Last 12 November Stan Lee passed away. Lee was one of the most important authors in the history of comic books. He invented dozens of superheroes, such as The Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the Hulk, Iron Man and the X-Men. He did not simply create new characters with special powers, he also made them relatable and three-dimensional. His work helped comics become a complex and respected art form.
When the teenager Boyan Slat realized how much plastic pollutes our sea, he decided he had to do something about it. With ingenuity and determination, and thanks to the help of thousands of people, he built a special ship that he believes can clean the sea. On September 9 his 600-metre-long invention left San Francisco on its first incredible mission.
In 1973 Great Britain joined the European Economic Community, which later became the European Union (EU). Last year it decided to leave. Britain’s exit from the EU – Brexit in short – is a long and difficult process that will end up taking years to complete. Brexit is the latest chapter in the long drama between the UK and the Continent.
Columbus Day, the American national holiday that celebrates Christopher Columbus, is becoming increasingly controversial. Over the past few months, statues of Columbus have been vandalised across the United States, and many American cities have stopped celebrating the Genoese explorer. These events are part of a larger story that deals with history, culture, racism and changing values.
On April 22, Earth Day was celebrated in more than 200 countries around the world. This yearly event was first held in the US in 1970. Earth Day wants to promote the protection of the environment. Its organizers say that we all have to act, and act now. We stand on the edge of environmental disaster and what is at stake is our very survival.
Last month, the most famous family in the world was probably that of Robert Kelly, a previously unknown professor of a South Korean university. Kelly and his family were the protagonists of one of the most viral TV fails in history, viewed around the world million of times. Interestingly, their family blooper raised not only laughs, but also some serious social debate about racial stereotypes.
On 20 January the presidency of Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, comes to an end. His successor is businessman, television personality and billionaire Donald Trump. Few took him seriously when he decided to run for President, but his campaign proved very successful. Learn more about the American general elections and President-elect Donald Trump.
On 13 October the Swedish Academy announced the winner of this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature. The Nobel Prize is the most important literary award in the world and this year’s winner was the most controversial ever. Not only because he was the first songwriter to win the Prize, but also because for weeks nobody knew if he was going to accept it. Learn more about the Nobel Prize in Literature and this year’s winner: American rock legend Bob Dylan.
This year’s Halloween was a little different: lots of people didn’t dress up as monsters, but as scary clowns. The scary clown craze began months ago and it spread quickly across the US and the UK. Dozens of scary clowns appeared out of nowhere to frighten people. Learn more about this strange phenomenon and about the ancient art of clowning.