The conceptual Nike Moonwalker are shoes you’d wear on a regular day… just not on earth, because they’re meant to be worn on the moon!
Designed with a unique ribbed/corrugated fabric that stretches to occupy any foot-form, while tightly wrapping around your limb, the Moonwalker feels comfortable and secure… almost like a second skin, or a third skin because you’d wear the Moonwalker over your suit. It comes with a zipper (because who ties shoelaces in space, right?) and a Lunarlon midsole, a material developed by Nike that comprises foams of varying densities to provide incredibly lightweight sport-specific cushioning that feels soft yet springy… although I doubt anyone would need a springy shoe in the Moon’s low-gravity!
Designer: Shun Ping Pek
The Nike Moonwalker is a conceptual piece of work and is in no way affiliated with the Nike brand.
There is an entire group of people in the world who are out there right now chasing passport stamps. I’ve known they existed for years but hadn’t seen it firsthand until I visited Andorra last January, an extremely tiny country wedged between Spain and France, and witnessed a few people who were simply there to check another country ‘off their list’ and get that passport stamp.
I presume the ultimate goal here is to visit as many countries as possible. Visiting every country in the world can often be a difficult task due to war-torn regions and countries changing due to conflict. Getting visas for safe travel to certain countries can also be nearly impossible at times (looking at you, North Korea). But, intrepid travelers can pull it off with some elbow grease…and bribes, the bribes help sometimes.
The previous world record for the youngest person to visit every country in the world was held by (then) 24-year-old James Asquith from the UK who visited all 196 sovereign countries in the world in just 24 years and 192 days. He finished this quest on August 12, 2013.
On May 30th, 21-year-old American Lexie Alford visited North Korea as her final country and shaved three years off James Asquith’s Guinness World Record. She’d been checking off countries since an early age because her family owned a travel agency in California.
According to Forbes, Lexie didn’t grow up wanting to break the world record but she became increasingly inspired by her travels to show people that the world isn’t as scary as the global media makes it out to be:
While she was growing up, Alford says that her family traveled everywhere from the floating villages of Cambodia to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, from Ushuaia at the tip of Argentina to the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. “My parents placed a lot of importance on exposing me to every way of life around the world and that had a very profound impact on the person I am today,” she says. “I’ve always had a curiosity about other people’s ways of life and how they find happiness.”
Alford said she originally wasn’t trying to break a record; she was just an intrepid traveler. “Honestly, in the beginning, I simply wanted to push the limits of what I thought I could do with my life and see as much of the world as possible in the process,” says Alford. “It wasn’t until things started getting really challenging that I realized I was inspiring people around me, especially young women. Feeling that support meant that I couldn’t give up when things got tough. I was determined to show everyone that the world isn’t as scary as the media portrays it to be and that there’s kindness everywhere.” (via)
Upon turning 18-years-old, Lexie realized that she’d already visited 72 out of the 196 sovereign countries in the world. That’s when she got serious about trying to set the world record. How exactly does someone pay for an adventure like this? It’s exactly what you’d expect from an entrepreneurial millennial:
Alford says that her travels are self-funded. She has done a few brand deals and campaigns along the way that helped fund her project, but she’s never had an official sponsorship. “I always knew I wanted to take time off to travel so I’ve been working every job I could find and saving since I was 12-years-old,” says Alford.
The amount she saved kept her going for the first year and a half of her travels. From there, she’s been working as a travel consultant in her family’s agency when she’s at home in Nevada City, California and also doing photography and blogging while she’s traveling. “I do a lot of research in advance to find the best deals, utilize points and miles for my flights, stay in cheap accommodation like hostels or create content for hotels in exchange for accommodation,” says Alford. “I’ve also made sure to keep my monthly overhead as low as possible by living at home with my parents, I don’t have a car payment or student debt and I don’t spend my money on unnecessary material possessions.” (via)
Step 1) Stay living at home with your parents for as long as possible.
Step 2) Build up an Instagram account and get brands to pay for your trips.
Step 3) Don’t spend money on material possessions when your ultimate goal is to travel.
Step 4) See Step 2, the most important step.
Visiting every country in the world just isn’t in the cards for me. I’m not interested in spending that much time on a plane. I would, however, like to visit every country in The Americas at some point, and Europe after that. Baby steps. Asia just seems way too fucking far. If I’m planning trip to Asia I feel like I need to carve out at least 6 months to do it right and I don’t foresee having that much free time at any point in my life.
