On March 5, 1963, Wham-O’s co-founder, Arthur “Spud” Melin patented the Hula Hoop® (U.S. Patent Number 3,079,728). However, the folks at Wham-O can’t technically claim to be the first to spin hoops around their midsections. For centuries, many cultures have been using hoops for exercise and religious ceremonies. It just so happens that the sock hoppin’ 50′s and the gyrating hips of a king meant the time was right for the toy makers to introduce their hoop en mass to the hip-shaking American youth. The first modern Hula Hoop was first marketed 1958 leading to hundreds of millions of units sold before Wham-O’s patent was even granted.
One of Britain’s most notorious heist stories is also one of the greatest crime stories of the 20th-century. The 1963 “Great Train Robbery” introduced the world to mastermind Bruce Reynolds and his gang of thieves, who robbed a Royal Mail night train traveling from Glasgow to London on August 8, 1963. Nearly $7 million was stolen, most of it never recovered.
Most recently, the death of Reynolds made headlines, coming just months before the 50th anniversary of the heist.
Sinkholes are very much in the news this week after a Florida man disappeared into one that swallowed his bedroom while he was asleep on Thursday night. As of Saturday morning, rescue personnel continued searching for the man inside the hole that formed below his Tampa home.
To explore this geological phenomenon, we took a look at some of the more notable sinkholes to form worldwide, as well as a few that made headlines in Maryland in the last 10 years.
Cockfighting, known as “Murgh Janghi” in the Afghan Dari language, is a popular game among Afghans during the winter season, which was banned by the Taliban rulers. The heels and bills of the birds are sharpened before fights, which run around 4-6 rounds. Each round lasts between 10 to 20 minutes with a gap of 5 minutes in between bouts. Some 100,000 to 200,000 Afghanis ($2,000 to $4,000 USD) can exchange hands among spectators placing bets during these fights.
Reuters photographer Omar Sobhani and Getty Images photographer Shah Marai captured today’s cockfight in Kabul.
Sometime in March – Vatican rules seem to indicate March 15 – an estimated 115 Catholic cardinals will enter the Sistine Chapel to deliberate and elect the next head of the Roman Catholic Church. The proceedings of this papal conclave will be kept secret while crowds gather outside awaiting the announcement of the 266th pontiff. To get a better idea of the proceedings, take a look at these photos from the election of Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.
Masses of pilgrims queued to enter St. Peter’s Square to hear Pope Benedict XVI’s final weekly public audience in Vatican City, Vatican on Wednesday. The Pontiff attended his last weekly public audience before stepping down tomorrow. The weekly event, which would normally be held in a vast auditorium in winter, was moved outdoors to St. Peter’s Square so more people can attend. Pope Benedict XVI had been the leader of the Catholic Church for eight years and is the first Pope to retire since 1415. He cites ailing health as his reason for retirement and will spend the rest of his life in solitude away from public engagements.
In Paris, France and Milan, Italy the latest in Fall/Winter fashions have hit the runways. But before each model takes a step toward the spotlight, they are primped, teased, blown dried and formed into the designers vision. A walking mannequin made to display the designs just so. This is the life of the runway model, hurry and wait, hurry and wait.
Some would argue that documentary film deserve a place in the best picture category: A powerful portrait of real people and true stories, unraveling and revealing a mystery, unscripted. In most cases, these films bring an opporunity of hope and change, exposing the difficult truths of our society.
This year’s contenders include films about uprisings, a history of violence, women in service and a musical icon of the anti-apartheid movement.
Here’s a look at the documentaries nominated.
Homeless and cold, would you choose to live with the dead? That’s what two Serbian men have chosen to do in the city of Nis. For nearly 20 years, both Bratislav Jovanovic and Aleksandar Dejic have lived in tombs beside the caskets of their descendants.
Photos taken by Sasa Djordjevic of AFP. You can read his account on AFP’s Eyewitness blog.