Felix Baumgartner Makes Jump
Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner made history on Sunday (October 14th) as he jumped from the highest-ever altitude and became the first skydiver to break the sound barrier, which is about 690 miles per hour at that height. For what was called the Red Bull Stratos mission, Baumgartner jumped in a special pressure suit, stepping off from a capsule that had been lifted up by a 55-story, helium-filled balloon to more than 24 miles above the New Mexico desert — some three times the altitude of where planes usually fly — and landed some nine minutes later. In between, he spent about four minutes and 20 seconds in freefall before activating his parachute, reaching a maximum speed of 833 miles per hour to break the sound barrier by a significant margin.The 43-year-old Baumgartner broke the record for highest jump of 102,800 feet, which had been set in 1960 by then-Air Force Captain Joe Kittinger, who was an adviser on Baumgartner’s mission.
- In the U.S., the jump was only televised on the Discovery Channel, although more than 40 TV networks in 50 countries carried the lived feed.
- YouTube livestreamed Baumgartner’s jump, which happened just before 2:10 p.m. ET, and set a record with eight million concurrent streams. During the jump and the moments after Baumgartner landed, half the worldwide trending topics on Twitter had something to do with the jump.
What are Some Trendy Topical Costumes for Halloween This Year?
Along with all the vampires, zombies, pirates, witches, and other traditional Halloween costumes, there are always some clever topical costumes — usually homemade — taken from recent news headlines and pop culture. The Long Island Press reported on what some of the trendy ones could likely be this year:
- Ecce Homo — The botched restoration of a painting of Jesus done by a woman in Spain.
- Korean rapper Psy — Whose “Gangnam Style” became a huge viral hit
- Naked Prince Harry partying in Vegas
- Clint Eastwood’s empty chair from the Republican National Convention
- “NASA Mohawk Guy” Bobak Ferdowski — Who drew widespread online attention when he was seen with his star-studded Mohawk in the NASA control room when the Curiosity rover successfully landed on Mars.
- Pussy Riot — The imprisoned Russian punk band
- Honey Boo Boo — Of the hit reality TV show Here Comes Honey Boo
- Blind NFL referees — Spoofing the replacement refs from the recent NFL lockout.
- Big Bird — Whose mention by Mitt Romney during the first presidential debate was the one line most people remembered from it.
Minnesota School Won’t Allow Yearbook Student Photo with Baby, Tribute to Suicide Victim
A northern Minnesota high school has stirred controversy by refusing to allow a student mother to include her baby in her yearbook photo, or the inclusion of a tribute a student who committed suicide, according to the local WCBS-TV station. Menahga High School senior Stephanie Myers wants to have her daughter with her in her yearbook photo, telling the station, “She’s making me push myself more to get better grades and make a better life for both of us.” She was told no, but Menagha superintendent Mary Klamm said they haven’t totally ruled out the idea, saying, “The conversation was interrupted. We didn’t have an opportunity as a staff to say, ‘How do we handle this? What do we do?’” The other issue is about Kyle Kenyon, who would have been a senior this year, but committed suicide last January. Around 100 classmates signed a petition to get a memorial page in their yearbook, but the school again refused. Klamm said they spoke to mental health experts, who recommended they not do it. But in that case as well, there may be some kind of compromise, with Klamm saying, “We’re looking at different options.”
Details Of The Next Presidential Debate
The second presidential debate is Tuesday night.
- Topic: Town meeting format including foreign and domestic policy
- Air Time: 9:00-10:30 p.m. Eastern Time
- Location: Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York
- Moderator: Candy Crowley (CNN Chief Political Correspondent)
The second presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which citizens will ask questions of the candidates on foreign and domestic issues. Candidates each will have two minutes to respond, and an additional minute for the moderator to facilitate a discussion. The town meeting participants will be undecided voters selected by the Gallup Organization.