An Ice Hockey League with Really Cool Team Names

The ECHL (formerly the East Coast Hockey League) is a mid-level professional ice hockey league based in Shrewsbury, New Jersey, with teams scattered across the United States and Canada. It is a tier below the American Hockey League (AHL).

The Newfoundland Growlers

The Indy Fuel

The Florida Everblades

Orlando Solar Bears

Jacksonville Icemen

Savannah Ghost Pirates

Greenville Swamp Rabbits

A very very old Tortoise

The world’s oldest tortoise has lived through two world wars, witnessed the rise and fall of the British Empire, and has just turned 190 years old.

Jonathan the Seychelles Giant Tortoise hatched in the Georgian era and is the oldest known living land animal on Earth and the oldest chelonian ever recorded.

Jonathan the tortoise, who hatched in the Georgian era, is the oldest known living land animal on Earth (St Helena/PA)

Jonathan the tortoise, who hatched in the Georgian era, is the oldest known living land animal on Earth (St Helena/PA)

Born in the early 1800s, Jonathan has lived on St Helena – an island situated in the midst of the South Atlantic Ocean – since 1882.

Jonathan’s age is an estimation but shell measurements documented from a photograph taken shortly after his arrival to St Helena show he was fully mature and at least 50 years old when he arrived from Seychelles in 1882 – although it is likely that he is even older.

Joe Hollins began caring for Jonathan when he worked as the St Helena’s vet and, although now retired, still helps look after the tortoise.

Mr Hollins said: “When you think, if he was hatched in 1832 – the Georgian era – my goodness, the changes in the world.

“The world wars, the rise and fall of the British Empire, the many governors, kings and queens that have passed, it’s quite extraordinary.

“And he’s just been here, enjoying himself.”

Joe Hollins began caring for Jonathan when he worked as the St Helena’s vet and still helps look after the tortoise (St Helena/PA)

Joe Hollins began caring for Jonathan when he worked as the St Helena’s vet and still helps look after the tortoise (St Helena/PA)

At the start of 2022 Jonathan achieved the Guinness World Records title for the world’s oldest living land animal and this month, he has also been named as the oldest tortoise ever.

Jonathan has spent the majority of his life on the British Overseas Territory, one of the world’s most remote islands. He lives in the grounds of Plantation House alongside three much younger tortoises called David, Emma and Fred.

He has witnessed more than 35 governors come and go from Plantation House and has seen the island introduce radio, telephones, TVs, internet, cars and an airport.

Mr Hollins said it has been a “privilege” to look after the elderly animal, who he described as “magnificent”.

“I do think he’s fabulous actually, he’s a great animal,” he said.

“And as a vet – what greater privilege is there than to be looking after the oldest known living land animal in the world? I mean, how often does that happen?

“It is such a privilege to be able to care for this magnificent animal.”

To celebrate his 190th birthday, residents from across the island will be come together on Friday to honour Jonathan over three days at a birthday party at the Governor’s House.

Highlights will include a display of a range of posters celebrating Jonathan’s life, bearing pictures and messages from those who have visited him over the years.

Jonathan photographed with another tortoise in 1886 (St Helena/PA)

Jonathan photographed with another tortoise in 1886 (St Helena/PA)

On Saturday, a series of activities honouring his birthday will include a chat with the Governor and his wife as they feed Jonathan his favourite vegetables.

The event will be live streamed online from Plantation House so anyone from across the world can join in with the celebrations.

An animated video and song dedicated to celebrating Jonathan’s life will premiere on Sunday, and he will be given a ‘birthday cake’ – made entirely out of his favourite healthy foods.

A special stamp will also be on sale alongside other memorabilia which islanders will be able to win during novelty tortoise-themed games.

Best Animal Photos of the Year

A large black bear leaves its den under a vacant home in South Lake Tahoe, California. As bear populations grow and humans expand into formerly undeveloped areas, more of the bruins are learning to live alongside people.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, people came to trade, sell, or watch birds at places like this in Havana, where onlookers gathered to watch a songbird take seeds from a handler’s tongue. 

A young forest elephant trots along with its parents in Lopé National Park, Gabon, along one of many paths that generations of the animals have cut through the fruit-rich rainforest.

Leopards court in a flowering coral tree on a misty winter morning in southern India’s Nagarahole Tiger Reserve. Anti-poaching measures have helped increase prey populations in the park, which allows both big cat species to thrive.

Polar bears spend so much time in the water that many scientists consider them to be marine mammals. But when ice and snow are scant, they spend time inland—like this individual sleeping in a patch of fireweed near Churchill, Manitoba, in summertime.

After darting a baboon in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park, researchers with the Amboseli Baboon Research Project took measurements and samples of the animal’s blood, fluid, and skin, then released it unharmed.

A two-spot wrasse and a cornetfish swim through a colony of garden eels about two-thirds the size of a football field on a sandy slope near Negros Island, Philippines. Social but shy, they vanish into their holes when disturbed.

In San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, raccoons stand upright following the arrival of a resident who regularly feeds them—despite laws against the practice. Raccoons that become reliant on human food are more likely to spread disease and get hit by cars.

A blacktip reef shark traverses a mangrove forest of Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles, which serves as both a nursery and hunting ground for many marine species. The island hosts one of the healthiest inshore shark populations in the Indian Ocean.

