An eclectic bundle of good news nuggets to get the week off to an upbeat start.
Millions of fans of The Crown can rejoice - plans for a £500 million ($650m) run of prequels are well advanced. With two more series coming to cover the reign of Elizabeth II, writer Peter Morgan is now working on up to five historical spin-off series. They will begin with the death of Victoria in 1901, and cover the abdication crisis after Edward VIII fell in love with Wallis Simpson, and the rise of socialism and fascism in Europe. It is also one of the most expensive shows on television. Each ten-part series cost £100 million ($130m), meaning that the prequels may cost £500 million all told, and should see viewers through to 2029.
Not Finnished Yet
In fact, they're just getting going. Scientists and Finnish traditional and Indigenous knowledge holders are collaborating to rewild and protect peatlands and associated forests and rivers, turning them into carbon sinks again, while bringing back wildlife and offering economic benefits to local communities. There's a particular focus on peat bogs, for very good reason. Healthy peat bogs store 10 times more carbon on average than any other ecosystem. It would be very good news if all countries paid attention to, and followed, this focused initiative.
Moving the Goalposts
The night of 30 March 2022 is going to be known as a turning point for women’s football in Europe. You probably had to be there to fully understand the energy of being in a record-breaking, history-making crowd for women’s football. But, at Camp Nou, Barcelona's football stadium, there were a whopping 91,553 loud people watching the Barcelona women's football team beat Real Madrid 5-2.
The endangered green turtle is making a comeback in the Seychelles, after several decades of protection and close monitoring. Researchers found that in the late 1960s, the annual number of green turtle clutches was in the 2,000 to 3,000 range and that increased to more than 15,000 in the late 2010s. 'There's potential for this population to double, triple, we're not even sure,' says the lead author of Endangered Species Research. Over the last five decades, hundreds of people have been recording data on the green turtles. "One thing that people have learned is protection works," Jeanne Mortimer, founder and chair of Turtle Action Group Seychelles, told Popular Science. "But you may need to be patient and wait for 35 years."
$144m in a Fortnite
You've probably heard of 'Fortnite' even if you've never played the video game, and the company behind it is being fabulously supportive to Ukraine. Ahead of the release of their new gaming season, Fortnite developers Epic Games announced that all the proceeds would go to a variety of organizations providing aid and relief to Ukraine - and in the first day after the release they raised $36 million, growing to $144 million in two weeks. Epic has said that the money will go to Direct Relief, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Children’s Fund, and the World Food Program. Who says video games are a waste of time?
Pinterest has taken the lead among social digital giants in combatting climate change fake news by banning misinformation from its photo sharing platform. The new policy – which applies to both ads and user-generated content – makes Pinterest the first major digital platform to outlaw misleading climate claims. Pinterest said the ban will include, among other things, content that misrepresents scientific data, as well as material that “denies the human influence on climate change”.
German carmaker Volkswagen is abandoning its volume business model, selling fewer cars overall to concentrate on producing more profitable premium vehicles, its finance chief told the Financial Times. "The key target is not growth," Arno Antlitz said. "We are (more focused) on quality and on margins, rather than on volume and market share." Antlitz said VW would reduce its range of petrol and diesel cars, consisting of at least 100 models spread across several brands, by 60 percent in Europe over the next eight years. The FT said VW’s new strategy was a sign of profound changes in the auto sector, which has attempted for decades to increase profits by selling more cars each year, even if that required heavy discounting.
Quote of the Day
"Everyone writes in a way; that is, each person has a "story," a personal narrative which is constantly being replayed, revised, taken apart, and put together again. The significant points in this narrative change as a person ages—what may have been tragedy at twenty is seen as comedy or nostalgia at forty. All children write. (And paint, and sing.) I suppose the real question is why do so many people give it up?" Margaret Atwood
On this Day
11 April 1968: US President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act. An expansion of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, the 1968 Act, popularly known as the Fair Housing Act, prohibits discrimination concerning the sale, rental, or financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin, and sex.
Dive in Deeper
That's how long it should take to charge an electric car, thanks to the laws of quantum physics. Read on...
5,000 year old site has largest concentration of upmarket prehistoric fashion goods ever found. Read on...
To boost pollination, the traditional beehive has been overhauled to create a robotic wonder. Read on...
It's Good to Laugh
Clever GIF video collection to make you chuckle.