Mid week round up of good news nuggets.
Dark chocolate is a sin-free treat! Several studies have linked dark chocolate, which is also high in flavonoids, to improvements in working memory and better blood flow to the brain. Some studies suggest that it might enhance neuroplasticity, improving your brain’s capacity to learn as you age. Want to take up piano in your 50s? Keep the cocoa solids above 70 percent.
After years of campaigning from green activists to stop grocers and large supermarkets alike from wrapping fresh produce in plastic packaging, the Spanish government is now finally devising legislation that will ban the use of this unnecessary waste by 2023.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, shoppers at the Madewell store in Brooklyn will find a surprise on their next visit. Madewell has collaborated with popular online used clothing retailer thredUP to create the “Circular Store” - an assortment of pre-owned Madewell products as well as repaired garments and donated clothing. The Circular Store is meant to help the two major fashion brands explore how circularity can be incorporated into the business models of all modern clothing companies.
Hats off to two Japanese sisters: They have been officially confirmed as the world's oldest living identical twins and the oldest ever identical twins, by Guinness World Records. Umeno Sumiyama and Koume Kodama were born on 5 November 1913, making them well over 107 years old. The pair once joked about breaking the record for the oldest living identical twins, but never expected to do so. Japan is known for its supercentenarians - a person who is 110 years old or older, and is home to the oldest person living, 118-year-old Kane Tanaka.
In a win for inclusivity, the BBC’s preschool TV channel CBeebies has appointed its first presenter with Down’s syndrome. George Webster previously appeared in a BBC educational video to dispel misconceptions about the genetic condition. Now the 20-year-old, who is an ambassador for the disability charity Mencap, will take a permanent role. “I feel so proud,” said Webster. Mencap described him as “a brilliant role model”.
Ford Motor Company is nearing a decision to build a new generation of electric transmission systems at its Halewood plant on Merseyside - a move that would herald positive news for the British automotive industry - as the car giant shifts to all-electric vehicle production by 2030.
Daniel Craig’s last outing as 007 is expected to have a massive opening weekend, as cinemas hire hundreds of extra staff to cope with “Bondmania”. Advance ticket sales have put No Time to Die on track to be the second-highest grossing film in the 59-year-old franchise (after Skyfall) when it finally gets its world public premiere on 30 September. It follows an almost 18-month delay and four release date changes, and cinema owners are pulling out all the stops to sate demand with the film to be screened in more than 700 cinemas across the UK and Ireland.
Pangaia, an eco-friendly clothing brand creating fabrics that are responsibly made to the benefit of the environment and your wardrobe, is now going one step further to make the fashion industry more environmentally friendly, by developing a pair of limited-edition sunglasses out of captured CO2. Even more remarkably, the lenses are about 10 times stronger than glass or standard plastic, and won’t shatter if they break.
The world’s longest subsea cable will send clean energy from Morocco to the UK. The Xlinks Morocco-UK Power Project, as it’s known, will cover an area of around 579 square miles (1,500sq.km) in Morocco capturing solar energy, and will be connected exclusively to the UK via 2,361 miles (3,800 km) of subsea cables. The project will cost $21.9 billion and deliveries will start in early 2027. Xlinks says it will be capable of powering a whopping 7 million UK homes by 2030. Once complete, the project will be able to supply 8 percent of Britain’s electricity needs.
Fun Fact: Nepal has no independence day because, unlike most countries around the world, it was never fully occupied by Europeans. It ceded 30 percent of its land to Britain following the Anglo-Nepalese War from 1814-16, but the Brits were never able to conquer it all due to the country’s treacherous terrain. Another fun fact about the country is that its national flag is the world's only national flag that is non-quadrilateral in shape. The flag is a simplified combination of two single pennons, the vexillological word for a pennant. Its crimson red is the colour of the rhododendron, the country's national flower.
Dive in Deeper
Watch a baby elephant having lots of fun playing around a burst water pipe. Very cute!