RECENT EVENTS

WHO Calls for Global Ban on Trans Fats
May 14, 2018
The World Health Organization is urging people around the world to remove trans fats from their diets, in the strongest possible way. Two very large nonprofits have joined the WHO in its launch of Replace, a program calling for elimination of trans fat from the global flood supply by 2023. The nonprofits are the Bloomberg Philanthropies and Resolve to Save Lives (an adjunct of the Gates Foundation). It is the first time that the WHO has made such a pronouncement in aid of curbing chronic disease, the organization said. The WHO said that about half a million people die prematurely each year from cardiovascular disease. Eating large amounts of trans fats has long been linked to such health problems.

Horse Found amid Ruins of Pompeii
May 14, 2018 Pompeii horse
Fresh excavations of the ruins of Pompeii have turned up an ancient racehorse. The Italian city was overwhelmed by lava and ash from Mount Vesuvius on August 24, A.D. 79. Archaeologists investigating grave robber tunnels found the large horse, lying on its left side, in a stables in the northern outskirts of the suburb Civita Giuliana, beyond the Roman walls. The stables were part of the Casa dei Casti Amanti, a villa owned by a rich family. Also found near the horse were a harness made of iron and bronze. Archaeologists have suggested that the horse might have been used for racing, not doing manual work. The archaeologists have used liquid plaster to create the first-ever casting of a complete horse from Pompeii.

No Human Bankers in This Chinese Branch
May 14, 2018 Bankin robot in China
"Little Dragon" can help you with that, customers are told, at China's first human-free bank branch. "Little Dragon" is the English equivalent of Xiao Long, a robot employee of Shanghai's Jiujiang Road branch of the China Construction Bank. She's not the only robot on the premises, however. Another machine awaits to further assist customers. Customers at the bank start with "Little Dragon," entering a PIN pad that she she is holding, in order to access bank information. Customers can also have conversations with customers, answering basic questions; if she is asked, she will direct customers further inside the bank, to a virtual reality room, in which customers can talk to a person, via a video link. In between are automated teller machines that can not only dispense cash but also open accounts, transfer money, and even perform foreign currency exchange.

THIS TIME LAST YEAR

Reading a Million Words Worth a Celebration
May 14, 2017
Being a millionaire doesn't always mean dollars. Sometimes, it means words. Students at the Britt David Magnet Academy in Columbus, Ga., got the royal treatment recently at the school's annual Millionaire Bash. Honorees were students who had qualified by reading 1 million words during the school year. The reading millionaires arrived in style, after a 15-minute ride in a limousine, and walked down a red carpet into the school celebration. Standing outside taking pictures (and holding out photos and other memorabilia for those autographs) were their families.

Rome's Past on Display in New Metro Station
May 14, 2017
A newly completed Roman metro station sports a museum showcasing some of the archaeological treasures unearthed during the station's construction. Workers had to dig very far down to accommodate building of the station and the rail line leading to and from it, and the workers found more than 40,000 artifacts during their nearly 10 years of construction. The oldest things found are on the bottom level of the station, 100 feet beneath the surface; relatively newer items are on levels closer to the surface. 

 

IN DAYS GONE BY

Girl, 16, Sails Around World
She doesn't consider herself a hero, but Jessica Watson can certainly be considered a role model for young girls looking to aspire to something big. Watson returned to her home in Sydney during the weekend, after becoming the youngest person to sail nonstop, unassisted around the world. The Australian 16-year-old did it all by herself, on her 40-foot pink yacht, Ella's Pink Lady.All kinds of Australian officials were on hand, including Kevin Rudd, the Prime Minister, and Kristina Keneally, the Premier of New South Wales (bhh home state). A flotilla of small craft escorted Ella's Pink Lady into Sydney Harbor, and Jessica took her first steps on land in 210 days, wobbling a bit as she waved to the large crowd of thousands gathered around the Sydney Opera House to welcome her home. She began the odyssey on October 12, 2009, by sailing northeast from Sydney, through the South Pacific and across the equator. She traveled south to Cape Horn, around the tip of South America, and across the Atlantic Ocean so South Africa, powering through the Indian Ocean and then around southern Australia back to Sydney. Along the way, she kept her family, friends, and the rest of the world up-to-date by writing a blog. Among her favorite topics was her friendship with a small brown bird, which arrived on the yacht one day and stayed for several more before departing for another destination. She also made use of ultra-modern technology, including a satellite phone and the Voice over Internet application Skype (the video version). More evidence of the modern age could be found in a video that she shot herself of her dumping a symbolic bucket of saltwater over her head as she crossed the Equator.

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka
On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court unanimously announced an end to public segregation in schools in the famous Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka case. It was, in a way, the end of an odyssey for Linda Brown, who suffered the indignities of a second-rate school because of the laws of the land. The decision was also, however, just the beginning of what would be a series of high-profile announcements from the Supreme Court and new laws from the Congress and the President.



Significant Sevens are the highest, the lowest, the deepest, the farthest, the oldest, the youngest, and a host of other lists in economics, geography, history, and much more.


Cultural Icons are the instantly recognizable monuments, landforms, buildings, and many other kinds of landmarks that define a people, place, or culture.

 

 

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