Meteor and Asteroid
A meteor hit Chelyabinsk, Russia the morning of Feb. 15, injuring 1,200 people and causing an estimated $33 billion of damage. Estimates of the meteor’s size range from 10 to 50 feet in diameter. Twenty-four thousand people worked to clean up the city two days later. On the same day, a 45-meter long asteroid passed relatively close to earth. Scientists had correctly predicted that this asteroid would come close to earth, but not hit the planet. However, the meteor that crashed into Chelyabinsk was unexpected because it was smaller than the asteroid and harder to see.
Bloomberg Focuses on Environment
New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg said in his State of the City speech on Thursday that he hopes to ban polystyrene foam products, such as Styrofoam, from stores and restaurants. According to Bloomberg, plastic foam containers are bad for the environment and heighten the cost of recycling. Bloomberg also wants to add more parking spots where people can charge their electric cars. The mayor’s goal is to double New York City’s recycling rate to 30% by 2017.
Olympian Accused of Shooting his Girlfriend
South African runner Oscar Pistorius has been accused of killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, by shooting her four times through his bathroom door on Feb. 14. Pistorius claimed in his hearing on Tuesday that he thought Steenkamp was an intruder. However, the prosecutors believe Pistorius intentionally shot Steenkamp after an argument and are charging him with premeditated murder. The runner gained worldwide fame for being the first paraplegic person to compete in the able-bodied Olympics this past summer. Both Oakley, an eyewear manufacturer, and Nike have suspended their advertising deals with Pistorius.
Cruise Ship Fire
On Feb. 10, the engine room of a Carnival cruise ship caught on fire, causing the ship to be stranded off of the Gulf of Mexico until Feb. 15. The ship lost power and the passengers and crew had to endure unsanitary conditions and a shortage of food and water. Investigators discovered on Monday that the fire was due to a fuel line link. While the crew has been praised for how they handled the situation, passengers are suing Carnival cruise line.