Ensuring the week gets off to a bright start with a global round up of positive news nuggets.
Up Up And Away
A former Royal Air Force pilot has taken to the skies in a Spitfire at 102 years old. Jack Hemmings, an ex-squadron leader, is believed to be the oldest pilot to fly the World War II plane. His 20 minute flight, from an airfield in southern England, was to raise money for a charity he co-founded nearly 80 years ago. The veteran - who had never flown a Spitfire before - said it was “absolutely delightful” being back behind the controls. “To be honest, it felt a bit rusty. Not surprising I am rusty,” he said. Hemmings was raising funds for Mission Aviation Fellowship, a humanitarian air service he helped launch after WWII. The organization has since grown into an organization that uses planes to deliver relief, medicine and emergency cargo to countries in need.
US Plastic Bags
Over recent years, U.S. cities and states have passed hundreds of policies restricting the sale and distribution of single-use plastic bags. A new report (co-published by Environment America, U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, and Frontier Group) says these laws have made a significant impact in their goal of reducing plastic bag use. New Jersey’s ban alone has eliminated more than 5.5 billion plastic bags annually.
A man has been awarded the Guinness World Record for creating the tallest structure using matchsticks, after his Eiffel Tower replica was initially rejected. Richard Plaud, from France, said he had been on an “emotional rollercoaster”, after spending 4,200 hours building his model from more than 706,000 matches and 23kg of glue. “For eight years, I’ve always thought that I was building the tallest matchstick structure,” he said. However, Guinness World Records initially told him the 7.2 metre (23.6 ft) structure did not qualify because he had not used matches that were commercially available. Happily, GWR changed their minds, saying their original decision was "a little bit too harsh."
2024 Olympic Medals: The Paris medals are embedded with actual pieces of the Eiffel Tower.
Earth Aid Live
The original promotor of Live Aid - 1985’s benefit concert for famine relief in Ethiopia - has announced a series of similar events to promote climate action. Earth Aid Live will take place in six countries across five continents over one weekend in August 2025, including London, Los Angeles and Rio de Janeiro. Lineups have yet to be announced. “Building on what we have already achieved with Live Aid, our aspiration is to unite people from all walks of life in the shared mission of bettering our world,” said Harvey Goldsmith.
Women in Turkey can use their own surnames after they marry, now that a rule forcing them to take their husband’s surname has been overturned.
No Looking Back
Swedish automaker Polestar has begun taking orders for the Polestar 4 - the world's first mass-market car to have no rear window. The Polestar 4 is a five-door electric SUV coupé that has now gone on sale in Europe and Australia. The omitted rear window is a design feature that is made possible by technological advances that mean a roof-mounted rear camera now provides a more reliable picture than a rear-view mirror in a coupé.
China Plugs In
Electric vehicle sales in China, the world's largest automotive market, are booming. All plugin models accounted for 37 percent of the market in 2023, up from just 6 percent in 2021. Fully electric vehicles accounted for 25 percent, with the rest being hybrids, reports CleanTechnica.
"Be brave and clear. Follow your heart and don’t be overly influenced by outside factors. Be true to yourself." Shirley Temple
On This Day
12 February 1914: The Squaw Man, the first feature-length film shot in Hollywood, directed by Cecil B. DeMille and Oscar Apfel, is released in the US.
The rarest mineral on Earth - with only one example ever found. Myanmar...
America’s first car to exceed 100 mph was sold for scrap, but has been beautifully restored. Record breaker...
A collection of uplifting quotes about Mondays. New week...
Here's why artists don't get paid for The Super Bowl half-time show.