Isles of Wonder
The London 2012 Summer Olympics will officially commence on July 27 during opening ceremonies put together by a cast and crew of more than 10,000. This year's opening ceremony theme-termed "Isles of Wonder"-will come with all the normal Olympic pomp, but will also include Queen Elizabeth II and volunteer performers from Britain's socialized healthcare service, the NHS.
UN mandate in Iraq expires
Unless the United Nations Security Council extends it once again, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq will see its mandate expire on July 31. The Iraqi government has agreed to a one-year extension of the assistance mandate, but in order for it to be finalized, the Security Council's 15-member panel must approve.
Twinsburg, Ohio, will play host to thousands of twins-and curious scientists-when the annual Twins Days Festival opens its three-day gathering on Aug. 3. Twins and other multiples have been flocking to the small Ohio town since 1976 in what has turned into arguably the world's largest gathering of its kind. For scientists eager to dig into the nature vs. nurture debate, the Twins Days Festival offers research opportunities.
President Obama's birthday
In the middle of a hotly contested campaign, President Barack Obama can be excused for taking a break on Aug. 4. The president will celebrate his 51st birthday on that day, but it's probable that, during an election season, he will dial back the wattage of the star power of his guest list. Last year, rapper Jay-Z, musician Stevie Wonder, and actor Tom Hanks all helped Obama celebrate his 50th.
Men's 4x100 medley relay finals
In his quest to add more medals to his trophy case, Michael Phelps-past winner of 16 Olympic medals-should buoy the U.S. 100-meter medley squad as it likely competes in the Olympic finals on Aug. 4. The team of Phelps and three other American swimmers took first place in the event in last year's World Championships.