Rounding off the week with a collection of good news snippets.
It's been a seriously good week for Queen Elizabeth II: The Queen and the Treasury could receive an offshore windfarm windfall of up to £9bn over the next decade, after an auction of seabed plots attracted runaway bids from energy companies. The process will further boost the UK as the Saudia Arabia of wind energy.
Twitter says Trump ban is permanent - even if he runs for office again. Boss says ‘when you’re removed, you’re removed … our policies don’t allow people to come back’.
The Civilian Conservation Corps that was once so popular during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s time as president is rising up from the ashes again under a slightly altered name. Under a newly signed executive order from the White House, a new Civilian Climate Corps is being established to provide “good jobs” for young people and train them for environmentally friendly careers. In addition, young people who join the Civilian Climate Corps will work to restore public lands and waters, plant trees, improve access to parks, and tackle climate change.
Norway's electric car success started by a pop star: In 1995, Morten Harket (the lead singer of the 1980s band A-ha) got into a converted electric Fiat he had imported and set off on what can only be described as an anarchic, rule breaking joy ride. Directly thanks to this, over half of all cars sold in Norway in 2020 were fully electric. Include plug-in hybrids and that figure approaches 90 percent. That's vastly better than anywhere else on Earth!
UK space industry's engineering apprenticeships set for takeoff. A new course - the space engineering technician apprenticeship - offers the chance to join an expanding industry. Know anyone who might be interested?
You’re never too young to pay it forward: A 10-year-old boy decided to thank the front-line heroes battling the pandemic by clearing snow off their cars outside a Rhode Island hospital this week. “I was thinking they’ve been helping us a lot through this whole time, and I figured why don’t we help them, you know?” said Christian Stone. “All day, every day the nurses here, they deal with the pandemic and they want to get home from work, so we thought we would make it a tiny bit easier for them by cleaning off their cars for them.”
A stunning new video shows a billion years of plate tectonic movement on Earth condensed into 40 seconds. Antarctica was once a warm holiday destination at the equator!
WHO recommends using the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine even in countries tackling new variants of coronavirus. It also says the vaccine can be used in people aged over 65, which some countries have advised against. Spacing out the two doses, as is happening in the UK, makes the vaccine more effective, it advises. The Oxford vaccine is seen as the "vaccine for the world" as it is cheap, can be mass produced and is stored in a standard fridge.
Impossible Foods: What if you could eat something that tasted as delicious as meat that wasn't meat?
Coca-Cola has announced it will sell its popular sodas in bottles made from 100% recycled plastic material in the United States, in a major shift to combat plastic waste and reduce its carbon footprint. They've still got a long way to go, but the environmental stance of Biden's new administration should help accelerate positive change.
Hunted to extinction more than two centuries ago, Britain's biggest raptor, the white-tailed eagle, is set to return.
Feeling old? Relax. You've got nothing on this guy: Hatched around 1832, Jonathan is 189-years-old now. He's a Seychelles giant tortoise and the oldest-known land animal alive today. Jonathan was brought to the remote island of St Helena in the South Atlantic in 1882 and lived on the grounds of the governor's mansion ever since. “Being the oldest land animal in the world, he has almost royal status here,” commented Teeny Lucy - one of Jonathan’s main caretakers. “He is dignified and interacts in a friendly way as long as people move slowly around him. We are all very fond of him.”
Enjoy this 3 minute mood-boosting visual feast of the wonders of nature: