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.
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.
WestJet Airlines' annual "Christmas Miracle" videos, which capture employees providing much-needed holiday cheer to those in need, are legendary. Past "miracles" include flying in gifts and snow to the Dominican Republic and hosting a holiday party for a town devastated by a forest fire. In 2020, WestJet employees delivered 12,000 care packages with essentials and gifts to families hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the company wants to reunite families for the holidays.
Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday are all designed to motivate consumers to spend money on holiday gifts for their loved ones. However, Giving Tuesday, which will be observed on November 30, 2021, has a more altruistic purpose. "The Global Day of Giving" encourages people to "give their voice, time, money, goods, and advocacy to support communities and causes."
Walt Disney World's 18-month-long party to celebrate its 50th birthday began amid much fanfare on October 1, 2021. "The World's Most Magical Celebration" — extended across all four theme parks — is being marked with many special events and experiences. Here is a sampling of the many exciting things in store for visitors to the Orlando, Florida, resort.
Most seafood lovers — animal or human — would find it hard to resist a tasty shrimp morsel. However, not Kit, a mischievous sea otter that resides at California's Monterey Bay Aquarium. Rather than gulping down the tiny crustacean, Kit used it as a game piece to play what the aquarium officials dubbed "The Shrimp Game."
The school day had just ended at Isaac Dickson Elementary School in Asheville, North Carolina. Most students had left, and the ones in the school's "supervised homework help" program were inside the campus. Fifth-grade teacher Betsie Stockslager Emry was also heading home when she noticed two playful black bears entering the empty playground. What happened next will bring a smile to your face.
After years of intense public pushback, the now-shuttered Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus finally announced the retirement of their Asian elephant performers in 2016. While the decision was a resounding victory for animal lovers and activists, it raised a new issue. The mighty pachyderms were raised in captivity and lacked the skills to survive in the wild. Now, thanks to Florida-based White Oak Conservation, the animals have a new home — one where they can roam freely.