If you’re interested in pulling off this feat yourself, Lexie said the trickiest visas were in West and Central Africa. You can follow her Instagram where she gives daily travel updates. And for more on her story, you can visitForbes.
The HBO miniseries Chernobyl has drawn the world to remember the nightmare disaster that occurred on the early morning of April 26th 1986, when a poorly designed nuclear reactor malfunctioned during a simulated power outage safety test. The nuclear catastrophe in the Soviet Union made the area near Pripyat uninhabitable to this day and for the next 20,000 years. With the public’s attention on this decades-old nuclear calamity, there is potential for another nuclear crisis.
There is a “nuclear coffin” on the Marshall Islands that is storing radioactive fallout from nuclear weapons decades ago. However, this enclosure is starting to crack and there is alarming concern that the dome may start leaking the radioactive contaminants into the Pacific Ocean.
Between 1946 and 1958, the U.S. government conducted 67 nuclear weapon tests in the Marshall Islands including 23 on Bikini Atoll. This includes a 1954 detonation test of Bravo hydrogen bomb, which is approximately 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb that leveled Hiroshima, Japan. The high-yield thermonuclear weapon was the most powerful nuclear device ever detonated by the United States and left a crater that was 1.2 miles in diameter.
The test coated the Marshall Islands and the southern Pacific Ocean with a fine, white powder-like radioactive ash. In 1977 the United States gathered an estimated 2,577,970 cubic feet of radioactive soil from the Marshall Islands and put it in a 328-foot crater that was left from a May 1958 test on the Enewetak Atoll on Runit Island.
In 1980, 4,000 US servicemen finished building the nuclear waste tomb that included the 18-inch thick concrete dome with 358 panels on the top in an attempt to contain the radioactive materials. However, they did not line the bottom of the dome with material that would prevent the nuclear waste from entering the aquifers and eventually leaking into the Pacific Ocean.
The storage facility known as the Cactus Dome or the Runit Dome was considered to be a temporary solution, yet 40 years later the dome is still there. Now there are terrifying concerns that the nuclear coffin is cracking and that the dangerous radioactive fallout could seep out into the Pacific Ocean.
In May, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres voiced his concerns that the nuclear dome could or would leak radioactive material into the Pacific Ocean.
“I’ve just been with the president of the Marshall Islands [Hilda Heine], who is very worried because there is a risk of leaking of radioactive materials that are contained in a kind of coffin in the area,” Guterres said.
With the continued erosion of the dome and island, the possibility of devastating storms or typhoons, and the threat of rising sea levels, experts believe the Cactus Dome is doomed and that means people and wildlife in the area are also in danger from exposure to the radiation.
The most concerning radioactive material inside the dome is the radioactive isotope plutonium-239, used in nuclear warheads. The frightening part about plutonium-239 is that this fissile isotope is one of the most toxic substances on the planet and it has a half-life of 24,100 years. So this problem is not going away any time soon.
“[The dome] is stuffed with radioactive contaminants that include plutonium-239, one of the most toxic substances known to man,” said Marshall Islands Senator Jack Ading, “The coffin is leaking its poison into the surrounding environment. And to make matters even worse, we’re told not to worry about this leakage because the radioactivity outside of the dome is at least as bad as the radioactivity inside of it.”
The United States left the area in 1986 and paid a “full settlement of all claims, past, present and future” in reference to the U.S. Nuclear Testing Program. The Nuclear Claims Tribunal estimates that the U.S. nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands caused $244 million in damages. Ironically, the U.S. government bans the export of fish and copra (dried coconut flesh used for its oil) from the area because of contaimination.
The U.S. Department of Energy released a report regarding the Runit Dome in 2013. In the report, the government argued that the soil and surrounding lagoons are already so containminated, even more so than what is inside the dome that it doesn’t matter if the containment structure leaks or not because it will not increase radiation levels.
The report states the 1977 cleanup effort only removed an estimated 0.8 percent of the total transuranic waste in the Enewetak atoll, the soil and the lagoon water surrounding the Cactus Dome. However, the more radioactive material that is allowed to seep into the Pacific Ocean, the more of a threat it is to surrounding areas. The Department of Energy report said the radioactive fallout would not affect the marine environment more than the exposure it already has been in contact with and that the nuclear waste would be diluted to safe levels once it is introduced into the Pacific Ocean.
The Republic of the Marshall Islands, which only has a population of 53,000 people and a GDP of $190 million, does not have the resources or money to fix this nuclear disaster. The nuclear coffin will stay as it has been with the hope that more nuclear waste does not spread, but Runit Island will be forsaken and abandoned like the area around Chernobyl.