Wrapping up the week with some tasty bite sized chunks of good news.
Village Called Lover
The ‘world’s most romantic village’ celebrates Valentine’s Day rather differently to anywhere else. The small community of Lover in Wiltshire, England, becomes wildly popular with people who flock there to post cards for 14 February to their lovers from Lover. To welcome them, residents of the pretty village even hang heart-shaped bunting, wreaths, and balloons on their garden fences and front doors. The main post office closed a while ago, but a temporary 'pop up' one opens during the week of Valentine’s Day to keep the tradition alive. Supported by the Royal Mail, a team of volunteer cupids stamp cards with Lover’s special postmark before they are sent all around the world.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, a thoughtful woman helped celebrate love on Valentine's Day by delivering hundreds of flower arrangements to widows. Ashley Manning is a florist in Charlotte, North Carolina, and last year she started her "Valentine's Day Widow Outreach" by asking her followers on Instagram to send her names and addresses of widows so she could take them flower arrangements. She ended up delivering 121 arrangements, even though her goal was just 25. This year her project has grown immensely. With the help of 150 volunteers, Manning delivered 400 arrangements on Valentine's Day. The project is kindly funded by donations and local businesses.
Back to the Future
The DeLorean looks set to be reborn as an all-electric sports car, with an updated version of the Back to the Future hero to be unveiled later this year. Film quotes at the ready. A tweet from the firm that now owns the rights to the DeLorean brand – the Texas-based DeLorean Motor Company – has released this photographic teaser, indicating that a luxury-orientated, gullwing-doored EV is on the horizon…
If you've been watching any of the Winter Olympics, you may have seen some of the curling competition. But, did you know that an uninhabited island off the coast of Scotland is the source of all the granite that has been used to craft Olympic curling stones for nearly a century? Volcanic rock from Ailsa Craig, situated 10 miles off the coast of south west Scotland, is expertly shaped by craftsmen at Kays Curling (founded 1851) which has the sole rights to harvest the island's granite. The island is nearly two miles in circumference and is colloquially known as "Paddy's milestone", and was once a haven for Catholics during the Scottish Reformation in the 16th century, but today is a bird sanctuary, providing a home for huge numbers of gannets and an increasing number of puffins.
If trees are the lungs of our planet, fungal networks are the circulatory systems. These underground networks are largely unexplored, yet may prove essential to our efforts to protect soil. As well as sequestering huge amounts of carbon, they shift nutrients across ecosystems and are crucial to soil health and fertility. Now, a new project from the global Society for the Protection of Underground Networks, will collect 10,000 samples from around the world in order to help identify high-priority sites with potential to store more carbon and to survive extreme climate events. Toby Kiers, professor of evolutionary biology at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam describes the relative lack of knowledge to date as a “global blind spot” that needs to be properly investigated and understood. “Globally, the total length of fungal mycelium in the top 10cm of soil is more than 450 quadrillion km: about half the width of our galaxy,” Kiers says. “These symbiotic networks comprise an ancient life-support system that easily qualifies as one of the wonders of the living world.”
Italy’s natural beauty is world famous, but environmental groups have long voiced their dissatisfaction with the government’s efforts to protect the country’s natural heritage. That's about to change as the country’s parliament passed a new law integrating environmental protection into the constitution, reports Reuters. The new law states the government must guarantee the protection of the environment, biodiversity, and the ecosystem “in the interest of future generations.” It specifically states that any economic activity must come at no harm to the environment or people’s health.
Quote of the Day
“I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.”
On this Day
18 February 1930: Using a 13 inch (33 cm) telescope at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, Clyde Tombaugh, a 24-year-old American with no formal training in astronomy, discovered the dwarf planet Pluto.
Dive in Deeper
Enjoy a flying visit to Norway's stunning northern islands of Faroe, Lofoten and Senja.