’s capital. South Korea is known for its fancy electronics, robots, cars, and ships. Korean is the official language. The Korean alphabet is called Hangul. A popular Korean dish is bibimbap, a rice dish with different vegetables, meats, egg, and chilli paste on top. Another popular Korean food is kimchi, a dish made of pickled vegetables. Taekwondo is a form of martial arts that originates from Korea. A music genre that’s very popular in South Korea is K-pop (Korean pop).

South Korea and its northern neighbor, North Korea, used to be part of one country called Korea. A line in the middle was drawn and two countries, North and South Korea, were created in 1948. The line was called the 38th Parallel since it was at the latitude 38 degrees north.

Here is a video about Park and Choi.

Image Credits: Rishabh Tatiraju for the image of the 38th parallel, Steve46814and Humorahead01 for the image of the Blue House, Korea.net for Park’s image and the flag image
Sources: BBC, http://www.korea.net, https://www.britannica.com

Pi Day 2017

“Pi Day” was celebrated in many countries on March 14. Pi (Greek letter “π”) is the name of a constant number in mathematics that represents the relationship between a circle’s diameter (its width) and its circumference (the distance around the circle). The value of the number is 3.1415926535… (and its digits go on forever).

Since March 14 is written as 3/14 in some countries, this day is celebrated as Pi Day. Many people eat and gift food in the shape of a circle (pizza and pies) to celebrate the number. Albert Einstein, one of the world’s greatest scientists, was born on Pi Day. The mirror image of “3.14” spells “PIE”. Some nations where the date is written as day/month celebrate Pi Approximation Day on July 22. This is because the fraction 22/7 is used as an approximation of pi.

In November 2016, over 22.4 trillion digits of pi were calculated. Here is a video about it, and another about pi.


Did you know?

The first 144 digits of pi add up to 666, and 144 = (6+6) x (6+6).

Image Credits: https://en.wikipedia.org for the circle image, RR Auction and Einstein’s World Author for Einstein’s image
Sources: www.piday.org, https://www.timeanddate.com, https://www.newscientist.com, SciShow

Boaty McBoatface

A remotely operated yellow submarine called “Boaty McBoatface” is about to start its first mission. It is going into the waters around Antarctica to study how global warming is impacting the oceans.

Last year, United Kingdom’s Natural Environment Research Council had asked the public to help name its new polar research ship. People voted for the names online. The name with the most votes was “Boaty McBoatface”. The research ship was given a different name, but this yellow submarine got the winning name.

Here is a video about this news story and another video of a song called “Yellow Submarine” sung by the group Beatles.

Image Credits: http://www.nerc.ac.uk for Boaty McBoatface’s image
Sources: https://www.bas.ac.uk, http://www.nerc.ac.uk, New York Times

Tiff between the Netherlands and Turkey

Turkey and the Netherlands are having a tiff. The government of the Netherlands refused to let a Turkish government official’s plane land in their country. The official was going to the Netherlands to take part in a rally. The rally was to persuade the Turkish community living there to vote for some Turkish constitution changes next month. The constitution changes will give the Turkish president more powers. The president of Turkey is Recep Tayyip Erdogan (image). However, the government of the Netherlands did not want the rally on its soil, and refused to let the official’s plane land. In response, Erdogan said some not-very-nice things about the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, parliamentary elections were recently held in the Netherlands. The current Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s (image) political party won the most votes, which puts him in a position to continue being the prime minister for another term. However, his political party didn’t win enough votes which are needed to govern. He will have to work with some of the other political parties to form a government.

 

The Netherlands often causes confusion with its various names. It is often called Holland, which is a part of the Netherlands, but is sometimes used to refer to the country as well. The people of the Netherlands are called by a name that doesn’t resemble the name of the country at all – the Dutch. When you think about the Netherlands, some words that pop up are tulips, windmills, canals, wooden shoes, cheese, cyclists, and the painter Vincent van Gogh.

Here is a video about the tiff.

 

Did you know?

Some Turkish folks squeezed oranges while protesting against the Netherlands. This is because the color “orange” is associated with the Dutch Royal family.

Image Credits: https://www.government.nl for Rutte’s image, https://www.tccb.gov.tr for Erdogan’s image, http://www.holland.com for the tulip field’s image
Sources: http://www.euronews.com, New York Times, BBC, https://www.government.nl, http://www.holland.com

Earth Hour 2017

Earth Hour will be celebrated on March 25 from 8:30pm to 9:30pm (your local time). Earth Hour is an annual event where people, businesses, and cities around the globe are urged to turn off as many lights and electrical gadgets as they can for one hour. While this saves electricity, the bigger goal is to create awareness in people about simple changes they can make in their lifestyles to help our planet. Earth Hour began in Sydney, Australia ten years ago in 2007. Last year, hundreds of millions of people in 178 countries and territories turned off their lights for an hour. Over 400 of the world’s most iconic landmarks, such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge (Australia), the Burj Khalifa (UAE), and the Eiffel Tower (France), also participated by going dark. Here is a video about Earth Hour.

Image Credits: https://www.earthhour.org for Earth Hour’s image
Sources: https://www.earthhour.org