Wrapping up the week with a global collection of positive news nuggets.
Wrexham owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have been honoured for 'promoting Wales and Welsh language to the world'. The Hollywood stars, who rather improbably purchased National League club Wrexham AFC last October and have invested millions of pounds in Wales, were handed the prestigious Dragon Award at a star-studded gala in New York. When challenged to speak Welsh, Reynolds responded: "Cymru am byth!", which means "Wales forever!"
St. Elmo’s Fire
A pilot has captured the jaw-dropping spectacle of St. Elmo’s Fire from his cockpit. Airbus captain Luis Andress was flying from Miami to Denver last month when he encountered the scene. It was part of the overall effects of Hurricane Ian when it hit the gulf coast of Florida this year. St. Elmo’s Fire occurs when the atmosphere becomes charged and an electrical discharge of plasma is created between an object and the air around it. This can happen to aircraft flying through heavily charged skies - as the photo demonstrates!
A new French record label, La Boîte à Pépites (The Jewel Box), is trying to fill important gaps in history by featuring music created by female composers. Its founder Héloïse Luzzati, a French cellist, had spent most of her life studying and performing music written by men. Published works by pioneering women composers were few and far between, so they are rarely heard or performed. To address this issue, Luzzati and her team at La Boîte à Pépites decided to research forgotten works by female composers and produce recordings of their music so people know these pieces exist. “I hope that by rehabilitating these women composers of the past, we will give access to a more equitable version of the history of music to younger generations,” Luzzati said.
We've all got used to everyday items costing us more than usual these days, but who could have imagined that a knackered old pair of sandals would cost more than $200,000? Well, a pair of worn-out Birkenstock sandals that Steve Jobs wore during the time he founded Apple in his garage have been sold at auction for $218,750. Jobs, who died in 2011, wore the Birkenstocks in the 1970s and 1980s. He created Apple in 1976 while occasionally wearing the footwear.
Oil Exits Alaska
The Gwich’in people of northern Alaska were disappointed when the Democratic-held U.S. Congress did not include a provision in the Inflation Reduction Act to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge - an area the Trump administration officially opened to future drilling in 2017. However, for decades now, the Gwich’in Steering Committee has taken the protection of the Arctic’s Coastal Plain into their own hands and mounted a fierce opposition against oil drilling in the region – now resulting in the exit of a second oil company this year. “These exits clearly demonstrate that companies recognize what we have known all along: drilling in the Arctic Refuge is not worth the economic risk and liability that results from development on sacred lands without the consent of Indigenous peoples,” said the Gwich’in Steering Committee.
Indonesia has struck a historic deal with the G7 group of industrialized countries on a $20 billion financing package to help it speed up its transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Indonesia was the world’s fifth-largest greenhouse gas emitter in 2019, behind only China, the U.S., India and the EU as a whole. Its emissions largely come from deforestation and burning of coal, with the latter generating 61 percent of the country’s electricity - so finance to speed up its transition to renewable energy is good news for us all.
“The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.”
On this Day
18 November 1926: Walt Disney released Steamboat Willie, the first animated film with sound to feature Mickey Mouse. The huge success of the cartoon helped make Mickey an iconic character and led to the Disney Company's dominance in the animated market.
Swing through the trees with amazing spider monkeys.