Getting the week off to a bright start with an upbeat collection of good news nuggets.
Ukraine has chosen this image for a new postage stamp called “Russian warship, go f*** yourself!” as the besieged country continues to try to keep morale high and win the PR battle against invading Russian forces. The country’s first deputy foreign minister, Emine Dzheppar, announced the stamp commemorating the Snake Island incident, in which 13 border guards stationed on a roughly 16-hectare (40-acre) rocky island about 186 miles (300km) west of Crimea reportedly replied, when asked to surrender: “Russian warship, go fuck yourself.” The phrase has become a rallying cry for Ukraine’s defenders. Meanwhile, a British singer's 10 year old hit ballad has become a morale-boosting comfort blanket for many in Ukraine: Unlikely Anthem.
A perfectly preserved first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, left untouched on a shelf for 25 years, has just fetched £69,000 at auction. J.K Rowling's first Potter novel has been republished countless times but the book's success was far from assured when its first edition appeared in shops in 1997. In good news for the owner, the 'as-good-as-new' copy sold at auction for a whopping £69,000 ($90,000) to an anonymous online bidder in the USA. Worth checking your book shelves?
There are further signs that Europe’s dash to wean itself off Russian fossil fuels could accelerate the transition to renewables. An energy plan published by the EU pledged to end the bloc’s reliance on Russian gas and oil ‘well before’ 2030. The plan pledges to accelerate the rollout of wind farms, rooftop solar panels, heat pumps and hydrogen. “Renewables give us the freedom to choose an energy source that is clean, cheap, reliable, and ours,” said European Commission vice president Frans Timmermans.
White House Brick
Liz Truss, the UK Foreign Secretary, has been given a brick from the original White House that was burned down by the British in 1814, as a symbol of the “resiliency of the friendship” between the US and UK. The gift, from the White House Historical Association, was handed over following a speech she gave in Washington. John Rogers, Chairman of the Atlantic Council, said the brick was an “apt symbol of the resiliency of the US-UK relationship - able to work through our differences and remain committed to our enduring vision and our bond.” He added that he hoped it would be kept in the Foreign Office.
Scientists have uncovered a new approach for treating severe asthma. They have high hopes their discovery may pave the way for effective new treatments, especially in children. The research comes from the School of Biochemistry and Immunology at the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute in Ireland. Luke O’Neill, lead investigator and Professor of Biochemistry at Trinity, said, “We have found that a molecule made by our own bodies, called Itaconate, can suppress key events that promote asthma by targeting an important immune protein called JAK1. By shutting off JAK1 we have shown remarkable efficacy in lab-based models of asthma. We have high hopes that new medicines based on Itaconate could well have potential as a wholly new therapeutic approach for treating severe asthma."
Quote of the Day
"A camel is a horse designed by a committee." Sir Alec Issigonis
On this Day
14 March 1923: The 29th US President, Warren G. Harding, becomes the first president to pay taxes.
Dive in Deeper
Nature Mood Booster
A collection of various types of flowers coming to life. Bloomin' marvellous!