Celebrating the start of the weekend with a collection of upbeat news nuggets.
600 Mile Long Image
Daniel Rayneau-Kirkhope and Arianna Casiraghi, accompanied by their dog, Zola, have just finished 4,500-mile (7,250km) bike ride across Europe to draw a giant GPS-plotted bicycle across seven countries to raise awareness of how cycling can help tackle the climate. It's believed to be the world’s largest GPS drawing. The couple say: 'If people see the image, the message we want to put across is: please do remember that you probably have a bicycle somewhere, and it would be nice if you could use it a little bit more, rather than a car, for short journeys. At least think about using a bike – it’s cheaper and healthier. And, of course, it’s really enjoyable.'
Khaby Lame, the Senegalese-born comedian who is the most followed TikTok user in the world, has been granted Italian citizenship. Lame, 22, has lived in Italy since he was one, received his citizenship during a ceremony near Turin this week. Lame turned to TikTok after losing his job in a factory when Italy went into lockdown, going on to attract nearly 150 million followers so far with his videos in which he mocks viral content with his trademark exasperated expression. Lame, who has retained his Senegalese passport, told reporters he felt “very proud” of the citizenship and felt “a great responsibility for the oath I took”.
Only one colour, but not one size; stuck at the bottom, yet easily flies. Present in sun, but not in rain; doing no harm, and feeling no pain. What is it?
(Answer at bottom of the page)
WHO just announced that the continent of Africa saw a 10-year increase in its healthy life expectancy from 2000-2019. It’s the highest growth for any region across the world over the same period.
L.A.’s new reflective streets bounce heat back into space to make the air much, much cooler - with beneficial implications for residents of sweltering cities worldwide. Now, the city of Phoenix has installed “cool pavement” on about 73 miles of the city’s streets. The special sealant keeps roads 10 to 12 degrees cooler than traditional asphalt. The Greek islanders and the pueblos blancos villages in Spain were on to this idea ages ago: white surfaces keep houses and neighbourhoods cooler.
A diphthong is a sound formed by combining two vowels in a single syllable. The sound begins as one vowel sound and moves towards another. The two most common diphthongs in the English language are the letter combination oy / oi, as in boy or coin, and ow / ou, as in cloud.
Massachusetts’ Republican governor, Charlie Baker, signed a sweeping climate and energy bill into law last week, approving an array of policies intended to advance the state’s goal of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This includes decarbonizing the Boston-area transit system by 2040, and require all new cars sold in Massachusetts to be zero-emissions by 2035. Many cheered the overall legislation as a major victory for the climate movement. Cynthia Creem, a state senator, said in a tweet that activists should “draw hope from the passage of this landmark law.” A tweet from Jeffrey Roy, a Democratic state representative put it more simply: “it’s a big f****ing deal.”
Renewables accounted for 40 percent of the UK’s electricity generation in 2021, according to government figures. “For every megawatt of renewable power this winter, that’s basically a megawatt less of gas power we have to source and pay for,” said Jess Ralston, senior analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit. Offshore wind projects are now three times cheaper than gas generation.
Quote of the Day
“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” Earl Nightingale
On this Day
20 August 1975: The U.S. spacecraft Viking 1, built to explore the surface of Mars, was launched and nearly one year later landed on Chryse Planitia, a flat lowland region in the northern hemisphere of the planet.
Tennis star Roger Federer kept a promise he made to a young fan 5 years ago. What a gentleman!
Answer: a shadow.