Mid week collection of good news nuggets from around the world.
Hats off to Maurine "Mighty Mo" Kornfeld: A retired social worker, she got serious about swimming in her early 60s, becoming part of U.S. Masters Swimming. In the 40 years since, she has won 14 world championships, set 28 records, and been inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame. At 100, Kornfeld is one of the oldest registered masters swimmers in the United States, and competing in the 100-to-104 age bracket this summer, she earned six world records in the freestyle and backstroke.
Scientists are celebrating one of the “greatest finds” in British palaeontological history after the skeleton of a 180 million-year-old sea dragon was discovered in Rutland, central England. Measuring 10 metres in length with a skull weighing approximately one tonne, the ichthyosaur is the largest and most complete fossil of any marine reptile found in Britain. Ichthyosaurs were marine reptiles that lived in Britain 250 million years ago. They went extinct 90 million years ago. The animal was characterised by its large teeth and eyes, and ranged in size from one to more than 25 metres. It was first identified in the 19th century by the palaeontologist Mary Anning.
SkyDrive, the Tokyo-based startup developing a personal eVTOL aircraft, revealed its ultra-light compact flying car, the SD-03, on the show floor at the Consumer Electronics Show last week. That makes it the first time the company has showcased its technology outside of Japan, a symbol of the global ambitions of the firm, which aims to kickstart a flying taxi service by 2025. That might just happen, as it's the first flying car firm to have already been granted a safety certificate in Japan.
Ready for a head-scratcher? Two twins, two birthdays, two birth years! A set of twins at the Natividad Medical Center in Monterey County, California made a dramatic entrance when big brother Alfredo Antonio Trujillo came into the world on December 31 and sister Aylin Yolanda followed on New Year's Day, at exactly midnight. Obviously, their mother and the medical staff were tickled pink by the babies' timing. The hospital said the odds of twins being born in different years are about one in two million. You just know these two siblings are going to have fun with this for the rest of their lives.
Petrol cars accounted for fewer than 50 percent of total sales last month in the UK, with Tesla becoming the best-selling brand. New electric cars made up just over a quarter of the total sold in December, while petrol cars' market share dipped to 46 percent, data from transport researchers New AutoMotive shows. Electric cars have grown from less than 3 percent of new sales two years ago to 26 percent last month amid falling prices and regulations encouraging cleaner transport.
Pope Francis has criticised the rise of cancel culture, describing it as a form of “ideological colonisation”. Speaking to diplomats at the Vatican, he said “the cultural roots that constitute the identity of many peoples” were being undermined, adding that cancel culture “leaves no space for freedom of expression”. The Telegraph said that although his speech was in Italian, he used the English phrase “cancel culture” to refer to a concept that is still “in its infancy in Italy”.
Quote of the Day
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” Malala Yousafzai
On this Day
12 January 1932: Hattie Ophelia Caraway became the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate.
Dive in Deeper
Cargo shipping pivoted green in 2021: The fundamental building block of modern life is a corrugated steel rectangle eight feet wide, eight-and-a-half feet tall and 20 feet long.
Funny animation that every dog owner will relate to.