A young lynx is photographed by camera trap at an abandoned farm. In 2002 fewer than a hundred of these animals survived in the wild. Since then, the population has grown tenfold, with at least 1,100 animals scattered across Spain and Portugal.

A man offers a baby three-toed sloth for sale to passersby on a highway in Altos de Polonia, in northwestern Colombia. The town is one of several hot spots in the region for the illegal sloth trade. (From “A notorious sloth cartel kingpin vanished—We tried to find him,” January 11, 2022.)

From National Geographic.

Small town Manitoba  

This is Somerset, Manitoba.  Located in the south central part of the province, 30 miles (50 kilometres) north of the U.S. border.  This is where I grew up.  It is a small town, population 420.  It is getting smaller every year as the residents die off from old age.  The farms have become massive operations.  Fewer people farm the land as the huge machinery doesn’t require as many people to put in and harvest the crops.  This leads to a decline in population in the area.  Not as many services are needed.  Enrollment is down in the schools and this causes a decrease in teachers and support staff. 

But the town still has a movie theater, two bars, a grocery store, two garage repair shops, two restaurants, government offices, skating and curling rinks, a community hall, giant grain elevator and a few miscellaneous other small businesses.  Somerset will still be around for a long time yet.  And the people that live there love the quiet and solitude.

The Biggest Satellites that have fallen to Earth 


Skylab

Name: Skylab
Reentry Date: July 11, 1979
Reentry Location: South Western Australia
Size: 79 metric tons
Type: Uncontrolled reentry

The American space station’s reentry was celebrated by media in the United States, with two competing San Francisco newspapers even offering rewards for parts or damaged property.

Salyut 7

Name: Salyut 7/Kosmos 1686
Reentry Date: February 7, 1991
Reentry Location: Capitán Bermúdez, Argentina
Size: 40 metric tons
Type: Large, uncontrolled reentry

The Soviet space station had been uninhabited for almost 5 years when it returned to Earth, along with the unmanned spacecraft Kosmos 1686, showering a small Argentinian town with debris.

Mir

Name: Mir
Reentry Date: March 23, 2001
Reentry Location: South Pacific Ocean
Size: 120 metric tons
Type: Large, controlled destructive reentry

Mir, despite efforts to save the 15-year-old Russian space station for commercial purposes, reentered the atmosphere over Fiji, and fragments fell into the South Pacific.

Saturn S-II-13

Name:Saturn S-II-13 (Saturn V Stage)
Reentry Date:  January 11, 1975
Reentry Location: Atlantic
Size: 49 metric tons
Type: Uncontrolled reentry

The S-II was the second stage used on the massive Saturn V rocket, famous for launching Apollo astronauts to the moon. The S-II was used for the 13 launches of the Saturn V, including the 49 metric ton stage that reentered on January 11, 1975.

Cosmos 1402

Name: Cosmos 1402 (nuclear spy satellite)
Reentry Date: January 23, 1983
Reentry Location: Indian Ocean
Size: 4 metric tons
Type: Uncontrolled reentry

Satellite nuclear reactors were normally jettisoned to a safe “parking orbit” when the satellites reentered, but Cosmos 1402’s reactor remained attached until breaking up over the Indian Ocean. Here, an American orbital analyst monitors the satellites trajectory from NORAD.

Mars 96

Name:Mars 96 (Mars probe)
Reentry Date: November 17, 1996
Reentry Location: Bolivia, Chile, Pacific Ocean
Size: 7 metric tons
Type: Uncontrolled reentry

Mars 96 was a Russian satellite meant to send four probes to Mars, but failed and returned to Earth crashing into an unknown location in Bolivia, Chile, or the Pacific. No parts of the spacecraft, including its 200 grams of plutonium-238 fuel, have been found.

Space Shuttle Columbia

Name:Columbia (STS-107)
Reentry Date: February 1, 2003
Reentry Location: Texas, Louisiana
Size: 106 metric tons
Type: Large, controlled, destructive reentry

During the reentry of STS-107, damage to the shuttle’s left wing shielding during launch allowed hot gases to enter the wing structure of the shuttle, leading to the disintegration of the vehicle. All seven crew members were killed, and debris was scattered over northern Texas and eastern Louisiana.

“Great Satan” defeats Iran at World Cup

The Great Satan is a demonizing epithet for the United States of America in Iranian foreign policy statements. Occasionally, these words have also been used toward the government of the United Kingdom.

The term was used by Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in his speech on November 5, 1979 to describe the United States, which he accused of imperialism and the sponsoring of corruption throughout the world. The speech occurred one day after the onset of the Iran hostage crisis.

Ayatollah Khomeini also occasionally used the term “Iblis” (the primary devil in Islam) to refer to the United States and other Western countries.

But the ‘Great Satan” prevailed today.

The United States men’s soccer team will be in Qatar for a little longer after defeating Iran in their final group-stage match of the 2022 World Cup on Tuesday.

 The United States scored the opening goal when Christian Pulisic slotted the ball home in the 38th minute. But in doing so he suffered an injury that sidelined him for the remainder of the game.

With the win, the United States finished second in Group B, which pits them against the Netherlands (winners of Group A) in the knockout round of the tournament. That game is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 3, at 10 a.m. EST.

Supporters cheer prior to the World Cup group B soccer match between Iran and the United States at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)