Gently Down the Stream: On Sunday, 26 teams (including a few solo operators) set off to literally row across the Atlantic Ocean as part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. It's dubbed "the world's toughest row," and for good reason: Besides the sharks and exposure to the elements, each boat must be entirely self-sufficient for their nearly two-month journey, which means packing all their food and supplies, generating saltwater into the drinkable variety, and (obviously) rowing 12-18 hours a day. By comparison, more people have climbed Mount Everest or been to space. One American pair, Team Beyond, is attempting to row across in 35 days, which would smash the current world record of 40. [Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge]
Nic Cage and the T-Rex Skull: A real story, presented without comment: Nicolas Cage has agreed to give up a Tyrannosaurus skull—which he reportedly outbid Leonardo DiCaprio to purchase for $276,000 back in 2007—and return it to the Mongolian government after investigators told him that the skull had been stolen. So there's your daily movie script idea, guys. [BBC]
Riddick-ulous: Detroit Lions running back Theo Riddick made a few dudes look absolutely silly with a 21-yard run against the New Orleans Saints last night.
— NFL (@NFL) December 22, 2015
They Stuck The Landing: SpaceX succeeded in launching a Falcon 9 rocket into space, delivering its payload, and then successfully landing it back at Cape Canaveral. Jeff Bezos, the Amazon founder who also owns competing spaceflight company Blue Origin, got in on the subtweet action, even as he managed to ignore the fact that his company's VTOL rocket never even got to space. NERD FIGHT! NERD FIGHT! [Wall Street Journal]
Unnecessary Roughness, Part 1: The NFL suspended Odell Beckham on Monday, a day after after the Giants receiver was flagged for three personal fouls (including a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit on the almost-as-provocative Panthers cornerback Josh Norman). [ESPN]
Unnecessary Roughness, Part 2: Saints cornerback Brandon Browner set a new record for committing the most penalties in an NFL season, notching his 23rd yellow flag after trying to spear Lions receiver Calvin Johnson. [NOLA.com]
Star Death: Noted astrophysicist/nerd hero Neil DeGrasse Tyson sent a disturbance through the Force on Monday with a string of tweets punching holes in the pseudo-science of the new Star Wars sequel. Nothing was more contentious than this one, though:
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) December 21, 2015
Get in the Spirit: United Airlines is trying to ease the stress of holiday schlepping for its travelers by welcoming more than 230 comfort dogs to Chicago O'Hare, Denver, Newark, Washington Dulles, LAX, and Cleveland airports from December 21–23. [WTVR]
Look for #UnitedPaws at these airports tomorrow: ORD, DEN, EWR, IAD, IAH, LAX, CLE, or join us on Periscope 12/22 to get in on the furry fun.
Posted by United on Sunday, December 20, 2015