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British Astronaut Will Run the London Marathon From Space

Nobody becomes an astronaut because they like taking it easy, but Tim Peake is about to make his colleagues look like couch potatoes. The British astronaut has announced his plan to run the 2016 London Marathon … from aboard the International Space Station.

Space travel is tough on the body, and exercise is an important part of the space station residents’ daily routines. Still, nobody has yet attempted anything this hardcore. Peake will strap himself into a harness attached to the ship’s treadmill and run the race’s full 26.2 miles, following the course via video feed. 

“The thing I’m most looking forward to is that I can still interact with everybody down on Earth,” Peake said in a press release. “I’ll be running it with the iPad and watching myself running through the streets of London whilst orbiting the Earth at 400km."

That's about 248 miles above the Earth, where Peake still is at the moment. On December 15, he and two other astronauts (one Russian, one American) will launch from Baikonur, Kazakhstan and head for the ISS.

Running a marathon is hard enough; nobody really knows what attempting that distance in space will do to Peake’s body. A medical team on the ground in Germany will be monitoring his performance to ensure the exertion isn’t too damaging. 

Peake has run the marathon before—on land, anyway. His race time in 1999 was 3:18:50, a time he promises he will not try to beat from space. You can follow Peake's mission on his dedicated feed at the European Space Agency's website. 

Banner image credit: Virgin Money London Marathon, YouTube

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26 Facts About LEGO Bricks

Since it first added plastic, interlocking bricks to its lineup, the Danish toy company LEGO (from the words Leg Godt for “play well”) has inspired builders of all ages to bring their most imaginative designs to life. Sets have ranged in size from scenes that can be assembled in a few minutes to 5000-piece behemoths depicting famous landmarks. And tinkerers aren’t limited to the sets they find in stores. One of the largest LEGO creations was a life-sized home in the UK that required 3.2 million tiny bricks to construct.

In this episode of the List Show, John Green lays out 26 playful facts about one of the world’s most beloved toy brands. To hear about the LEGO black market, the vault containing every LEGO set ever released, and more, check out the video above then subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up-to-date with the latest flossy content.

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Of Buckeyes and Butternuts: 29 States With Weird Nicknames for Their Residents
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Tracing a word’s origin and evolution can yield fascinating historical insights—and the weird nicknames used in some states to describe their residents are no exception. In the Mental Floss video above, host John Green explains the probable etymologies of 29 monikers that describe inhabitants of certain states across the country.

Some of these nicknames, like “Hoosiers” and “Arkies” (which denote residents of Indiana and Arkansas, respectively) may have slightly offensive connotations, while others—including "Buckeyes," "Jayhawks," "Butternuts," and "Tar Heels"—evoke the military histories of Ohio, Kansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina. And a few, like “Muskrats” and “Sourdoughs,” are even inspired by early foods eaten in Delaware and Alaska. ("Goober-grabber" sounds goofier, but it at least refers to peanuts, which are a common crop in Georgia, as well as North Carolina and Arkansas.)

Learn more fascinating facts about states' nicknames for their residents by watching the video above.

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