In May, a team of Swiss sailors completed the first TRANSATLANTIC CROSSING IN A SOLAR-POWERED MOTORBOAT, piloting the Sun21 catamaran 7,000 nautical miles from Chipiona, Spain, to New York City in 156 days.
[67–72] Michael Phelps's massive HANDS, 79-inch WINGSPAN, elongated TORSO, and size-14 FEET powered him to five world records in a single meet, the 2007 FINA World Championships. Next up: Beijing, where he'll be the American face of the Games.
 Citing a desire to promote sustainable apparel manufacturing and supply-chain practices, New Zealand–based Icebreaker recently unveiled BAACODE, an online tool that allows consumers to type in a code from any of the company's sharp merino-wool garments and trace it back to the sheep ranch the wool came from. icebreaker.com
 After new requirements for travel to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean backlogged the understaffed U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT, which then had to endure the wrath of Americans who faced waits of up to three months, the agency announced this fall that it was back on schedule. Thanks, guys. And sorry about all those calls.
 STILL GOING! Pioneering conservationist, pal of Ed Abbey, Grand Canyon legend: Call him what you will, but don't call MARTIN LITTON finished. He's been running the Colorado River since 1955, and he did it again this past summer, at age 90. Rapids pinned his aluminum dory—the first time he's lost a boat in his 53 years on the river—but he made it through the whitewater by clinging to the bow of a friend's kayak.
 Can cars raise cycling awareness? In Colorado, yes. Last June, bike-loving governor BILL RITTER signed into a bill law that gives drivers the option of paying an extra $75 for a license plate with an image of a cyclist and the words SHARE THE ROAD. Proceeds will fund bicycle-education programs.
 STILL GOING! Ultra-long-distance hiker ANDREW SKURKA, who already has hikes of 7,778 miles and 2,174 miles under his belt, set out in April on the 6,875-mile Great Western Loop. He is the first to attempt the route, which links all the major trails of the West—the Pacific Crest, Pacific Northwest, Continental Divide, Grand Enchantment, and Arizona. He expects to finish in November.
[78–80] Let the sun shine in! North Carolina entrepreneur Michael Sykes's ENERTIA BUILDING SYSTEM turns wooden houses into thermal batteries by injecting nano-size minerals into the resin of sustainably grown pine, maximizing the wood's ability to absorb, retain, and transfer energy. Swiss company FLISOM has come up with paper-thin plastic solar panels that can stick to buildings like wallpaper and weigh 200 times less than their glass-based counterparts. And New York– based Veeco Instruments' MOCVD technology uses an optical concentrator to increase the conversion efficiency of solar cells from 18 to 41 percent.