Uplifting news nuggets from around the world to ensure the weekend gets off to a sunny start.
A newly unearthed draft of the Queen hit Bohemian Rhapsody shows that Freddie Mercury “toyed” with calling the song Mongolian Rhapsody, said The Times. Among the 15 pages of drafts, on one page Mercury wrote the words Mongolian Rhapsody near the top but crossed the first word out and added Bohemian above it. The handwritten draft is among 1,500 Mercury items being auctioned in September by Sotheby’s.
A British window cleaner has become a local hero after pressure washing his hometown’s filthy pavement and sidewalks in his spare time. Andrew Carr, who owns ABC Cleaning Services, says he was fed up with the grimy, dirty paths and cobbles in Alnwick, Northumberland. One day he simply couldn’t take it anymore, and after finishing a job washing windows and gutters in a town shop, the 32-year-old turned his powerful pressure washer on the path outside and was amazed to see patterns on the paving slabs that had been hidden under decades of dirt. Satisfied with his efforts he contacted the local council and offered to spruce up the rest of the historic town in his spare time, and they agreed. Now, every Sunday morning, Carr blasts the paths and pavements around the town centre until they sparkle.
Another week, another river restoration. This time, it's Toronto's Don River, which was pronounced dead in 1969. Half a century later, it's roaring back to life, says the Guardian. Beavers, mink, eagles, deer and coyote are returning, its waters are becoming cleaner, and billions are being spent to restore a body of water that was despised and feared for decades.
Europe's Last Wild River: On a continent where most rivers are dammed at some point along their route, the Vjosa is a rarity. Fast, free flowing and pollution-free, it runs unimpeded for 170 miles across Albania to the Adriatic Sea. They call it Europe’s ‘last wild river’...
Spain’s 9.5 million senior citizens can make Tuesdays their movie day, thanks to a new government plan to subsidize cinema tickets for people aged 65 and above so tickets will cost only 2 euros ($1.70). It's part of a government effort to promote culture.
Only a small fraction of 800 reports of unidentified flying objects investigated by US authorities remain truly unexplained, found a panel set up by NASA. The numbers of those sightings that are “possibly really anomalous” are 2% to 5% of the total database. NASA is “searching for life in any form” but “has not found life beyond Earth yet”, said the panel chair.
In a discovery by researchers from Leiden University in the Netherlands, offshore wind turbines have become a haven for benthos - the community of marine organisms that live in, on or around the seafloor. There are more soil animals per square meter living in the foundations of offshore wind farms than on the floor of the North Sea, say the researchers. “The turbine foundations provide hard substrate for settlement in areas where these habitats have never been present before. Except for islands, there are now structures spanning the entire range from sea floor to sea surface,” says Jan Vanaverbeke at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. “A lot of organisms, normally living on hard substrates (rocks, bio- or geogenic reefs) have larvae with pelagic stadia, drifting in the water column and trying to find a suitable place to settle and grow into an adult. The turbines provide such substrate in areas where it has never been present before.”
India on Track
India is on track to meet its clean energy targets, says the Economic Times. Installed renewable capacity will reach 174 GW in 2023, accounting for about 37 percent of total energy supply, and is projected to hit 280 GW by 2025. In the space of a few years, the country has become a front-runner in the global renewable energy market.
Vietnam Slashes Coal
Last week Vietnam approved a long-anticipated $134 billion plan to slash its use of coal-fired electricity by the end of the decade, reports Bloomberg. Under the blueprint, coal generation will drop to 19 percent of power supply by 2030, from almost half now, and the aim is then to get to zero by the middle of the century.
"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." Mahatma Gandhi
On this Day
3 June 1965: Ed White emerged from the orbital spacecraft Gemini 4 and became the first American astronaut to walk in space.
Abba's Dancing Queen cleverly cut into 66 dance scenes from the movies.