Starting the week with an uplifting bundle of good news nuggets.
Hats Off to Johnnie
Johnnie Bell started working for the U.S. Postal Service when he was 23 years old and he's just celebrated 70 years on the job. That dedication means Bell is the longest-tenured Post Office employee in the nation. He's worked in Oklahoma City his entire career. "He is truly a public servant. He has an opportunity every day to interact with customers, which he thoroughly enjoys," coworker Julie Gosdin said. "He just loves everyone, and he has a way of just being magic and just drawing everyone together to where they just all felt like family," added coworker Stephanie Fiordelisi.
On Saturday, Holly and Keely Petitt flew their first Southwest flight together from Denver, where the two are from, to St. Louis. "The much anticipated maiden voyage as the first mother daughter team at Southwest Airlines has arrived!" Holly wrote in a Facebook post that morning. "It’s been a very emotional morning for me. One moment you are holding this tiny little baby in your arms and in a blink of an eye she is sitting next to you on the flight deck of a Boeing 737 jet! I love you to the moon and back, Keely Petitt!"
Our tongues can detect five different tastes. You know four of them: salt, sweet, bitter, and sour. But the fifth, "umami", is more obscure. It's the meaty, savoury taste that makes things like Marmite and gravy so moreish – more scientifically, it's the taste of a chemical group called glutamates. The word comes from the Japanese for "deliciousness".
A woman in West Virginia snapped a one-in-a-million shot of a tree being struck by lightning. Anthony Conn, a weekend anchor for WCHS, posted the photo to his Twitter account. The photo was sent to him by a woman named Debbie Parker. "Crazy photo from tonight's storm sent to me by Debbie Parker from Hardy County, WV," Conn wrote.
Recruiters on LinkedIn are struggling to get candidates to apply for the recently vacated position of leader of Al Qaeda, it has emerged.
Not So Hot Dogs
Dog owners in Japan can now buy wearable fans to keep their pets cool during the country’s sweltering summer. Comprising a battery-operated, 80-gram fan attached to a breathable mesh outfit, the device circulates cool air around the animal’s body. Rei Uzawa, president of maternity clothing company Sweet Mommy, said she came up with the idea after seeing how tired her pet chihuahua became when she took it out for a walk.
America’s interest in fresh, local food was well underway by the time Michael Pollan’s influential The Omnivore’s Dilemma became a bestseller in 2006 and Michelle Obama started a kitchen garden at the White House. But just a few decades prior, the beloved farmers’ market was all but extinct in the US. Its near death — and spectacular comeback — shows how social movements, economic shifts and government policy can converge to resurrect a food system that’s healthier for people, the planet and cities themselves. Today, there are over 8,140 farmers markets around the country.
Quote of the Day
“The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me.”
On this Day
8 August 2011: Tibetan scholar Lobsang Sangay was inaugurated as prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile, becoming the first non-monk and the first person born outside Tibet to hold the position.
The Playing For Change crew put together a new Song Around the World, John Lennon's "Imagine." It took the crew from the favelas of Brazil to the shrines of southern India, from villages in Nepal to the glittering urban landscape of Tokyo and New York, and beyond.