Today's eclectic bundle of upbeat news nuggets to help put a spring in your step.
Over a Century Late
A book on famous composers from the St Paul public library in Minnesota must have been a really good read. It was more than a century overdue when it was finally returned recently. Titled Famous Composers and exploring the lives of composers such as Bach, Beethoven and Mozart, the tome turned up when a local resident was sorting through a relative’s belongings. The library checkout slip shows it was borrowed in 1919. St Paul’s mayor, Melvin Carter, joked in a tweet that there would be no fine. The library - like many across the country - stopped charging late fees in 2019.
Need an Intermission?
With movies getting increasingly longer, the debate over including intermissions (so people can go to the bathroom and stretch their legs) has entered the cultural conversation. Ultimately, it continues to be at the discretion of filmmakers and studios… but there's good news for those who simply can’t hold it. An app like RunPee can help plan the perfect time to step out without missing key scenes that would ruin the experience.
Whilst excavating Roman-era baths in Italy's Tuscan hills near Siena, archaeologists unearthed one of the most significant discoveries ever found in Italy. Dating to 2,300 years ago, 24 bronze statues in perfect condition emerged from the mud in this area famous for thermal hot springs, along with a cache of over 5,000 Roman coins in bronze, silver, and gold. The lead excavator, Jacopo Tabolli, says the discovery would “rewrite history”. He called it “without equal… the largest deposit of bronze statues of the Etruscan and Roman age ever discovered in Italy and one of the most significant in the whole Mediterranean,” adding that nearly all statuary art from this period is in terracotta.
The European Union has become the first international body to criminalise wide-scale environmental damage “comparable to ecocide”. Lawmakers have agreed an update to the bloc’s environmental crime directive punishing the most serious cases of ecosystem destruction with tougher penalties. Marie Toussaint, a French lawyer and MEP heading EU efforts to criminalise ecocide, said the decision “marks the end of impunity for environmental criminals” and could usher in a new age of environmental litigation in Europe.
R-R Cranks It Up
Rolls-Royce has taken a major green step, announcing that not only has its giant UltraFan demo jet engine been run at full power on 100 percent Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), but tests have proven all its current civilian engines are compatible with 100 percent SAF. "We estimate that to reach Net Zero flying by 2050, a combination of highly-efficient, latest-generation gas turbines such as UltraFan operating on 100 percent SAF are likely to contribute around 80 percent of the total solution, which is why today’s announcement is such an important milestone for Rolls-Royce and the wider industry," said Simon Burr of Rolls-Royce plc.
EU Fur Trade
A petition to ban fur farming and sales across the EU has gathered over 1.5 million signatures and is now being considered by Parliament. The production of fur in the EU is already in sharp decline, with 14 member states having banned fur farming or implementing strict laws to ensure animal welfare, says Euro News.
“Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.” Emily Brontë
On This Day
21 November 1931: The horror classic Frankenstein, based on a stage adaptation of Mary Shelley's 1818 novel, was released in the United States, and it helped make the hulking monster, who was portrayed by Boris Karloff, one of the most recognizable characters in film history.
The look on Sir David Attenborough’s face when these seed pods explode is joyous.