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Take the Plunge with the World’s Oldest Master Free Diver

There are a lot of things the human body was not designed to do. Fly, for example. Or repel fire. Or sink into the depths of the ocean without a breathing apparatus. But we’re human beings. We don’t like being told we can’t do something. So we build wing suits, and flame-retardant clothing, and we train ourselves to hold our breath for a really, really long time.

And that's where competitive free diving comes in. Divers attach weights to their bodies and compete to see who can dive the deepest, hold their breath the longest, and plunge the fastest.

Aharon Solomons has been diving for a long time. The British-born athlete taught SCUBA diving to military, research, and recreational divers for 35 years before discovering free diving. He now holds records in the constant weight and free immersion categories, and, at seventy-six, has the distinction of being the world’s oldest active master-level free diver.

Solomons takes a metaphysical, mind/body approach to his work. He spent a year in India studying yoga in order to better connect with his breath, and the front page of his website contains this very telling statement: “We have long ago surpassed the limits attainable by purely physical excellence and are now venturing into the terra incognita of our mental potential.”

In this new video from Great Big Story, armchair divers can ride along with a very mellow Solomons as he drops deep into the blue waters off the coast of Israel.

Header image from YouTube // Great Big Story.

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© 2017 USPS
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Pop Culture
Speedy Delivery: Mister Rogers Will Get His Own Stamp in 2018
© 2017 USPS
© 2017 USPS

USPS 2018 Mister Rogers stamp
© 2017 USPS

After weeks of mailing out this year’s holiday cards, postage might be the last thing you want to think about. But the U.S. Postal Service has just given us a sneak peek at the many iconic people, places, and things that will be commemorated with their own stamps in 2018, and one in particular has us excited to send out a few birthday cards: Mister Rogers.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Fred Rogers’s groundbreaking PBS series that the USPS says “inspired and educated young viewers with warmth, sensitivity, and honesty,” the mail service shared a mockup of what the final stamp may look like. On it, Rogers—decked out in one of his trademark colorful cardigans (all of which were hand-knitted by his mom, by the way)—smiles for the camera alongside King Friday XIII, ruler of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

Though no official release date for Fred’s forever stamp has been given, Mister Rogers is just one of many legendary figures whose visages will grace a piece of postage in 2018. Singer/activist Lena Horne will be the 41st figure to appear as part of the USPS’s Black Heritage series, while former Beatle John Lennon will be the face of the newest Music Icons collection. Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, will also be honored.

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Can You Spot the Christmas Pudding?

Whether it’s a sheep hanging out with Santa Claus or a panda bear hiding among some snowmen, regular Mental Floss readers know that hidden picture brainteasers are one of our favorite things. And the optical experts at Lenstore.co.uk have released a delicious one, just in time for Christmas. Somewhere in the midst of all these holiday-themed goodies above, there’s a holiday pudding just waiting to be discovered. Can you spot it? Your time starts … now.

If you give up, or are the kind of person who reads the last page of a book before the first one and just wants to know the answer, scroll down to see where it’s hiding.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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