From today's featured article
Iron Gwazi is a steel-track hybrid roller coaster at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida, U.S. The ride first opened in 1999 as Gwazi, a wooden roller coaster with two tracks in a dueling configuration. It was built by Great Coasters International on the former site of an Anheuser-Busch brewery at the park. Although well received initially, Gwazi became difficult to maintain over time, leading to the closure of one track in 2012 followed by the other in 2015. It remained closed until Busch Gardens, in 2019, announced that Rocky Mountain Construction would transform Gwazi into a hybrid roller coaster. Its two wooden tracks were replaced by a single steel track, with portions of the original support structure reused. The ride reopened as Iron Gwazi on March 11, 2022, becoming North America's tallest, steepest, and fastest hybrid roller coaster. Iron Gwazi received positive reviews from critics and won Best New Roller Coaster in Amusement Today's annual Golden Ticket Awards publication. (Full article...)
Did you know ...
- ... that there is a 7.5-metre-tall (25 ft) statue of an apple (pictured) in Waitomo, New Zealand?
- ... that Julian Hill was the first player from Campbell University to make an NFL roster, but Brevin Allen was the first to play in a game?
- ... that a freelance game developer successfully pitched a video game with a picture of a car driving around a lake?
- ... that when Valerie Cowie was appointed a senior lecturer, one of her referees wrote that his "only reservation is that the post ... does not adequately do justice to her high academic status"?
- ... that the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell operated as a residence, a house of correction, a factory, and finally a museum?
- ... that Charlotte Haining was an International Jury Member for the selection of Finland's 2020 Eurovision Song Contest entry?
- ... that a Maine TV station was so protective of its evening newscast that it preempted nearly 40 percent of all NBC Sports programming in 1994?
- ... that Hồn – trăng – máu, Hạc San's concept album, consists solely of the 29-minute title track?
In the news
- The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft mission returns samples of asteroid Bennu to Earth (return capsule pictured).
- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland is implicated in a cash-for-visa corruption scandal.
- The oldest known wooden structure, estimated to be at least 476,000 years old, predating Homo sapiens, is discovered at the Kalambo Falls.
- A ceasefire is announced following Azerbaijan's military operation in Nagorno-Karabakh.
On this day
- 844 – Viking expansion: A Viking fleet arrived near Seville, then part of the Emirate of Córdoba, and began a raid of the city that was eventually repelled by Muslim defenders.
- 1790 – Peking opera was born with the introduction of Hui opera to Beijing by the "Four Great Anhui Troupes" in honour of the Qianlong Emperor's 80th birthday.
- 1890 – Sequoia National Park (pictured) was established to conserve giant sequoia trees in an area affected by logging in the southern Sierra Nevada in California.
- 1983 – In one of the largest prison escapes in British history, 38 Provisional Irish Republican Army prisoners hijacked a prison meals lorry and broke out of HM Prison Maze in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.
- 2005 – Typhoon Longwang, the deadliest tropical cyclone to hit China in that year, formed just north of the Mariana Islands.
From today's featured list
The 1966 NBA expansion draft was the second expansion draft of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The draft was held from April 30 to May 1, 1966, so that the newly founded Chicago Bulls could acquire players for the upcoming 1966–67 season. In an NBA expansion draft, new NBA teams are allowed to acquire players from the previously established teams in the league. Not all players on a given team are available during an expansion draft, since each team can protect a certain number of players from being selected. The Bulls selected eighteen unprotected players, two from each of the nine other NBA teams. On the first day of the draft, they selected players from the Eastern Division teams; on the second day, they picked from the Western Division teams. The Bulls' selections included former first overall pick Bob Boozer (pictured), three-time All-Star Johnny Kerr and one-time All-Star Len Chappell. (Full list...)
Today's featured picture
The Savonia railway is a five-foot-gauge (1,524 mm) railway in Finland. Beginning at Kouvola, it connects southern Finland with the eastern regions of South Savo and North Savo via the cities of Pieksämäki, Kuopio and Iisalmi. This photograph depicts a lumber train pulled by a VR Class Sr1 electric locomotive crossing a drawbridge north of Kuopio.
Photograph credit: David Gubler