Some tasty bite-sized chunks of positive news to help perk up the day.
Archaeologists have made a stunning discovery while excavating ancient thermal baths in Tuscany: a trove of two dozen pristine bronze statues, preserved in boiling water and mud, dating to between the second century B.C.E. and the first century C.E. Now, for the first time, the statues - and thousands of coins found alongside them - are on display in a new exhibition at the Quirinal Palace in Rome. Titled 'The Gods Return,' the show spotlights the history of the bronzes and the groups that inhabited the area. The 2,300-year-old statues date to a period of transition from Etruscan to Roman rule. The “absolutely unique” discovery sheds new light on the relationship between the two groups.
More and more blue whales are being spotted off the coast of California - a welcome sight, as these massive mammals (the largest animals on Earth) remain endangered after nearly being hunted to extinction. When the International Whaling Commission banned their hunting in the mid-1960s, it was estimated that just 600 blue whales were left. Today, it's estimated there are 1,900 to 2,200 blue whales around Southern California.
Sprinting in Heels
A “serial record-breaker” from Spain has run a 100-metre sprint while wearing high heels. Christian Roberto López Rodríguez, 34, wore 2.76-inch stiletto heels and ran the 100m in a record 12.82 seconds. He told Guinness World Records that “the preparation was very exhaustive and specific”. He added that “in Spain there are races like this, and they have always gone well for me”.
The federal effort to expand internet access in the US has just taken a huge step forward last week with the announcement of almost a billion dollars in grants to install connections where gaps in connectivity remain. The grants are intended to trigger the laying of 12,000 miles of new fiber throughout 35 states and Puerto Rico.
Remotest Post Office
The world's most remote post office is on Antarctica’s Goudier Island and it's currently run by a team of four women - and a lot of penguins. Postmaster Clare Ballantyne, base leader Lucy Bruzzone, wildlife monitor Mairi Hilton and shop manager Natalie Corbett beat out thousands of others for the yearlong position, which led them some 8,000 miles away from their homes in the UK to the tiny island on the western side of the Antarctic peninsula. Luckily, they aren't wanting for company. The island is also populated by more than a thousand Gentoo penguins. As part of their jobs, the women keep count of the penguins, and the scientific data they gather on the Gentoos’ breeding patterns is part of a decadeslong study of the colony.
Strange But True
A Turkish homeowner who chased chickens through a hole in his basement during renovations discovered an abandoned underground city that was once home to 20,000 people. A guide told the BBC that the unnamed local demolished the wall in the 1960s to recapture the escaped poultry and then stumbled into a dimly lit tunnel that led to the ancient city of Elengubu, now known as Derinkuyu. Situated over 280ft beneath the Central Anatolian region of Cappadocia, Derinkuyu “is the largest excavated underground city in the world and is believed to connect to more than 200 smaller, separate underground cities that were discovered in recent decades”, said the New York Post.
Morocco and the World Bank just finished a nine year project to bring water to the country's most remote areas. Now, over a million more people have access to a potable water supply, either through standpipes or individual household connections.
"Shall we make a new rule of life from tonight: always to try to be a little kinder than is necessary?" J.M. Barrie
On this Day
27 June 1871: First minted in 1869, the yen was adopted as Japan's official monetary unit this day in 1871, when the government suspended the exchange of clan notes, money issued by feudal lords that had circulated since the 16th century.
Fireflies glowing in sync to attract mates.