Global collection of positive news nuggets to perk up the day.
A new portrait of Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis painted by English artist Sir Peter Blake has been unveiled. The painting depicts 86-year-old Eavis standing in front of the festival’s iconic Pyramid Stage at Worthy Farm in Pilton, Somerset. The portrait will be put on display at the prestigious National Portrait Gallery when it reopens in 2023. Eavis, who hosted the first festival in 1970 and has built it up to become one of the world's pre-eminent music events is, of course, delighted, and said of his portrait being destined for the gallery: “That’s a rare treat for a Somerset dairy farmer!”
As more towns and cities bring in measures to curb traffic and the number of cars on the streets, the idea of converting redundant parking spaces into “parklets” is gaining traction. It's a simple, beautiful idea and these tiny green parks are part of a growing trend in urban rewilding by individuals that's helping boost biodiversity across the world. Perhaps you have an opportunity outside your home or office?
Organisations are increasingly having to prioritise environmental compliance, but many don’t know where to start. If that includes you, this may help. Edac is a ready-to-use, cloud-based platform that helps businesses monitor, log and manage their eco-credentials from a customisable dashboard. They call it 'compliance made convenient.'
A politician who does or says things for their own personal advancement instead of following their own principles.
The “big yellow party” comes to Denmark on 1 July when the country widely regarded as the best in the world for cyclists hosts the opening stage of the world’s greatest cycling race: the Tour de France. “There is a lot of excitement in the city,” said Sophie Hæstorp Andersen, a cycling fan and lord mayor of Copenhagen, where a huge clock in the city’s main square is counting down to 1 July. “We’re gearing up for a big yellow party where everyone’s invited,” said Andersen.
Slowly but surely the proportion of the global ocean floor that's been properly mapped is rising. It's now up to just shy of a quarter of the total area under water - at 23.4 percent.
Better seafloor maps help us with navigation and conservation, among many other beneficial uses. Some 10 million sq km (3.8 million sq miles) of new bathymetric (depth) data was added in the past year. This is an area broadly equivalent to the land surface of Europe. The update was given at the second UN Ocean Conference, taking place this week in Lisbon, Portugal.
Older than Dinosaurs
Scientists have found the oldest known ancestor of octopuses – an approximately 330 million-year-old fossil unearthed in Montana. The researchers concluded the ancient creature lived millions of years earlier than previously believed, meaning that octopuses originated before the era of dinosaurs. The 4.7-inch (12-cm) fossil has 10 limbs – modern octopuses have eight – each with two rows of suckers. It probably lived in a shallow, tropical ocean bay. The scientists named the fossil Syllipsimopodi bideni, after President Joe Biden.
Doing the Rounds
Postmen will call in on vulnerable people as part of their rounds during a pilot scheme in north England which could be expanded nationally. “Because we go everywhere, every day, our great, trusted team sees things that others don’t,” Simon Thompson, the Royal Mail chief executive, told The Times. “At the moment, we do this quite informally but actually we could do this formally to provide a unique service to society and our customers”. Let's hope so! A similar scheme is a very popular in France.
Quote of the Day
“Happiness is the only thing that multiplies when you share it.” Albert Schweitzer
On this Day
30 June 1937: The world's first emergency telephone number (999) was launched in London.
Dive in Deeper
Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the city straddling East and West.