Mike Spencer has been on the road for 23 years and has visited over 190 countries. Traveling non-stop since he was 21, he is now being called the world most traveled man.
Ma Yuanjiang survived eight days trapped under the rubble of an earthquake in China. He had no food or water, so he ate paper and drank his own urine. Ma had no training in survival. He was a business executive, yet somehow, against all odds, he survived longer than almost anyone else who has ever been trapped. How could this be? Movies and books often depict survivors as tough, confident guys, who know everything. But what about in real life? Who is most likely to survive a disaster?
Most of us take our breathing for granted, but we aren’t all lucky enough to live in a place with clean air. In Beijing, pollution has gotten so bad that breathing the air has become dangerous. There are days when the smog is thick enough to block out the sun. On these days, schools close, and construction stops. People walk around the city wearing masks to avoid breathing in the dangerous smog, which contains harmful particles from coal power plants.
The story of Icarus is one of the most famous Greek myths. Young Icarus is imprisoned alongside his father Daedalus, a genius inventor. They are locked in a tower or a labyrinth in some versions of the story, with no way out. Daedalus creates two sets of wings and gives one to his son. Before they attempt to escape by flying over the ocean, Daedalus gives Icarus an important warning. He tells him not to fly too low, or his feathers will soak up salt water, and he will crash. And he also says not to fly too high, or the sun will burn his wings. Icarus takes off and is overcome with joy. He is finally free. He climbs higher and higher, throwing caution to the wind. And as he nears the sun, his wings catch fire. Daedalus can only watch as his son falls into the ocean and drowns.
Liu Hu didn’t realize that he was banned from flying until he tried to book a plane ticket and was denied. He was told that his name had been added to a blacklist of untrustworthy people. This list is part of China’s plan to give each of its 1.4 billion citizens a score based on how well they behave.
Ben Randall risked his life saving the lives of three friends who were kidnapped and sold as brides. As a young backpacker, Ben befriended and taught English to a group of teenage Hmong girls he met during his travels in Vietnam. After returning home to Australia, he received an email from one of the girls saying that some of their friends had suddenly disappeared.