This ultramarathon runner can’t stop running! He ran for over 80 hours without sleeping—and it only gets crazier from there!
If you think that Forrest Gump liked to run, then you haven't seen anything yet! Dean Karnazes, an American marathon and running enthusiast, decided to set the bar pretty high by becoming one of the most famous ultramarathon runner in the world. What has he done that was so great? Run 350 miles without a wink of sleep!
Karnazes started running for fun when he started kindergarten, running from home to school just because he liked it. After taking a 15 year break due to fights with his high school track coach, he resumed running on his 30th birthday by completing a 30-mile run in his underwear and old yard-work shoes just on a whim.
Besides running 350 miles in 80 hours and 44 minutes in 2005 without sleep, he also ran a marathon to the South Pole (in -13-degree Fahrenheit) without snowshoes. His top accomplishment may be the 50/50/50, which is 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 consecutive days! He started in the Lewis and Clark Marathon in St. Louis in September of 2006 and finished with the New York City Marathon in November. What did he do after he was done? Ran back home from New York City to San Francisco.
Only 20% of the Sahara is covered with sand!
When you think the Sahara, you probably think of endless sand dunes with the occasional oasis thrown in. However, that is not close to the truth. In reality, only about 20% of the Sahara is covered with shifting sand dunes.
The desert, which covers 8.5 million sq km is formed not just of sand dunes, but also of bare gravel plains, stony plains, mountains and salt covered plains. In the driest parts of the Sahara, the annual rainfall doesn’t exceed 25mm. In places where it does rain, the water evaporates rather than soaking into the ground.
This Jeep is unique among Jeeps. Why?
The front-end styling of the 2007 Jeep Compass crossover has been carefully thought through. The idea was to represent the heritage of the Jeep. "The seven-slot grille represents the seven continents of the world. Jeep, the original four-wheel drive, was the first manufacturer to have its vehicle driven on all seven continents," said John Janicki.
What is the history of this iconic vehicle? In June 1940, with World War II on the horizon, the U.S. Army desperately needed a 1/4 ton light reconnaissance vehicle. Karl Probst accepted the challenge and felt patriotic enough to do the work with no pay. He started work on the vehicle on July 17, 1940. He had the plans ready in just two days! The prototype was delivered to the U.S. Army in November 1940. It remarkably only took 75 days to complete the design.
In ‘Hail To The JEEP!’ Written by A. Wade Wells, Major E.P. Hogan is quoted as saying, "Jeep is an old Army grease-monkey term that dates back to the last war and was used by shop mechanics in referring to any new motor vehicle received for test. Just when this generally used term was specifically applied to the vehicle it now describes is hard to say."
If you thought fireflies are cute innocent creatures, think again! They are actually cunning predators!
Fireflies are usually associated with fairy tales and are often seen as a symbol of joy or hope, but in real life they can be really nasty little insects! Adult fireflies usually do not feed but they will ingest nectar and pollen. Some female fireflies of the Photuris species, however, have a nasty little secret!
They attack flying fireflies at night. They pretend they are the females of the Photinus genus by faking their flashes. That lures the unsuspecting Photinus males, who are then promptly eaten by the ‘femme fatale’ Photuris. The females do this so that they can ingest a chemical called lucibufagins, which they can not produce by themselves. The chemical is toxic and will protect them from predators. It makes them rather unpalatable and deadly to ingest.
Firefly larvae are predaceous and they inject slugs, snails, earthworms and other soft bodied organisms with a highly toxic digestive substance. This paralyzes the pray quickly and liquefies the body contents. The larvae suck the liquid out and leave their prey ‘dry’. Both the adults and the larvae have complete digestive systems. The food is broken down and the nutrients are absorbed and carried to the different parts of the body by an open circulatory system. Fireflies are not so innocent now that you've seen them in a different ‘light’, are they?
A Stormtrooper is walking across Australia for charity!
A guy named Jacob French is walking from Perth to Sydney to raise money for sick children. The walk is 4,100 km long (2,548 miles) and it will take him about six months. His goal is to walk 40 km per day, but he says that he is not able to reach the goal in populated areas because of how often he is getting stopped by locals wanting to chat or take photos.
He is a member of the worldwide “501st Legion”, a volunteer organization that wears high quality Star Wars outfits to help do charity work. He said that he chose the Stormtrooper outfit because it is definitely an attention grabber. The money is being raised for the Starlight Foundation. They help transform the lives of seriously ill children. If you would like to donate, please visit this website!
Bats’ bodies are designed to hang upside down with no effort!
If you’ve ever wondered why bats hang upside down, here’s the answer for you. The bodies of bats are designed in so that their weight keeps their feet closed. When they cling and hang upside down, the bat’s weight will pull on the tendons that keep their feet closed. This means that they don’t have to put much effort when they’re hanging. Gravity does all the work for them!
