[81–82] Fast times: In August, 24-year-old ALAN WEBB ran a 3:46 mile, breaking the American record set by Steve Scott in 1982. Seven months earlier, RYAN HALL, also 24, smashed the 1985 U.S. record in the half-marathon by 72 seconds, becoming the first American to break the one-hour barrier.
 Best opportunity for a shrinkage joke, No. 2: In August, photographer Spencer "Is Everyone Comfortable?" Tunick shot 600 PEOPLE NUDE ON A GLACIER in Switzerland to call attention to the world's receding ice sheets.
 STILL GOING! CHRIS SHARMA put the first ascent of the French route Three Degrees of Separation (5.14d) on his résumé, which also includes the world's first 5.15, then started on a new route in California that he calls Futuristic But Possible. That means you can't climb it.
 Organic clothes never looked so good: Eco-friendly fabrics went high-end in a big way when apparel company VIRIDIS LUXE unveiled its cashmere, bamboo, cotton, hemp, and silk clothing line in May. Scarlett Johansson, Julia Roberts, Al Gore, and Ben Harper scooped them up, and the clothes became so popular that the company had to briefly halt orders in July. viridisluxe.com
 PLANET EARTH's high-def footage of snow leopards hunting in the Himalayas, pygmy seahorses hanging on gorgonian coral, a vampire squid flashing an abyssal light show, and 30 starving lions tracking African elephants made the 11-part around-the-globe BBC/Discovery Channel miniseries the highest-rated natural-history program of all time.
 NASA's brightest PR moment of the year: While 20,646 runners tackled the 2007 Boston Marathon 210 miles below, astronaut SUNITA WILLIAMS, 41, ran the same 26.2-mile distance on a treadmill aboard the International Space Station. Her time: 4:23:10—during which she made nearly three orbits around the planet.
[88–90] The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum's "Design for the Other 90%" exhibition showcased 35 innovative ways to help the 5.8 billion people in the world who lack basics like transportation, shelter, drinkable water, or education. Our favorites: the BIG BODA, a bike designed to carry heavy cargo; the LIFE-STRAW, a personal mobile water-purification tool; and the ONE LAPTOP PER CHILD initiative, a program aimed at providing inexpensive laptops to schoolchildren in developing countries. other90.cooperhewitt.org