Bite sized chunks of uplifting news from around the world to brighten the day.
The Queen and Barbie are both icons, so the combination was sure to be hot property – now a special platinum jubilee doll has sold out and become the subject of fierce bidding on eBay. UK retailer John Lewis said its stock of the £95 ($116) doll sold out in three seconds, and most eBay sellers are now hoping to sell the sought-after collectible for at least double that. The toy is the latest product of a lucrative royal memorabilia industry that cranks into action around big royal events like jubilees and weddings. Even Swiss watchmaker Swatch has a jubilee timepiece.
A baseball signed by the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has sold at auction for more than $50,000, with the proceeds going to Ukrainians displaced by the Russian invasion. A Boston auctioneer, RR Auction, said the winning bid for the Rawlings Major League baseball was more than three times its estimate. The company will donate its $15,000 cut from the sale.
The Smithsonian Institution – the world’s largest museum complex – has launched an ‘ethical returns policy’, which will allow its museums to repatriate items that were acquired in a dubious manner. The institution admitted that it possesses works that it “would not have acquired under present-day standards”. It will now give museums the power to return them based on ethical considerations, such as whether the items were taken under duress or removed without consent.
The UK has opened the first commercial facility in Europe for the testing of psychedelic drugs to help those in palliative care and terminal diagnoses. Clerkenwell Health will begin trials in London in August, initially focusing on psilocybin treatments and poised to make the UK the lead researcher in psychedelic research and innovation. “Psychedelic assisted therapy could be groundbreaking for mental health treatment, and the UK is well placed to be at the vanguard of that as a global leader in clinical trials post-Brexit,” said Tom McDonald, the CEO at Clerkenwell Health.
Today's obscure word: Callipygian - having shapely buttocks.
Maine has become the first state to ban fertilizer using sewage sludge containing 'forever chemicals' - synthetic compounds found in items from food wrappers to carpeting that fail to break down in the environment. The move, along with a ban approved last year on all PFAS-containing products, puts Maine at the forefront of the fight against per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, which have been linked to a variety of health problems, including cancer and high cholesterol.
The Philippines Commission on Human Rights has concluded that big polluters are ‘morally and legally liable’ for climate damage, a verdict that could help supercharge climate lawsuits around the world. It concluded that coal, oil and cement firms engaged in “wilful obfuscation” of climate science, while slowing down the transition to clean energy. “This report is historic and sets a solid legal basis for asserting that climate-destructive business activities contribute to human rights harms,” said Greenpeace Southeast Asia. Experts hope that the report will lead to new climate laws and pave the way for more climate litigation.
Researchers from the University of Cambridge have managed to run a computer for six months, using blue-green algae as a power source. A type of cyanobacteria - commonly known as “blue-green algae” - which produces oxygen through photosynthesis when exposed to sunlight, was sealed in a small container, about the size of an AA battery, made of aluminum and clear plastic. The good news is that researchers claim that similar photosynthetic power generators could be the source of power for a range of small devices in the future, without the need for the rare and unsustainable materials used in batteries.
Quote of the Day
"It is not so much our friends' help that helps us, as the confidence of their help."
On this Day
17 May 1954: Lawyer Thurgood Marshall (left) scored a landmark victory as the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional.
Dive in Deeper
Nature Mood Booster
Flying visit to Croatia's stunning Plitvice Lakes National Park.