he video: Pixar's animated movie Up hinges on the fantastical idea that a cranky old man can fly his house all the way to South America by tethering it to a bunch of helium balloons. Turns out the idea isn't completely absurd: A team of scientists has managed to launch an (admittedly modest) 16-by-16-foot house into the sky using hundreds of helium-filled weather balloons. (Watch a Good Morning America segment below.) The buoyant home reached an altitude of 10,000 feet and remained airborne for more than an hour. The feat, attempted as part of a new National Geographic show called How Can It Be?, set a new world record for the largest balloon cluster flight.
The reaction: If you didn't like Up because it wasn't realistic, "you can be quiet now," says Michelle Castillo in Time. Indeed, this is a "stunning example of life imitating art," says Leslie Shapiro at DVICE. Yes, it's a "little magic" that combats all the "bleak cynicism" in the world, says Melissa Bell in The Washington Post . "Now they just need to make that talking dog collar." See for yourself, below:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Watch The Daily Show mock Fox News' confused man-crush on Vladimir Putin
- Don't worry: World War III will almost certainly never happen
- Why is American internet so slow?
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Religious liberty should be a liberal value, too
- The Daily Show's Aasif Mandvi dismantles another ObamaCare myth
- The new bride who had a horrifying allergic reaction to her husband's sperm
Subscribe to the Week