News in Pictures: A Birthday, a Hotel, and More!

August 17, 2017

Happy Birthday, President Obama!

President Barack Obama mimics gymnast McKayla Maroney’s signature look as he welcomes the 2012 U.S. Olympic gymnastics teams in the Oval Office, Nov. 15, 2012. Gymnasts include: Gabby Douglas, Kyla Ross, Aly Raisman, and Jordyn Wieber. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

We love this photo of the 44th President of the United States Barack Obama from 2012—he sure knows how to make people smile! It was his birthday on August 4th and people all over the world chimed in to wish him a wonderful birthday, including his good friend and former Vice President Joe Biden. He said, “Your service has been a great gift to the country, and your friendship and brotherhood are a great gift to me. Happy birthday!”

Who’s the Fastest Man on Earth?

By Augustas Didžgalvis (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
If we asked you in July, “Who’s the fastest man alive?” you’d probably say Usain Bolt with no hesitation. He is, after all, the world record holder of the 100 meter, 200 meter, and 4×100 meter relay. He’s also won eight Olympic gold medals and eleven World Champions. But at this year’s World Champions in August, Usain wasn’t the fastest man alive: USA’s Justin Gatlin beat him in the 100 meter, and the British 4×100 meter relay team beat his team for the gold. Usain Bolt even injured his hamstring in his last race. It would have been nice to add a few more gold medals to his trophy case, but no one can deny that Usain Bolt ran his best and that he is, and always will be, one of the greatest runners of all time.

Can the Happiest Place on Earth Be Even Happier?

Courtesy Disney

Last month, Disney announced that a fully immersive Star Wars-inspired resort will be joining the Disney family. As a guest, you get to be a part of the Star Wars Saga. But if you think Disney was only dreaming up ways for Star Wars fans to enjoy their stay at Walt Disney World parks, you’re wrong! Avengers fans will also get a new hotel in Paris that will resemble Stark Tower (where the Avengers assemble!).

And the Moon Person Goes To …

Via @MTV Twitter

MTV is changing things up again but this time it’s happening with their Video Music Awards. Every year, winners receive a flag-carrying space cadet trophy, called the Moonman. Well, not anymore. MTV has announced that the Moonman trophy will now be called the “Moon Person” trophy. When asked why, the President of MTV Chris McCarthy said, “Why should it be a man?” Why, indeed! Want to know what else they changed up earlier in the year that we here at Xyza think is pretty awesome? Check out the story here.

Cowabunga, Dude … and Puppy?

TasteTV/Steve Linder

The second annual World Dog Surfing Championships were held in Pacifica, California earlier this month. Three dozen dogs competed in the championships, but only a few were awarded the top prize in each of the categories, and only one was given the title of top dog, or rather, “Top Surf Dog”. There were four categories: small, medium, large, and tandem (that’s when a dog and human surf on the same board). And for those non-surfing dogs, there were the Ball-Fetch-in-Water Competition and the Dog Beach Fashion Competition, you know, for those dogs who would rather play fetch or dress up than surf.

Twenty-one More Sites to Visit

By IlirikIlirik (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
Have a list of places that you must visit one day? How about visiting all of the World Heritage sites? There were 1,052 sites on the list, but earlier this month the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) determined that there were twenty-one more culturally important sites that needed protecting. It may take you awhile to see all these places in person, so in the meantime, click here for some pictures of the latest additions to the list!