This Year’s Aquatics World Championships Are A Visual Feast

The FINA Aquatics World Championships have attracted the world’s best aquatics athletes since 1973. Hosted by FINA (translated from French as the International Federation for Swimming), competitions include a number of aquatics sports such as swimming, diving, high diving, water polo, open water swimming, and synchronized swimming. In other words, the FINA Championships are the place for aquatics competitors to show off their skills.

While the FINA Aquatics World Championships have been held all over the world–we’re talking everywhere from Australia to South Korea–this year’s competition is being hosted in Kazan, Russia. A staggering 6,500 athletes from 190 different countries are in attendance, competing for 75 medals–the most ever in this type of competition.

The championships formally began on July 24th with an opening ceremony spectacular enough for Russian president Vladimir Putin, who attended the event. Although the competition runs through August 9th, many events have already taken place. Check out these 23 incredible photos documenting the competition thus far.

The Synchronized Swimming Team Technicals are one of the most visually appealing competitions at the FINA Aquatics World Championships. Russia won this event for the fifth year in a row, and after watching their routine, it’s not hard to see why…

The United States, Russia and China have consistently topped the medal table for the past three championships (since 2009), and are likely to do so again this year. China took first place in the Men’s Synchronized 3M Springboard Diving event with this perfectly in-sync routine:

For more incredible action shots of athletes, check out our post on the 20 most famous sports photos of all time.

When Cleveland, Ohio Decided To Launch 1.5 Million Balloons

Balloon Fest 1986 Launch

Surely someone could have seen this one coming.

In one helluva poorly conceived–if not momentarily pretty–publicity stunt, Los Angeles-based company Treb decided to promote its services by releasing nearly 1.5 million balloons into the skies of Cleveland, Ohio. In spite of wasting vast amounts of helium for a single, fleeting event, the launch was built on good intentions: children sold sponsorships to benefit charity United Way, at the price of $1 for every two balloons.

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This Palmitas Street Art Project Transformed A City

Palmitas Street Art Colorful

Source: In A Gist

In 2011, Sony Pictures painted Juzcar, Spain bright blue to promote the release of their new Smurfs 3D movie. Sorry, Sony: a youth collective operating under the name Germen Crew has blown your Spanish Smurftown out of the water.

In a government-sponsored street art project, Palmitas, Mexico has gone from stark white to a kaleidoscope of rich, brilliant colors. Designed by Mibe, a street artist from Mexico City, the incredible paint job took more than two and a half months to complete.

Palmitas Street Art Before After

Source: Flipboard

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What Is Legionnaire’s Disease?

Legionnaires Disease Image

TEM image of L. pneumophila, responsible for over 90% of Legionnaires’ Disease cases. Source: Wikipedia

Almost 40 years to the day that a mysterious illness broke out at an American Legion conference in Philadelphia — and changed the CDC forever — the culprit appears to be making a comeback in New York City. Legionnaire’s Disease seems to be back, but just what exactly is it?

In 1976, Philadelphia was the place to be if you wanted to think long and hard about America’s history and be aggressively patriotic. The year marked the nation’s bicentennial, and states held parades, celebrations and some of the most intense Independence Day barbecues that the US had ever seen.

July 4th, 1976 was a day for extreme patriotism. A few weeks later, Philly was still abuzz with red, white and blue — and the American Legion (an association of over two million veterans) held its annual conference at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel. 2,000 ‘legionnaires’ (as they’re called) to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

The convention ran from July 21st to July 24th. The first legionnaire death occurred on July 27th.

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