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An Iconic Children's Cartoon Just Took a Huge Step For Representation
Thomas the Tank Engine is a popular children's show that has been running for many years. The show features a cast of lovable characters, including the iconic Thomas the Tank Engine. Recently, the show has added a new character - Bruno the Brake Car - who is autistic. This is a significant move by the show, as it is one of the first mainstream children's shows to feature an autistic character. Elliott Garcia, a nine-year-old boy from Reading, has been cast to play Bruno. Elliott is autistic himself, and he says that he is excited and happy to be playing the character. This is a huge moment for autism awareness, as it helps to normalize autistic characters on television.
Golden Retrievers Have Been the Mayor of This Town for More Than a Decade
In the charming town of Idyllwild, Southern California, the role of mayor has been filled by three generations of golden retrievers, starting with Mayor Max I in 2011. Phyllis Mueller and her husband saw an opportunity to use the mayoral position to do good for the town and beyond, using Max I's charisma and love to connect with people at various events and gatherings. Max II and now Max III have continued this legacy, and Max III just completed his first year in office, filled with public appearances, visits to schools and hospitals, and belly rubs.
This Ballet School is Breaking Racial Barriers and Inspiring Young Girls
Ruth Essel, the founder of Pointe Black Ballet School in London, has created a safe and empowering space for Black dancers, inspired by her own experiences of discrimination within the ballet world. Pointe Black aims to provide an inclusive environment where students can feel accepted and celebrated for who they are. By incorporating African steps and music styles in their shows and embracing diversity, Essel is working to make ballet more accessible and welcoming for dancers of all backgrounds, fostering a sense of community and empowerment.
Astronomers Are Stumped By a Pair of Planets Floating Through Space
It's a discovery that has astronomers scratching their heads. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has found two Jupiter-sized "planets" floating freely in space and appear to be moving in pairs. Dubbed Jupiter Mass Binary Objects or "JuMBOs" for short, scientists say they might have been ejected from star systems. This may reshape our understanding of planetary system formation and the dynamics of objects in space, offering exciting opportunities for further exploration.
Simone Biles is Back at the World Stage - This Time, With a Historic Vault Named After Her
Simone Biles, the seven-time Olympic medalist, has once again made history by becoming the first woman to successfully land the Yurchenko double pike in international gymnastic competition at the 2023 World Artistic Gymnastic Championships. This remarkable feat has earned her the honor of having the skill named after her, now known as the "Biles II." Biles, who already has four other gymnastic skills named after her, continues to push the boundaries of the sport, inspiring athletes and fans worldwide with her incredible talent and determination.
Meet the Self-Taught Musicians Taking Africa's Music Scene by Storm
Lionel Obam, also known as DJ Jeune Lio, started as a self-taught DJ in Paris and has now become one of the most influential music personalities in Francophone Africa. He co-founded La Sunday, one of Ivory Coast's largest music festivals, where he captivates audiences with his vibrant and diverse music sets. With his unique style and energetic sets, DJ Jeune Lio continues to make a significant impact on the African music scene.
How One Hero Saved an Indigenous Hawaiian Community From the Wildfires
Shaun "Buge" Saribay, a Native Hawaiian, went to great lengths to protect the Villages of Leiali’i, a homestead community in Lahaina, Hawaii, during a devastating fire. These homestead communities provide affordable land to Indigenous Hawaiians, and they serve as reserves of Hawaiian culture and traditions. Saribay and others' efforts helped save most of the Leiali'i neighborhood, demonstrating the resilience and unity of the Hawaiian people in the face of adversity.
The Scientists Behind Pioneering mRNA Technology Just Won a Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to Professors Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman for their pioneering work on mRNA vaccine technology. This technology, which was experimental before the pandemic, led to the rapid development of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, such as those from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech, now administered to millions worldwide. Their breakthroughs have not only been vital in the fight against COVID-19 but also hold promise for developing vaccines against other diseases, including cancer.
Sally the Sea Lion Had an Exciting Adventure When Heavy Rains Gave Her a Free Swim
Sally, a sea lion at the Central Park Zoo, had a playful adventure after heavy rain caused her pool to flood, briefly allowing her to escape her enclosure. The mammal was seen swimming out of the flooded pool and exploring the surrounding area before eventually returning to her habitat. The zoo was closed due to severe weather, and zoo personnel ensured that no staff or visitors were in danger during Sally's escapade.
See Lasers Cutting Through a Trail of Stars in This Latest Image From the ESO
The European Southern Observatory (ESO) has shared a breathtaking image of star trails captured at its Paranal Observatory in the Chilean Atacama Desert. The image shows stars appearing to trail across the night sky due to a long exposure technique used by astronomers. In addition to the mesmerizing star trails, the photo features two bright orange lasers, known as laser guide stars, which are used to correct the distortion of starlight caused by Earth's atmosphere, providing sharper images of the sky.
This 107-Year-Old Shares Her Secret on How to Create a Long and Happy Life
Shirley Hodes, who recently celebrated her 107th birthday, offers valuable insights on finding happiness as you age. Her philosophy emphasizes appreciating what you have, finding joy in small things, and reframing negative thoughts. Hodes' positivity mindset, focused on gratitude and resilience, has contributed to her long and fulfilling life. Her advice reminds us that happiness can be found in the simple pleasures of everyday life and in being content with who we are.