Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The theme is extreme: Amazing amusement park rides

We know you're ready for summer thrills, and these theme rides deliver the goods. Massive roller coasters, sweet water slides and adrenaline-juicing rides await. These crazy rides will plaster a smile on your face and evoke yelps of joy (or apprehension). Sit down, buckle up, hang on, and enjoy these topsy-turvy, lightening fast, sinisterly high challenges built especially for the thrill-seeker in you. Check out the country's best in amusement adventures here:

Monday, June 24, 2013

Daredevil completes tighrope walk over Grand Canyon

Aerialist Nik Wallenda completed a tightrope walk that took him a quarter mile over the Little Colorado River Gorge in northeastern Arizona on Sunday. Wallenda, 34, performed the stunt on a 2-inch-thick steel cable, 1,500 feet above the river on the Navajo Nation near the Grand Canyon. He took just more than 22 minutes, pausing and crouching twice as winds whipped around him and the rope swayed. The event was televised live on the Discovery Channel.
Wallenda didn't wear a harness and stepped slowly and steady throughout, murmuring prayers to Jesus almost constantly along the way. He jogged and hopped the last few steps.
Do you think Mr. Wallenda is brave ... or crazy?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Keep your eyes on the road!

Interested in a truly stomach-flopping adventure? Take a journey over some of these bridges … the world’s highest. Warning: If you’re leery of heights, don’t look down. China boasts the lion’s share of the highest bridges, with 3 of the planet’s top 5. Tallest in the U.S. is the Royal Gorge Bride in CaƱon City, Colorado (pictured here). At nearly 1,000 feet high, the bridge is taller than it is long. What’s the tallest bridge you’ve even been on? Did you look down?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Missing document signed by Lincoln found at Pennsylvania college

A long-missing certificate with Abraham Lincoln's signature was found recently at a college in Pennsylvania by the school president. The retiring president of Lycoming College was cleaning out his closet when he found the 150-year-old document. James Douthat was pulling out what he thought was an access panel to plumbing when he discovered a framed certificate, dated 1863, which named the college’s founder, a Civil War chaplain. A similar certificate also signed by Lincoln recently sold for $11,000, according to a noted autograph dealer.
Have you ever made a surprise discovery of something valuable?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sloths: Super-slow, super-snuggly

Lightening fast they are not. In fact, a tenacious tortoise is likely to outpace a slumbering sloth in a foot race, should such an unlikely competition occur. But, oh how adorable. These cute-faced creatures unwittingly allure the attention of rainforest visitors in Central and South America with their silent charm. Huggable, to be sure. And, oh so slow.  Getting up close and personal with these delightful animals is part of the unique experience on a trip to Costa Rica with Discovery Student Adventures. Here are some cool facts you probably didn't know about sloths:

Monday, June 10, 2013

2,500-year-old mummy getting a makeover

A 2,500-year-old Egyptian mummy is coming out of its coffin to undergo cleaning and restoration procedures at Massachusetts General Hospital. The mummy, known as Padihershef, has been on display at the third-oldest general hospital in the United States since it received him as a gift from the city of Boston in 1823 as a medical oddity.
A conservator trained in restoring ancient artifacts will remove him from his coffin and use cotton swabs to wipe away salt deposits from his face. The salt has been slowly seeping out of his tissue, a result of the mummification process. Experts are also expected to do minor repair and stabilization work on his coffin.
The mummy and his coffin will then be moved to a special horizontal case in which they will lie next to each other in the Ether Dome, a surgical amphitheater where William T.G. Morton demonstrated the first public surgery using anesthetic, on Oct. 16, 1846.
Do mummies spook, or fascinate you?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Tree houses that meet new heights

For kids growing up anywhere near trees, a time-honored summer tradition has always been to build a tree house. It's the perfect way to escape to a place you can call your own. Building the lofty getaway can also be a great bonding experience between kids and their parents. While most of us may envision shabby forts with slanted floors, walls that don't exactly align, and roofs that leak, there are many exceptions. Indeed, there exist tree houses that rival primary residences ... with grander views. Check out these amazing houses built on limbs and trunks.
Have you ever built a tree house?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Summer sizzle: Sound super? Not to everbody

Summer is knocking on the door for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. For many, it's a pleasant time of year that allows us to enjoy more time outdoors relaxing and playing under the sun. But in many parts of the world, searing heat is something that virtually never goes away. It's always hot in these climatic ovens. How do you cool off during the summer months? Check out the world's 10 hottest spots.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Great mirages of the world

Though mirages are just optical illusions, they are very real manifestations of physics and remind us that the universe is not as linear and straightforward as we’d like to think. While the classic arid-land mirage – a “lake” shimmering in the distance in a searing desert – is what most envision, there are many types around the world. What is the coolest mirage you've ever witnessed? Check out these cool optical illusions.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Mock Mars Mission Will Test Stresses of Red Planet Living

The question of how people can live and work together on a mission to Mars may turn out to be one of the biggest challenges of deep-space exploration. To simulate the experience of a crew stuck inside cramped quarters under stressful conditions, a nonprofit is planning a one-year mock Mars mission in the Arctic.
The mission, to begin in July 2014, is being planned by the Mars Society, an organization dedicated to manned exploration of the Red Planet. Six crew members will spend a full year living inside the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS), a 25-foot-tall , 27-foot-wide cylindrical habitat on Devon Island in the high-latitude Canadian Arctic.
The crew will spend their time conducting field geology—in space suits, of course—and other science research, and performing maintenance on their equipment and habitat.
If given the opportunity, would you spend a year of your life to explore Mars?

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