Today's bundle of good news nuggets to get the weekend off to a bright start.
Ancient accounts suggest that Roman leaders Julius Caesar, Hannibal and Scipio Africanus worshipped at the Temple of Hercules Gaditanus, a religious sanctuary in what is now southern Spain. But the pilgrimage site’s exact location has long remained a mystery. Now, researchers say they’ve discovered the ruins of that fabled temple - one of the “holy grails of archaeology,” according to Jesús A. Cañas of El País - in a shallow channel in the Bay of Cádiz. Using digital terrain modeling, the team detected a nearly 1,000-foot-long, 500-foot-wide structure that is only visible at low tide. Further investigation is required but the researchers are optimistic.
General Máximo Gómez, a key figure in Cuba’s 19th-century wars of independence against Spain once said: “Cubans either don’t meet the mark – or go way past it.” A century and a half later, the aphorism rings true. This downtrodden island struggles to keep the lights on, but has now vaccinated more of its citizens against Covid-19 than any of the world’s major nations. More than 90pc of the population has been vaccinated with at least one dose, while 83pc have been fully inoculated. Of countries with populations of over a million, only the United Arab Emirates has a stronger vaccination record, reports The Telegraph.
Once upon a time Kentucky Fried Chicken used the slogan 'it ain't just chicken' and now that really is the case. In good news for the planet, KFC is ready to bring its buzzworthy Beyond Fried Chicken to the masses after over two years of testing. Starting 10 January, the plant-based menu offering (including plant-based 'chicken'), created in partnership with Beyond Meat, will be available at participating KFC restaurants in the US.
"Trousered" has become the latest latest synonym for “drunk” to be added to the dictionary, thanks to the verbal invention of Billy Connolly. The Oxford English Dictionary has added the adjective to its official website, with the definition given as “slang (chiefly British and Irish English). Drunk, intoxicated”. Scottish comedian Connolly is credited with introducing the term for intoxication to the wider public, and the dictionary entry cites a quote of his from a 1977 newspaper interview in which he states that he can “get totally trousered along with the best of them”.
The more the merrier: Sony has revealed plans to start an electric car company, making it the latest electronics manufacturer to target the automotive sector. The Japanese tech firm is “exploring a commercial launch” of electric vehicles, and the new company, Sony Mobility Inc, will launch this spring. In the meantime, electric cars made up nearly two thirds of Norway's new sales in 2021, with Tesla the top selling automobile brand overall, as the country pursues its goal of becoming the first to end the sale of petrol and diesel cars.
Farmers in England will be paid to create wildlife habitats, restore waterways and protect threatened species as part of a “radical” shake-up of land ownership practices. The government wants an area roughly the size of Lancashire (3,000 square km / 1,900 square miles) to be covered by the schemes by 2042.
John Deere has revealed its first fully autonomous tractor, after 20 years of AI development – and it’s not a concept. The electric self-driving John Deere is already up and running on select farms and available for sale at around $500,000. As recently as 2020, Ford said that “testing shows that more than 50% of a battery-electric vehicle’s range would be sucked up by the computing power demanded by self-driving software, plus the air conditioning and entertainment systems needed to keep passengers comfortable.” In a tractor? On a farm? Speed isn’t of the essence, torque is, and an electric tractor can not only keep working longer at its most efficient low rpm range, but it also has a relatively short distance to cover to get back to its “home” and charge or swap out its batteries. It’s not about miles at that point, it’s about hours.
Quote of the Day
“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” Michael Altshuler
On this Day
8 January 1790: U.S. President George Washington delivered the first State of the Union.
1902: New York state assemblyman Francis G. Landon gets a bill passed to criminalize men turning around on a street and "looking at a woman in that way."
Dive in Deeper
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Polar Bears Flirting
Male polar bears bears can spend weeks tracking the scent of a female who is ready to mate, but is then required to do some serious convincing to win her affection.