Tuesday's collection of upbeat news.
The first time the Savoy hotel’s American Bar had a woman at the helm was in 1903, when Ada “Coley” Coleman – whose creations included the classic cocktail the Hanky Panky – took the role. But since her more than two decades reign, the internationally renowned London institution has never appointed a female head bartender since. Nearly a century later, Britain’s oldest surviving cocktail bar is finally to have a woman in charge once again when it reopens in the autumn. Shannon Tebay will not only become the first woman in 95 years to hold the revered position but also the first American.
Raise a glass to Lucy Walker: This summer, Zermatt celebrates the 150th anniversary of the first woman to reach the peak of the Matterhorn. The British mountaineer was not the first woman to attempt the 4,478m peak - the most coveted of Alpine climbs. But the Liverpudlian’s determination and enthusiasm for climbing - a sport she took up on a doctor’s advice to treat her rheumatism - drove her to the first successful attempt on 22 July 1871. Fuelled by a diet of Champagne and cake (apparently!).
It’s a nightly summer ritual across much of Spain: as the sweltering heat of the day eases off, chairs are hauled out to the street for an al fresco chat. Now an enterprising village in southern Spain is seeking to have the tradition recognised by the United Nations as a cultural treasure. The aim is to protect the centuries-old custom from the encroaching threat of social media and television, said José Carlos Sánchez, the mayor of Algar, a town of about 1,400 people. “It’s the opposite of social media. This is about face-to-face conversations.”
In 2003, looters stole tens of thousands of ancient artifacts in Iraq that were later smuggled out of the country, including the 3,500-year-old Gilgamesh Dream Tablet, a rare portion of the Epic of Gilgamesh, an ancient Mesopotamian epic poem, known as the earliest surviving piece of literature and the second-oldest surviving religious text. Now, the US will return more than 17,000 ancient artifacts, including the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet, after authorities working to recover the artifacts recently reached a repatriation agreement with Baghdad to return the cultural artifacts seized from dealers and museums.
England’s most persecuted bird of prey shows further signs of recovery. The hen harrier had a record-breaking breeding season in 2020, and looks set to top that this year. The Moorland Association said that at least 77 chicks have fledged this summer; 17 more than last year.
In a sign of the times, Airbnb now lets you search for accommodation with EV chargers.
When you think about it, having two heads seems more practical than one when you're a tiny turtle hatchling, eking out a place in an ocean where most creatures with teeth, claws or an undiscerning appetite would like to make you lunch. Lucky for this two-headed sea turtle, it got a bit more time to muster some courage before heading out to sea. The baby was found alive in its nest on a South Carolina beach, one of three shelled youngsters that were content to hide in the sand. The astonished volunteers who found it snapped some pics, lest it be lost to legend, and then sent it on its way toward the Atlantic - the little marvel just needed an extra lift to find its true home. Here's hoping it bewilders predators out of eating it. We're rooting for you, Turtle Two-Heads!
Transporting food to your local supermarket typically requires refrigerated trailers which are usually cooled by diesel fuel. Shortly, though, this whole operation will be a lot greener as a new fleet of electric-powered trailers is being tested. Running on high-capacity integrated lithium-ion batteries, it can keep a trailer cool for more than 12 hours between charges and, on top of that (literally), the new trailers include solar panels on their roofs to maintain the battery charge and prolong operation.
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Musical Marble Machine
It's amazing what can be achieved with a few hundred marbles and an extraordinary imagination.