Walking backwards: Medi Bastoni, an Indonesian man from Dono, a small village in East Java, was so passionate about a cause that he walked backwards for over 700 kilometres (430 mi.). Bastoni was raising awareness about rainforest preservation. His backwards walk took him to his country’s capital of Jakarta, where he planned to meet with President Joko Widodo. What he wanted from the President was simple: a symbolic seed for a tree, which he would then plant near his village. Bastoni outfitted himself with a backpack full of supplies and a frame that held a rear-view mirror so he could see where he was going.
Petal Power: A building in Venezuela can open and close like a flower. The Flor de Venezuela is also known as the Flor de Hanover because it was built for Expo 2000 in Hanover, Germany. The architect, Fruto Vivas, wanted the building to reflect flowers, so he designed a building that has 16 enormous petals attached to a central stem. Using a hydraulic system, the petals can open and close, which is not only visually appealing but also convenient if it rains. Once the Expo was over, the building was moved, piece-by-piece, to Barquisimeto in the western part of the country.
Quiet park: Vancouver, British Columbia, on Canada’s west coast, is home to Stanley Park, which covers an area of about 400 hectares (1,000 acres). Cyclists and walkers love pedalling on 27 kilometres (16.7 mi.) of trails that wind through and around the park. Stanley Park includes a variety of vegetation, including centuries-old red cedars, towering Douglas firs, and Pacific dogwoods, making it a quiet forest retreat in the middle of a big city. Walkers and cyclists who stick to the peripheral trail can watch float planes come and go on Vancouver Harbour and enjoy views of the surrounding mountains.
Iconic sculpture: The red phone booth is an iconic sight in London, England, and there is a sculpture to recognize this symbol of English heritage. Called “Out of Order,” it was made by Scottish sculptor David Mach and installed in 1989 on Old London Road. “Out of Order” consists of 12 red phone booths that look like they have fallen into each other. Some viewers think that it symbolizes the death of the phone booth in this age of mobile phones, but the sculpture was installed before the use of those devices were as common as they are today. The sculpture is a great backdrop for tourists snapping selfies!
—Simone de Beauvoir
1. Who said, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”?
2. If you are a narcissist, are you egocentric or absent-minded?
3. What is the longest bony fish on Earth?
4. Name the daughters of former U.S. President and Mrs. Barack Obama.
Malia and Sasha
5. How many hours does it take for a chicken to produce an egg?
Did You Know?
Turtle tracks: Raine Island, located in the Great Barrier Reef, is a nesting ground for green sea turtles. More than 15,000 female turtles at one time may attempt to lay their eggs on the short stretch of beach during nesting season.
Peanut butter: A small fruit that grows in South America is called peanut butter fruit. This orange or red fruit looks a bit like a grape tomato but smells like its name. When ripe, even its consistency is like that of peanut butter.
Prolific writer: Canadian author Margaret Atwood wrote The Handmaid’s Tale that has been made into a successful TV series. The novel was originally published in 1985. A sequel called The Testaments was published in 2019.
Name-calling: In South Korea, a common family name is “Kim,” which means “gold.” In fact, about 10 million people have that name – about 20 per cent of the country. Other extremely common Korean family names are “Lee” and “Park.”
Footprints on the Moon: In 1969, American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first humans to set foot on the Moon. Since then, 12 more astronauts have had the privilege of walking on this satellite of Earth.
On the Lighter Side
- Don’t you hate it when someone answers their own questions? I do.
- Knock! Knock!
Control freak. OK, now you say, “Control freak who?”
- What belongs to you, but everyone else uses it? Your name.
- Yesterday I got my tie stuck in the fax machine. Next thing I knew, I was in Los Angeles.
- Nature abhors a vacuum, but not as much as a cat does.
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