Smorgasbord of uplifting news nuggets to brighten up the day.
Standing beside the Andean condor on Chile’s coat of arms is the huemul deer. The species, whose habitat stretches from central Chile all the way south to the tip of Patagonia, has declined dramatically over the last two centuries. But in Chile, a recently launched public-private project, the National Huemul Corridor, aims to boost the iconic deer’s population and push for large-scale ecosystem restoration. The aim is to connect huemul habitats within the country’s Route of the Parks. Spanning more than 2,700 km (1,700 miles) across Patagonia, the route crosses 17 national parks and protects more than 11 million hectares (27 million acres) of land. The ultimate goal, says Cristián Sáucedo, wildlife director of Rewilding Chile, is to restore the species to its original population, or as close to it is as possible.
Fungi Eats Plastic
Australian scientists have successfully used backyard mould to break down one of the world's most stubborn plastics - a discovery they hope could ease the burden of the global recycling crisis within years. It took 90 days for the fungi to degrade 27 percent of the plastic tested, and about 140 days to completely break it down, after the samples were exposed to ultraviolet rays or heat. We really see a solution within five years, according to environmental scientist Paul Harvey, an expert on global plastic pollution.
Lucas Helmke has been recognised by Guinness World Records for doing the most push-ups in an hour. The 33 year old from Brisbane, Australia, managed 3,206 push-ups in just 60 minutes, beating the previous world record by 24.
US High-Speed Rail
UK architecture studio Foster + Partners and engineering firm Arup have released one of their designs for a series of stations in California that will serve its high-speed rail line. They have designed four initial stations to service the 171 mile (275 km) segment of the California High-Speed Rail, a 500 mile (805 km) line under development between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The stations are the first designed for the corridor, which Foster + Partners claim will be "America's first high-speed rail segment".
A Syrian who arrived in Germany as a refugee in 2015 has won a mayoral election in southwestern Germany. Ryyan Alshebl, who left his hometown of As Suwayda in Syria eight years ago, ran as an independent in the municipality of Ostelsheim. He won 55.41 percent of the votes, beating two German candidates. Locals cheered the 29-year-old when he welcomed his win, a victory he described as “sensational.” “Today, Ostelsheim sent an example for broad-mindedness and cosmopolitanism for the whole of Germany,” he said, according to to German public broadcaster ZDF.
Ferrari with Stardust
A 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 first delivered to Hollywood star Steve McQueen is heading to auction later this year. The 275 GTB/4 by Scaglietti is already considered one of the most desirable classic Ferrari models, but this 1967 adds even further provenance as it was owned by McQueen - considered a motoring icon of the silver screen, best known for his work in the films Bullitt (1968) and Le Mans (1971). It’s being sold by RM Sotheby’s in August with an estimate of $5m-$7m.
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
On this Day
19 April 1927: Actress Mae West found guilty of “obscenity and corrupting the morals of youth” in a New York stage play (which she wrote herself) entitled "Sex". She is sentenced to 10 days in prison and fined $500 - the resulting publicity launches her Hollywood career.
Flying visit to Iceland's spectacular Múlagljúfur Canyon.