pearls of the sky 101 women skidiving irina sinitsina


WATCH: 101 Women Set Skydive Record

Pearls of the Sky honor fallen leader

What you are about to watch is not a military drill. Rather, it is the Russian skydiving group, Pearls of the Sky, setting a new world record for all female teams with a 101-person flower formation.

The team dedicated the jump to their former captain, Irina Sinitsina, who died during a stunt in California last year. Sinitsina, a leading Russian skydiver, had successfully completed the stunt and was preparing to deploy her parachute when she collieded with another skydiver, becoming entangled in their main parachute. After disentangling herself, Sinitsina deployed her emergency chute just 400 feet from the ground. She struck her head on impact, placing her in a coma. She was flown back to Moscow, where she passed away.

For their record-breaking jump, the Pearls honored Sinitsina with an empty space in the center of their formation.

Here’s another report, with a little extra footage of the jump and the joyful scene on the ground after:


Wildfire Burns 7 Homes in California

Wildfire Burns 7 Homes in California

Blaze headed toward Palm Springs

A new, rapidly growing wildfire in Southern California has torched seven homes and forced authorities to close part of the Pacific Crest Trail since starting on Monday. As of Tuesday, over 2,200 firefighters and 25 aircraft were battling the 14,200-acre Mountain fire west of Palm Springs, and had it about 10% contained.

Despite the destruction, the toll could have been much higher, the Forest Service said in a report, adding that firefighters' efforts managed to protect a much larger number of homes. "Honestly, we thought that the structure destruction was greater than it is," agency spokesman John Miller told the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

While firefighters hope that rain on Saturday could help shrink the blaze, they won't get any relief until then: Temperatures in the Palm Springs area are forecast to exceed 100 degrees through Friday.

Via U.S. News


Photo: BullionVault

Lose a Kilo, Earn a Gram of Gold

New program rolling out in Dubai

Dubai officials will be offering a gram of gold—valued at $45—for every two pounds of weight contestants drop in a 30-day challenge. Contestants will need to lose at least 4.4 pounds to be eligible. According to local media, there is no limit on payout for the losers, and the top three finishers will be entered into a drawing for a gold coin worth $5,449.

The participants will receive guidance from dietitians and weigh-in at scales installed in public parks. The campaign overlaps with the fasting month of Ramadan, during which the faithful refrain from eating, drinking, and smoking between dawn and sunset.

“I personally think it is a great idea as I was looking for ways to become healthier, and would like to see more of these initiatives happening not only in Ramadan but throughout the year,” Ahmad Bin Sulayem, executive chairman of Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, and organization sponsoring the contest, told Gulf News.


SeaWorld Responds to Critical Documentary

SeaWorld Responds to Critical Documentary

Challenges take on captive orcas

This week, SeaWorld Entertainment sent an email to film critics strongly condemning the upcoming documentary Blackfish, a film about SeaWorld's captive killer whales.

According to the New York Times, the company called the film “shamefully dishonest, deliberately misleading, and scientifically inaccurate.”

The documentary portrays a water park that has exploited its animals and deliberately misleads its audience and trainers. (For more on the history of captive orcas, read associate producer Tim Zimmerman's 2010 feature The Killer In the Pool.)

The film was released at the Sundance Film Festival in January and is due for wider distribution this Friday.