Today's selection of bite sized chunks of positive news from around the world.
Readying for Business
An all-female team is preparing to set off to take over the running of Port Lockroy, Antarctica - home to the world's most remote post office, set on the only continent without permanent human habitation - for five months. The four women will be in charge of the historic Port Lockroy base, run by the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, on Goudier Island which welcomes thousands of tourists to the frozen continent every year. One of the team will handle the gift shop, another will become postmaster of the world’s most southerly public post office, dealing with 80,000 polar postcards, another will be monitoring the population of gentoo penguins and the fourth will manage the team and the visits of tourist ships to the bay.
A sea change in commuting launches in Stockholm next month with the arrival of a ‘flying’ ferry that runs on electricity. The Swedish capital currently relies on a feet of more than 60 smut-belching diesel ferries, which serve as public transport for the 2.4m people that live in and around Stockholm. The city encompasses 14 islands on an extensive Baltic sea archipelago. The first 30-seat vessel hits the water in November, before they begin operating commercially as part of Stockholm’s public transport feet in 2023. The new electric ferries will reportedly use 80 percent less energy, be virtually silent, and will slash operators’ fuel bills by 90 percent.
Did You Know?
The world's most successful pirate was a woman. The 19th-century Chinese pirate Ching Shih, a former sex worker and widow of fearsome pirate Cheng I, became a hugely successful pirate in her own right, succeeding her husband and eventually commanding more than 1,800 pirate ships and 80,000 men (the secrets she'd learned about her powerful clients at the brothel also came in handy).
Consumers in Europe are increasingly shifting away from conventional meat to plant-based alternatives, according to new survey findings. OpinionWay, the French research company, conducted the investigation across France, Germany, Italy, and Spain on behalf of the Good Food Institute. Participants offered insights into their meat intake, shopping habits and motivations, and opinions about plant-based meat substitutes. Answers revealed that more than 50 percent had reduced their meat consumption in the last five years. Going further, an average of 23 percent of respondents, per country, had stopped eating meat entirely. What is driving the change of habit? Environmental concerns, animal welfare, and health were the four most frequently cited reasons for reducing meat intake.
Someone who drinks everything. It was coined by H.L. Mencken, who once wrote, “I am ombibulous. I drink every known alcoholic drink and enjoy them all.”
Harnessing the Wind
The China Merchant Energy Shipping company (CMES) has taken delivery of a new supertanker whose four large sails will cut down average fuel consumption by nearly 10 percent, reports New Atlas. The supertanker is a whopping 1,093-ft (333m) long and has four retractable sails, each rising 130ft (40m) from the deck and presenting a 13,000 sq.ft (1,200 sq.m) surface, mounted near the middle of the long deck. Thanks to its sails, this monster vessel will use 9.8 percent less fuel and save 2,900 tons of C02 emissions each trip.
A racist and misogynist slur referring to Native American women will no longer be included in the names of hundreds of islands, lakes, rivers, mountains and other geographic sites around the United States. The US Department of the Interior has completed its ten month process of removing the word “squaw” from federal use, and the federal Board on Geographic Names approved the final replacement names for 643 sites that included the slur. “Yes, this is just one word,” writes Deb Haaland, the Interior Department secretary, in an opinion piece for the Washington Post. “But words matter.” Haaland, a member of the Pueblo of the Laguna and a 35th-generation New Mexican, is the first Native American to serve as a cabinet secretary.
Good news for Brits as the UK is reportedly on the brink of agreeing a natural-gas contract with Norway for up to 20 years in a bid to avoid gas shortages this winter. Ministers are “still locked in negotiations with their Norwegian counterparts on price, the amount of gas and the length of the contract”, a source told Bloomberg, but “a deal is expected to be secured next week”.
Quote of the Day
“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." John Wooden
On this Day
6 October 1927: The Jazz Singer, starring Al Jolson, premiered in New York City, introducing the sound era of motion pictures.
Wise ancient Greek quotes from some of the greatest thinkers such as Socrates, Plato, Heraclitus and Aristotle.