Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge has been dominating the world marathon stage since winning the Chicago Marathon in 2014. In the years following, the elite runner has won every marathon he has participated in, including the gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics. In 2018, Kipchoge made history when he crossed the finish line of the Berlin Marathon in 2:01:39, crushing the existing men's world record by a minute and 18 seconds. On October 12, 2019, the 34-year-old further cemented his legacy by running the 26.2 miles in Vienna, Austria in less than two hours, faster than any other person in history. His time of 1:59:40 required him to maintain an average pace of about 4:35 per mile!
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.
Japan, which gets hit by an average of three typhoons annually, is no stranger to the powerful tropical storms. However, Typhoon Hagibis, which made landfall in the Shizuoka Prefecture at about 7:00 pm local time on October 12, 2019, is the worst storm experienced by the island nation in almost 60 years. Dropping as much as 35 inches of rain in some areas, it caused massive landslides, flooded rivers, and damaged homes and businesses in eight of Japan's 47 prefectures.
Though not as mainstream as devices like smartphones and fitness trackers, more companies are now experimenting with the concept of connected garments. Among the pioneers is London-based CuteCircuit, which has been creating fashionable smart clothing since 2004. The company's latest innovation is the "Sound Shirt," which allows deaf people to "feel" live music by transforming the tunes into touch sensations in real time.
Any doubt that Simone Biles is one of the greatest athletes of all time was laid to rest at the 49th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. The 22-year-old dominated the competition, which took place from October 4 to October 13, 2019, winning gold in five of her six events. Biles' career total of 25 medals, 19 of which are gold, now exceed Belarus gymnast Vitaly Scherbo's 23 medals, making Biles the most decorated gymnast — male or female — at the World Championships.
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.
In 1893, Arctic explorer Fridtjof Nansen deliberately lodged his wooden ship in the sea ice north of Siberia, hoping that its natural drift would take him to the North Pole. Though the Norwegian scientist failed to reach his desired destination, his three-year-long, 2,000-kilometer journey into the North Atlantic Ocean revealed important data about the then-mysterious Arctic Ocean. Now, an international team of researchers have embarked on a similar journey for a groundbreaking climate change study of the Arctic.
Mini robots that can roll, fly, float, swim, and even come together to morph into a single machine, may seem like something straight out of a science fiction movie. However, if a team of NASA scientists has its way, the self-assembling Shapeshifter may soon be exploring treacherous distant worlds in search of alien life.