Bear 747 Wins Fat Bear Week
Since 2014, the Katmai National Park in Alaska has held “Fat Bear Week”. It’s a week-long contest between selected bears in the park, with viewers voting over the internet for the bear which appears to have gained the most weight.
Bears in Alaska hibernate, lying inactive for months. During this time, the bears lose up to a third of their body weight. So before their long winter sleep, it’s important for the bears to put on as much weight as possible.
Normally, the bears weigh between 600 and 900 pounds (272 and 408 kilograms). But before winter, they eat constantly, catching sockeye salmon from nearby rivers.
The park has “bear cams” which allow online viewers to watch the 12 competing bears eat – and grow.
This year, the winner of Fat Bear Week was a bear called 747, named for the huge airplane. Park workers believe that 747 now weighs about as much as he did last year at this time – over 1,400 pounds (635 kilograms).
Court Says Subway’s Bread Is Too Sweet to Be “Bread”
Last week, Ireland’s Supreme Court ruled that the bread sold by the international sandwich shop Subway has too much sugar to be called “bread”.
The court case came about because in Ireland, bread is considered a “staple” or necessary food, and is not taxed. A company called Bookfinders runs several Subway restaurants in Ireland, and said its sandwiches shouldn’t be taxed.
The court wasn’t convinced. Ireland defines bread as having 2% or less sugar. But Subway’s rolls have about 10% sugar. The court said that makes Subway’s bread more like “fancy baked goods”.
Subway disagreed with the court’s decision. “Subway’s bread is, of course, bread,” the company said.
NASA Sends $23 Million Toilet to the ISS
On October 2, a rocket blasted off, carrying supplies to the International Space Station (ISS). One special item on board the rocket was a new $23 million toilet for the station.
The very low gravity on the ISS means that things float around instead of being pulled toward the ground, as they are on Earth. That can make simple tasks, like going to the bathroom, very complicated.
Like the toilets already on the ISS, the new toilet is designed for use in no-gravity situations. It uses fans to suck the pee or poop into a special collection system.
But the new toilet is smaller and lighter than the current ISS toilets. It has also been redesigned to make it work better for women, who form a large part of the astronaut crews that run the station. The last time NASA created a new space toilet was in the 1990s.
NASA is making two of the new toilets. One will be used on a new space capsule called Orion, which will be used on trips to the moon in the future.
NASA recently held a “Lunar Loo Challenge”, looking for new designs for toilets that can be used on the moon. The results of that contest, which has a grand prize of $20,000, will be announced on October 21.