Eclectic mid-week collection of upbeat news nuggets to brighten the day.
A Vancouver Island couple devised a creative way to help Ukrainian refugees that are arriving in Canada. Brian and Sharon Holowaychuks converted their resort property into a refugee home called the Ukrainian Safe Haven. It sits on a 33-hectare property surrounded by trees, wildlife, and an ocean waterfront. The couple bought it last year and originally planned to convert it into an art gallery and events center. But Brian, whose grandparents came from Ukraine, said those plans are on hold. With the help of volunteers, they are restoring much of the original layout. They hope to host 100 people in all. Nineteen people are already booked to arrive in two to three weeks. "We're in a position, in a place, in a time where we could help make a bit of a difference," Brian said. "And I thought, you know, it's time to stand up and be counted."
Meanwhile, elsewhere in Canada, an exciting and mysterious game has residents searching through forests and fields for money and prizes. People in Miramichi, New Brunswick are following cryptic clues that are posted in a Facebook group titled "Miramichi Mystery Machine". The game began with the creation of the Mystery Machine group and a single clue: "1 May, 7 P.M. $100 hidden at Ritchie Wharf." Dozens of residents flocked to the wharf and the money was found within hours. Since then, the creator of the mysterious game has posted a clue a day, and the number of followers is now in the thousands.
You may have heard that Andy Warhol’s 1964 silk-screen portrait of Marilyn Monroe has just sold for $195m at auction, setting new records for 20th-century art and art made by an American artist.
But you may not know that the really good news is that all proceeds of the record breaking sale will go to the Thomas and Doris Ammann Foundation, a Zurich-based charity that supports children’s health and educational programs.
In a bid to protect coastal communities from climate change and encourage investment, African nations are increasingly turning to mangrove restoration projects, with Mozambique becoming the latest addition to the growing list of countries with large scale mangrove initiatives. Mozambique follows efforts across the continent - including in Kenya, Madagascar, Gambia, and Senegal - and is touted as the world's largest coastal or marine ecosystem carbon storage project. Senegal, for example, has already replanted 79 million mangrove trees which are projected to store 500,000 tons of carbon over the next 20 years.
Obscure Word of the Day: Paraph - a flourish made after a signature, as in a document, originally as a precaution against forgery.
Europe’s first commercial facility for psychedelic drug trials is to open in London, with the goal of making the UK a global leader in psychedelics research and innovation. The British startup Clerkenwell Health aims to begin trials in its central London facility in August, initially focusing on the use of psilocybin to help people deal with the anxiety associated with a diagnosis of terminal illness, and to support them through their end-of-life care. The news comes as scientists and policymakers gather in London today for the Agenda for Psych Symposium, a daylong programme to discuss the latest research and the future of the psychedelics industry in Europe.
A new community housing development in the Bronx will feature a cool piece of kit: an on-site aerobic digester that can turn 1,100 pounds of food scraps into 220 pounds of high-quality fertilizer every single day. It’s basically a big stomach filled with bacteria that breaks down food scraps and wasted food into their component parts, and in the future could be a standard part of all apartment units as the amount of food waste in American reaches 30 percent of the total mass of all trash collection. The goal is for this material to work its way into the community garden network in the neighbourhood.
Quote of the Day
"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose." Dr. Seuss
On this Day
11 May 1969: British comedy troupe Monty Python forms, made up of Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin.
Dive in Deeper
When Avatar arrived in 2009, it blew people’s minds – James Cameron’s bioluminescent vision conjuring an entire new cinematic world that audiences couldn’t get enough of. And now, over a decade later, he’s ready to take us all back to Pandora once more for the first of four planned sequels, Avatar: The Way Of Water. The film’s trailer has now been released online for us to bask in the blue glow of the alien planet, its gangly Na’vi, and those crystal-clear oceans. Watch it here: