Concluding the week with some bite sized chunks of upbeat, positive news.
Taylor Swift’s Midnights has become the first album to sell a million units in a week in five years. The last album to do it? Taylor Swift’s Reputation, all the way back in 2017. Moreover, Midnights accomplished this remarkable feat in just its first three days on the market. There’s an “only in 2022, kids” element to this, too: nearly half the total units accumulated during those first three days came in… vinyl sales. The extraordinary resurgence in sales of vinyl records continues.
Cassette Tape Boom: Never doubt the power of nostalgia. On the heels of a recent resurgence in vinyl sales, Gen Z music lovers are starting to turn their attentions to yet another classic form of music: the cassette tape. Read on...
Flying on Alcohol
Bill Gates founded Breakthrough Energy and has announced that its pumping $50 million into LanzaJet's Freedom Pines Fuels sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) plant in Soperton, Georgia. It will be the first plant in the world to make alcohol-to-jet SAF, which it's hoped could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 70 percent compared to fossil jet fuel. The project is set to be finished in 2023. This is potentially a big deal as about 3 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions come from aviation annually. Since sustainable aviation fuels are "drop-in" fuels, they are an essential way to quickly reduce carbon emissions from aviation using the planes already in use worldwide.
“Bike buses” - adult-led group bike rides to school - are taking over US neighborhoods. Many families are ditching cars for a sweatier morning ride with friends, biking miles in organized clusters led by grown-up volunteers. The effort is a call to combat climate change, encourage exercise and reduce school drop-off traffic. And, parents and kids both say, it just makes the children happier.
Prices Go Negative
Europe has “more natural gas than it knows what to do with” says CNN. EU gas storage facilities are close to full, tankers carrying liquefied natural gas are queuing at ports, unable to unload their cargo, and prices are tumbling so fast that they briefly went negative. It's a “hugely surprising turn of events for Europe”, said the broadcaster, where households and businesses have been “clobbered by eye-watering rises” in the price of one of its most important energy sources in recent months.
Train v Plane
Train travel may tread more lightly on the planet than emissions-belching cars and planes, but the oft-repeated lament is that it weighs heavy on the wallet. Not so Lumo. The no-frills, all-electric train service launched a year ago to give budget airlines an 800-mile run for their money on the hop between London and Edinburgh - the UK’s busiest domestic air route. And as it blows out the candles on its first birthday cake, the operator gets to eat it, too, as data shows that trains are now the preferred option for people travelling between the English and Scottish capitals.
Quote of the Day
“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” F. Scott Fitzgerald
On this Day
28 October 1726: Anglo-Irish author Jonathan Swift anonymously published Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World (later called Gulliver's Travels), a keystone of English literature that helped give birth to the novel form.
'It Couldn't Be Done' - a motivational poem by Edgar Albert Guest.