In France, lightsaber dueling is now a recognized sport. In an effort to engage young people and make exercise more attractive, the French Fencing Federation elevated lightsabers to the same status as foils, epees, and sabers. The federation’s officially sanctioned lightsaber duels last three minutes and use light-up lightsabers (sometimes with sound effects) paired with traditional fencing safety gear. Local clubs have been equipped with lightsabers, and instructors have been given the relevant training. Using popular culture to draw in participants is old hat to fencers; other characters like Zorro, Robin Hood, and the Three Musketeers have also bumped participation in the past. (Time)
On social networks, research shows that being nice to internet trolls might help stop the spread of online hate. A study including 700,000 Facebook users found that people who saw more positive posts also tended to write more positive posts, and the same was true in reverse. The act of responding to online hate with kindness and generosity can break the repetitive cycle of hate posts, researchers suggest, creating an online atmosphere that perpetuates positivity, not negativity. (NPR)
In Utah, a tiny fossil changed a dinosaur’s timeline. When most people think of a Tyrannosaurus rex, they picture a 30-foot-tall goat-massacring menace. But paleontologists have discovered a fossil that fills in the evolutionary history of the “tyrant lizard.” The T. rex had humble origins: It evolved from the scrawny 3- to 4-foot-tall Moros intrepidus, which would have weighed around 170 pounds and been able to run exceptionally fast. (CNN)
- Meanwhile in … Nairobi, Kenya, rollerblading is becoming an established sport.
- Meanwhile in … Belén, Costa Rica, a recycling drive set a new world record for bottle collection.
- Meanwhile in … New York, a charity is buying up outsize debt to forgive it
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