Kick starting the weekend with an eclectic bundle of good news nuggets from around the globe.
Head of Hercules
A marble statue of Hercules in Athens’ National Archaeological Museum is missing one notable component: its head. Now, divers exploring the 2,000-year-old Antikythera shipwreck have recovered it. “In 1900, sponge divers pulled out the statue of Hercules and now in all probability we’ve found its head,” says Lorenz Baumer, a University of Geneva archaeologist who is directing the excavations. “It’s a most impressive marble piece. It is twice lifesize, has a big beard, a very particular face and short hair. There is no doubt it is Hercules.”
The U.K.'s largest carbon capture plant is now operational in northwest England, the facility's operator, Tata Chemicals Europe (TCE), announced. TCE is one of the largest manufacturers of sodium carbonate, salt, and sodium bicarbonate in Europe. This demonstration plant will capture as much as 40,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year, which is the equivalent of taking 20,000 cars off the roads. The facility is designed to serve as proof that these projects are viable and help channel larger investments into these technologies in the future.
Packaging stalwarts such as styrofoam cannot be recycled but remain in wide circulation. Proservation in Germany has developed a natural alternative using grain husks. The company says it has all of the same shock-absorbing, insulating and lightweight credentials, while being 100 percent biodegradable. That's very good news as styrofoam is estimated to last 500 years in landfills before it decomposes.
Have you ever wished that you had a word for the day before yesterday? Well, this is it. As in: "I'd ordered the key on-line for $20 that nudiustertian morning and was not expecting it to arrive until the following week."
Beds in Economy
Air New Zealand will soon allow economy passengers to lie down and take a nap in communal, bunk bed-style sleeping pods on its ultra-long-haul flights. In what the airline says will be a world first when its new cabins are installed by 2024, premium and regular economy passengers will still be sold traditional seats that do not recline into a bed. However, these passengers will be able to book four-hour sessions in lie-flat sleeping pods – which the airline has named “Skynest” – at an additional cost. Pods will have a mattress and sheets which will be changed by cabin crew after each booking.
100 Years Ago Today
One winter, while skiing down snowy hills with fellow neighborhood kids, Ralph Samuelson had an idea. “If you could ski on snow,” he wondered, “why not on water?”In the summer of 1922, Samuelson, then 18, began his attempts to stand up on skis on Lake Pepin, just a few blocks from his house in Lake City, Minnesota. After lots of trial and error, he eventually succeeded, and one of the world’s most beloved water sports was born. Today, at 4:11 p.m -the exact moment 100 years ago that Samuelson rose from the water on skis behind his brother’s boat - Lake City leaders will unveil a life-sized bronze statue of Samuelson.
EU Climate Laws
Fraught negotiations in Luxembourg this week brought the EU a step closer to implementing landmark climate legislation intended to reduce the bloc’s emissions by 55 percent this decade. Member states agreed to end the sale of combustion engine cars in 2035, impose costs on polluting transport and buildings, boost natural carbon sinks, and create a €59bn (£50.6bn / $62bn) fund to help ease the cost burden on low-income households.
Major coal-fired power plant projects in Indonesia have effectively been cancelled after the Japanese government, their main funder, announced it would stop providing loans to build such plants. This follows similar decisions by China and South Korea. The tide against Asian coal is definitely turning.
Quote of the Day
“Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.”
On this Day
2 July 1964: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act. Legislation intended to end discrimination based on race, colour, religion, or national origin.
Dive in Deeper
Musical Mood Booster
Elena Petrichenko and Sergey Chumakov perform a stunning AcroDuoBallet of Arabian Dance (The Nutcracker) at the Baltic Ballet Festival in Riga.