The First All-Female Spacewalk Is A Success!

Ever since humans began venturing into space, 227 astronauts have left the spacecraft to perform some sort of extravehicular activity (EVA). While 14 of those have been women, the female astronauts have always been accompanied by a male counterpart. On October 18, 2019, US astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir became the first all-female team to conduct a spacewalk to replace a failed battery controller.

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Super Typhoon Hagibis Causes Extensive Flooding And Destruction In Japan

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.

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CuteCircuit's Sound Shirt Allows Deaf People To "Feel" Music

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.

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California Man Wins "Super Bowl of Weigh-Offs" With Record-Breaking 2,175 Pound Pumpkin

Though they may not take center stage the rest of the year, pumpkins are the squashy stars of October. Some make an appearance inside popular treats like lattes, cookies, and pies, while others are carved into spooky Halloween jack-o'-lanterns. Then there are the select few whose only purpose is to win pumpkin weigh-off contests. Though numerous such events are held across the US, the "Super Bowl of Weigh-Offs” takes place annually at Half Moon Bay, CA, which prides itself as the “World Pumpkin Capital.”

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Simone Biles Shatters More Records At The 2019 Gymnastics World Championships

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.

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Adorable Baby Koala Mistakes Pet Dog For Its Mother

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.

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Researchers Freeze Ship Into Arctic Ice For Year-Long Study On Climate Change

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.

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New Mexico, Vermont, And Maine Replace Columbus Day With Indigenous Peoples' Day

Celebrated annually on the second Monday in October, Columbus Day honors Italian explorer Christopher Columbus's discovery of America. However, the federal holiday, which will be observed on October 14, 2019, has long drawn criticism due to the European settlers' brutal treatment of the Native American people. It has also been argued that America had already been "discovered" by the indigenous people when Columbus arrived.

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Boyan Slat's Ocean Cleanup Project Successfully Retrieves Plastic From The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Boyan Slat has been dreaming of cleaning up the world's oceans ever since he was a teenager. On October 2, 2019, the now 25-year-old announced that System 001/B, an autonomous retrieval system developed by his non-profit Ocean Cleanup, had successfully trapped plastic debris floating in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Located between Hawaii and California, the approximately 617,763 square-mile mass of waste is the largest accumulation of ocean plastic in the world.

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Want To Ace Your Tests? Catch Some ZZZ's!

Sleep, considered a luxury by many, is essential for a person's wellbeing. Researchers have found that insufficient sleep increases a person's risk of developing severe medical conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Now, a new study by Boston's Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has found that getting sufficient sleep is also the key to improving academic performance.

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Astronomers Eagerly Await The Arrival Of Interstellar Comet 2I/Borisov

Astronomers have long suspected that celestial bodies from other solar systems traverse through ours frequently. However, it is only recently that they have been able to identify some of these interstellar objects. The first, a remarkably fast-moving comet dubbed 'Oumuamua, was already making its way back home by the time it was spotted in October 2017, giving scientists little chance to study it in detail. Now, thanks to the sharp eyes of an amateur astronomer in Crimea, scientists will get a second chance to investigate similar comets with C/2019 Q4 (Borisov), which is currently making its way to our solar system.

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Kenya's Masai Mara National Reserve Is Home To An Adorable Polka-Dotted Zebra Foal

The Masai Mara Reserve is one of Kenya's most popular tourist attractions. Every year, thousands of people flock to the national park to glimpse of a variety of wild animals, such as lions and cheetahs, or to witness the majestic annual migration of over 1.5 million wildebeests to and from neighboring Tanzania. However, this September's human "stampede" is due to an unexpected animal — a zebra foal with polka dots!

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The Presidential Impeachment Inquiry Explained

On September 24, 2019, Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives (House), launched a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. The investigation was triggered by allegations that Mr. Trump had asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to look into the business ties of 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's son, Hunter. Allegedly, in order to persuade Zelensky to agree, the US president withheld federal military aid from Ukraine. So how will the impeachment process work, and what are its potential long-term implications for the president? Read on . . .

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Protective Walrus Mom Sinks Russian Research Boat In The Arctic Ocean

A female walrus demonstrated the lengths moms — animal and human alike — will go in order to protect their offspring when she sank a Russian research boat that came close to her calves. The incident occurred on September 18, 2019, when a team of sailors and scientists from Russia's Northern Fleet and Geographical Society were sailing to Wilczek Island in the Arctic Ocean.

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These Shipworms Prefer To Eat Rocks Instead Of Wood!

Shipworms, which munch through wood and help release essential nutrient stored within it, are incredibly beneficial for other marine animals. However, the saltwater bivalve mollusks have been known to sink boats and cause extensive damage to docks, piers, and other wooden structures. Now, researchers have uncovered a shipworm species of a different kind — one that has the potential to change the course of a river by gnawing through its limestone bedrock!

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