This all-female team crossed the continent using only muscle power.

After enduring temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees F (minus 40 degrees C), traversing deadly crevasse fields, and pulling sledges weighing as much as 176 pounds, a group of British soldiers made history on January 20 by becoming the first all-female team to cross the Antarctic under sheer muscle power.

"It was really key for me to be part of an all-female team because I really want to inspire other women - specifically women - to get out there and do things they wouldn't normally be doing, or think would be possible," Major Sandy Hennis of the Royal Signals told the BBC. "We set what was an impossible challenge and achieved it, so anything is possible."

Dubbed "The Ice Maidens," the six women began their 1,000-mile journey on November 20 at the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf and concluded it 61 days later at the aptly named Hercules Inlet. The expedition was originally estimated to take between 75-90 days, but good weather and sheer determination by everyone involved absolutely crushed all expectations.

While the team was unsupported, save for two resupply drops spaced every 370 miles, they did lend their support to making a difference for people back home. During the expedition, the team used the publicity surrounding their epic adventure to raise thousands for non-profits Breast Cancer Care and the Army Cadet Force Association.

"I'm just so incredibly proud of the team," Major Nics Wetherill of the Royal Army Medical Corps said after crossing the finish line. "I can't believe how far we've come. This journey has had good times, bad times and great times for all concerned, and each of them, I know, has made us better people."

Despite the harsh conditions swirling around them, sometimes at speeds exceeding 60 mph, the women still found time to embrace the pristine and untouched nature of the frozen continent.

"I have spent the last few days trying to imprint this beautiful landscape in my mind. We have called it home for close to two months now and I will, in a strange way, miss it a lot," Major Natalie Taylor reflected. "The snow sparkles like there is a layer of pearls on the surface and everywhere you look there is beauty and stillness. The photos just don't do it justice."

President Donald Trump has reclassified Atlanta's Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site as a national historic park.

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, was approved by the Senate December 22, 2017 and was signed into law January 9, 2018 by Trump aboard Air Force One after landing in Marietta, Georgia, before traveling to the college football national championship in downtown Atlanta. King's niece, Alveda, was present for the private signing ceremony.

"Through his life and work, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made America more just and free," White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley told reporters aboard Air Force One. "This important historical park tells his story, and this bill will help ensure that the park continues to tell Dr. King’s story for generations to come."

The now-historic park includes King's birth home, Ebenezer Baptist Church and the King Center (where King and his wife, Coretta, are entombed) among other spots around Atlanta. The bill adds the Prince Hall Masonic Temple, once the headquarters of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, to the holdings.

As a historic park, the roughly 34-acre area will receive more federal resources, park rangers, educational programming and community grants that will help support the park.

College students, staff and faculty and members of scouting organizations can take advantage of half-price admission to the Tennessee Aquarium and IMAX 3D Theater during the month of February. Discounts apply to Aquarium tickets and 45-minute IMAX film screenings as well as combo ticket purchases.

Scouts must wear their uniform or sash to receive the discount, which applies to everyone in the paying party. To receive the discount, college students must be enrolled at or employed by a physical or online institution and present a valid student ID or online transcript. College faculty and staff can take advantage of the discount by presenting a pay stub.

The discount is available to the entire visiting party and applies to all visits between February 1 and February 28.

This discount arrives just in time to offer a reprieve from slate gray winter skies and frigid temperatures. The Aquarium’s Ocean Journey and River Journey buildings are full of charismatic, colorful animals sure to help stave off the seasonal doldrums, from leaping lemurs, romping otters and flittering butterflies to cruising alligators and a world-famous tweeting Electric Eel.

Visitors arriving in February will be able to catch up on many recent additions to the Aquarium, including vividly violet Purple-stripe Jellyfish and a new display of freshwater pipefish.

Arriving in the waning months of 2017, the Tiny, But Mighty Important exhibit features an engaging suite of interactive and high-tech displays - including a holographic animation - that focus on the importance of small fish and human behaviors that impact water quality.

Across the street in the IMAX 3D Theater, visitors will have a choice of two exciting giant-screen films. Amazon Adventure 3D follows the real-life exploits of English naturalist Henry Bates, who spent a decade in the world’s largest rainforest conducting research that provided what Charles Darwin called “beautiful proof” for his theory of natural selection. The newest addition to the theater’s slate, Conquest of the Skies, presents a stunning examination of the 300-million-year history of nature’s domination of the heavens, from Paleozoic winged reptiles to darting hummingbirds and graceful Whooper Swans.

College and Scout Day Discount Rates*:

  • Tennessee Aquarium: $15 (adults and college students) / $9.50 (ages 3-12)
  • IMAX*: $6 (adults) / $5 (ages 3-12)
  • Tennessee Aquarium/IMAX combo ticket: $19 (adults) / $13.50 (ages 3-12)

* Ticket purchases must be redeemed during the month of February. IMAX discounts valid on 45-minute screenings, not feature-length films. 

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