4 Compelling Stories From Home, Away & Far Far Away
ALASKA — From anchorage.net
Alaska’s Fur Rendezvous is underway!
Known locally as Fur Rondy, the event has been going strong for more than 80 years. Starting in 1935 as a three-day sporting event timed to coincide with the return of miners and trappers loaded down with the fruits of a winter of work. The original event featured skiing, hockey, basketball, boxing and a children’s sled dog race down Anchorage’s Fourth Avenue.
Only in Anchorage can competitors square off in outhouse races, craft massive yet intricate snow sculptures, and dash to keep clear of reindeer Pamplona-style. More than 15 zany events and 100 other activities are found at Alaska’s largest and oldest winter festival, Anchorage Fur Rendezvous, which is slated for Feb. 22 to Mar. 3, 2019.
NATIONAL — From npr.com
Peter Tork, a member of the 1960s moptopped TV rock quartet the Monkees, died Thursday, February 21st. He was 77.
His death was announced on his official Facebook page and website. “Peter succumbed to a 10 year bout with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare cancer of the salivary glands,” it read.
The Monkees were a made-for-TV musical group whose comedic high jinks and misadventures were fashioned after the Beatles’ classic films A Hard Day’s Night and Help! Their show debuted in 1966 and lasted only two seasons. But it did win an Emmy in 1967 for outstanding comedy series. The Monkees became overnight stars, producing a series of No. 1 hits such as “Last Train to Clarksville,” “Daydream Believer” and “I’m a Believer.” Their record sales in 1967 surpassed the Beatles and the Rolling Stones combined.
INTERNATIONAL — From npr.com
They came covered in blue paint, donning red and white hats, nearly 3,000 in all. Their goal was simple: To break the world record for the largest group of people dressed as Smurfs.
The group Dä Traditionsverein organized the event in Lauchringen, Germany on Saturday near the border with Switzerland. They had strict rules: in order to be counted, participants couldn’t show any non-blue skin.
They could dress as Papa Smurf — with his trademark red cap and a white beard — or Smurfette, with blonde hair and a white skirt or dress. Normal smurfs were OK, too — but some characters, like the evil wizard Gargamel, were strictly off limits.
The group posted on Facebook that 2,762 Smurfs showed up. Guinness World Records has yet to confirm the feat. The standing record is held by a group of 2,510 people in the United Kingdom in 2009. Dä Traditionsverein first attempted to break that record in 2016.
OUT OF THIS WORLD — From express.co.uk
Each month of the year typically sees a full moon and each of them are given a different name. In January we saw the Wolf Moon, March is the Worm Moon and February, the Snow Moon.
The names hark back to Native American times when the moons would be given a name in relation to the season they fell in. February’s Moon is known as the Snow Moon as it was a time when there would be the most snow on the ground in some parts of the U.S. It is also known as the Hunger Moon, after the scarcity of food and hard hunting conditions during midwinter.
February’s full moon is regarded as special not just due to it being the Snow Moon, but because it is also a Supermoon — a full moon that appears larger in the sky than usual, as it is the closest in its orbit to the Earth.
Slooh astronomer Dr. Paige Godfrey explains: “A Supermoon is a celestial wonder because it is when the moon can appear nearly 30 percent brighter and almost 14 percent larger than a typical full moon.”