Fire season in Montana. Sometimes, wildfires can be good for the environment!
Forest fires seem like a bad thing. They cause damage and there’s no way they could be good for the environment seeing as how they burn the forest, right? Well not exactly. While forest fires may be bad for humans, they are actually “very good” for the environment says research biologist Barbara Zorn-Arnold.
Yes, fires cause short term damage to ecosystems because of smoke, but in the long-term it benefits the ecosystems. If you think about it, plant life has been around a lot longer than humans have and it’s still here, as are the animals in those ecosystems.
Fires have been happening all throughout history and serve a few different purposes. Fires actually increase plant and animal diversity because they release nutrients into the soil causing a flush of new plant growth.
Many ecosystems actually need fires to restore their balance. There’s even a tree which needs fire to stimulate growth. Fires can also be good to eliminate invasive species’.
We often hear about fires that are “out of control,” and these fires are not very good for the environment. These occur when an area goes too long without a fire and becomes overgrown. The extra brush causes the fire to burn too hot too quickly and kills almost everything in sight.
Many times these out of control fires occur because humans have stopped any fires in that area in the past. Now that scientists know that fires are actually good, there are often intentional controlled fires. Due to budget cuts, however, these burns are just not happening enough. This, combined with drought, is a recipe for disaster in fire-prone regions.
The King of Prussia executed citizens for not growing potatoes! Still they refused. What was his brilliant solution?
King Frederick the Great was leader of Prussia in the 18th century. Among the things he is less known for is his knack for marketing, which has been commented upon by historians.
The story goes that he wanted his subjects to grow potatoes. The problem was that the common people despised potatoes. Everything from the way they looked to the way they tasted made them disgusting in the eyes of the people. Things got so out of hand that records show people were executed for not following the order to grow potatoes!
So the government tried its hand at remarketing. They declared that the vegetable was royal food and banned others from having potatoes in their possession. A garden was planted and “guarded” to make it look as though potatoes were too good for anyone who wasn’t royalty.
To Frederick's delight (although this story has been attributed to other leaders), the plan worked. Before long, potatoes became commonly grown throughout the land.
There are important lessons here that relate to marketing, and in particular to the power of perception. So much of what is considered “good” or “bad” is based upon what society or government says, as opposed to what people are naturally inclined to think.
Algae causes the water at Bondi Beach, Australia to turn bright red. But red tides don’t have to be red at all
A red tide is when a large concentration of certain species’ of algae gather to give the water a different color. This is often red, but can also be brown or green, and more rarely, purple or pink. It’s not actually the water that changes color, though. The organisms themselves are just colored, and when they are in such a high concentration it appears as though the water has changed color.
If you ever come across a red tide, be sure to do some research before spending too much time near it. Some red tides give off toxic gases which can cause sickness in those near the water. Death isn’t likely for those who swim in the red tide, but it can cause skin irritation and burning depending on the type.
The organisms that cause the red tide are not overly dangerous to humans directly, but they can have a pretty big effect on us. When certain types of algae gather, it makes the fish in those waters toxic. This causes a disruption in the fishing industry and sometimes causes sickness, and even death, in those who eat the fish. The last reported fatalities were two people in January of 2013 in Malaysia.
Researchers are trying to phase out the use of “red tide” to describe the phenomenon in favor of calling them “algae blooms.” There are a few reasons for this. First, and most obviously, the blooms are not always red. Secondly, they aren’t caused by the tides, but rather other factors which attract the algae. Lastly, the term “red tide” is often used imprecisely to refer to a wide variety of algae species.
Toxic or not, these algae blooms sure are beautiful.
Four adorable goats playing on a trampoline. At Google HQ, they have goats instead of lawnmowers! This story is nuts…
It’s perhaps simultaneously the cutest and the funniest way to save the environment yet: Use goats instead of lawnmowers. It’s not a joke, but rather a way that Google is trying to be more environmentally conscious. Every so often Google rents around 200 goats from a company called California Grazing for a week to “cut” their grass. Oh, and they also get the added benefit of free fertilizer with them there too, but I won’t go into detail about that!
These goats supposedly cost about the same as it would to use lawn mowers, but is it right for Google to use animals this way? PETA, the most outspoken organization on animal cruelty, is okay with the idea, but have concerns about how the goats are treated when not just “doing what goats do.”
In a statement by PETA on Google’s use of goats: “PETA has found over and over that whenever animals are used by a business to make money, corners are cut and animals often suffer as a result.” Their concerns are over things such as their veterinary care, housing, and shelter from the sun and rain.
Google, in turn, stated “[we take] the wellness of our employees very seriously… The lawn-mowing goats are not, of course, full-time Google employees – but we would certainly respond directly to any concerns about their treatment.”