The XXIV Olympic Winter Games will officially start with a grand opening ceremony at the National Stadium in Beijing, China, on February 4, 2022. The two-week-long sporting extravaganza, which ends on February 20, 2022, will feature a record 109 competitions over 15 disciplines in seven sports. Among them will be seven new exciting events. Here is a brief preview of each.
The James Webb Space Telescope (Webb) — the world's largest and most complex science telescope — was successfully launched into space atop a European Ariane 5 rocket on December 25, 2021. The $10 billion revolutionary space observatory — a joint effort between NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency — is designed to detect the faint infrared light from the earliest stars and galaxies formed over 13.5 billion years ago.
Martin Luther King Day, which will be observed on January 17, 2022, is about more than honoring the legacy of the American civil rights activist. It is the only US federal holiday designated as a national day of service — a "day on, not a day off." Americans are encouraged to celebrate the occasion by participating in service activities to help their local communities.
The season's first winter storm — which brought significant snowfall to the Washington, DC, area on January 3, 2022 — could not have come at a better time for the residents of the Smithsonian's National Zoo. With the park closed to visitors due to the inclement weather, the animals were able to welcome the New Year with several snow days all to themselves.
Desmond Mpilo Tutu, a leading activist in South Africa's fight against apartheid, passed away on December 26, 2021. The 90-year-old retired archbishop, who also spearheaded the country's smooth transition from apartheid to democracy, had been battling prostate cancer since 1997. Mr. Tutu was laid to rest at a state funeral at St. George's Cathedral, Cape Town, on January 1, 2022.
The name millipede, which translates to a "thousand feet," is a bit of a misnomer. Many species of the arthropods have fewer than 100 legs, and even the record holder — the Illacme plenipes — boasts a "mere" 750 legs. Now, a team led by Virginia Tech entomologist Paul Marek has finally found the world's first "true" millipede — one with over 1,300 legs!
On December 31, 2021, the world happily bid farewell to yet another year of COVID uncertainties and welcomed 2022 with high hopes. The celebrations were scaled back, or in some cases even canceled, due to the rapid spread of the new coronavirus variant, Omicron. However, the variant's milder symptoms and lower fatality rates has renewed optimism that the pandemic would soon be behind us. Here are some of this year's most spectacular fireworks displays from around the world.
For most Americans, Santa Claus is a jolly, white-haired man in a red suit. However, that is just one depiction of the generous being that brings toys to well-behaved children on Christmas Eve. Other countries have their own versions of Santa Claus who, in some cases, do not even appear during Christmas! Here are a few of the many portrayals of Santa-like figures from around the world.