Sharks get their apology from Spielberg, Phoebe Bridgers has a (chicken shop) date and more great news from this week

8 mins
23 Dec 2022
Sharks get their apology from Spielberg, Phoebe Bridgers has a (chicken shop) date and more great news from this week

Just a bunch of great news to end the week on...

image RamonCarretero / Getty

words Rhys Thomas

It'sssss the festiveee seassssonnnnnnnn, you made it. 2023 is firmly in sight, just on the horizon, the foreground is a load of unwrapping gifts, not working, and probably wearing big cosy knitwear. Here's a bunch of good things happening in the world to think about post-dinner and probably during all the Christmas specials you'll see on the television.

Wellness news

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More people are having vasectomies (a super safe and basic procedure for stopping sperm entering semen and therefore making men infertile), but especially in the U.S. It’s thought this is partly as men are re-assessing their role in pregnancies in the wake of Roe v. Wade being overturned, which has made access to abortions far more difficult across ‘the land of the free’.

Sport England has reported that children’s activity levels have recovered to pre-pandemic levels, with almost half of children doing an hour of physical activity per day. Exercise is great for wellbeing, so it’s a good stat!

A new study has found a parallel between human empathy scores and being able to decode what an animal’s sound means. Essentially, the more empathetic you are, the more in tune with what kinda bark your dog is doing.

A Boots spokesperson weighed in on the paracetamol/ibuprofen debate. Superintendent Pharmacist Claire Nevinson said if you've got a high temperature, paracetamol can "help relieve pain and fever" of a cold. If you've got body aches, though, reach for the ibuprofen due to its anti-inflammatory qualities. That said, taking advice from medical experts is always the priority when you're feeling unwell.

Culture news

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Next year’s looking colourful at Louis Vuitton, thanks in part to polkadot and infinity room legend Yayoi Kusama joining the fashion powerhouse for a collaboration. Pedigree and iconic designs squared. And given the magnitude of the colab, they’ve gone big on product range too. There might be hundreds of products up for grabs.

Milanese brand Moncler turned 70 this year, and has been celebrating with a big variety of collaborations and releases, including people like Rick Pwens and Pierpaolo Piccioli. Most recently, they released the Fall/Winter 2022 collection. Lil Uzi Vert is fronting the campaign as a model, and he looks very good and futuristic.

Two years ago writer Nick Leftley wrote a poem about The Grinch being “thicc as hell”, it’s beautiful and can be read here. More recently other people have also realised that The Grinch makes up for hating sleigh by being slay. From kink-wear to BBL content. The Grinch is slutdropping all over socials this festive season.

Phoebe Bridgers is the latest ‘Chicken Shop Date’. She joins presenter and creator of Chicken Shop Date, Amelia Dimoldenberg. “Day off in the UK, got bored at the tube station, looked around at the chicken shop menu” or whatever the lyrics are.

Lionesses: How Football Came Home was released this week, it’s a great feel-good documentary about the history of football in England, the story of England women winning the Euros in 2022, and interviews about the personal stories of a few of England’s greatest players in this exciting new era for women’s football. There was a mini-documentary of the Lionesses preparations for the Euro 2022 tournament too. For those who don’t support England (or just want more) there’s also a documentary coming about the re-rise (yes, it was bigger than the men’s game in around a hundred years ago) of women’s football globally. The trailer for EQUALS which is a SIX PART documentary series, can be found here.

People news

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Speaking of the most successful England football team this year, Beth Mead won Sports Personality of the Year! She went to the awards on crutches due to an injury with her partner Vivianne Miedema, who plays for Arsenal and the Netherlands. She was also on crutches, with the same injury. Get well soon legends, and congratulations Meado. Jill Scott made a lovely speech, too.

Steven Spielberg made an apology to sharks during his time on Desert Island Discs. He said “I truly and to this day regret the decimation of the shark population because of the book and the film. I really, truly regret that” regarding his adaptation of the book Jaws for the big screen.

Tokyo has made it mandatory for almost all homes to install solar panels in the city. Tokyo is one of the most populous cities in the world, with almost 14 million people living there (making it just under twice the size of New York). The residents emit an average of 8.6 tonnes of CO2, but the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) recommends everyone tries to stick to 2.3 tonnes or less.

Scotland has passed the gender recognition reform bill, meaning it will become law in the country. It was first proposed six years ago by Nicola Sturgeon and removes the need for a psychiatric diagnosis of gender dysphoria in order to obtain a gender recognition certificate. This means it will be easier for people to legally change their gender from the age of 16 and over.

Science news

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NASA has captured “the remnants of the cataclysmic death of a star 160,000 light-years away from Earth in the direction of the constellation Dorado” which is a "small" satellite galaxy to our own, the Milky Way.⁣ It’s the aftermath of a supernova, looks very trippy.

We might be trying to find a way to install wind turbines on neighbouring planet Mars. The idea being it’ll generate power which could help us out a lot when we actually get there. It would also allow us to study the planet better while there because… well we’d have electricity. We do on the moon, but it’s solar powered for the most part, and Mars’ dust storms would affect solar power badly. Wind was thought to not really exist on Mars, but it does, and could help significantly.

The world’s first net-zero flight from the UK to USA is scheduled to take off in 2023 with Virgin Atlantic. It’ll be completely powered by “sustainable aviation fuel” (SAF). Which is a low-emission fuel made from waste materials like used cooking oil. SAF will be put into the Boeing 787 at London Heathrow and it’ll land in New York JFK. It isn’t a perfect solution (there’s still fossil fuels involved) but it’s a fantastic improvement.

Scientists have possibly found a way to stop the coral reef from bleaching and having its habitat destroyed by predators: freezing coral larvae. The idea being, that it could be stored elsewhere, and then used to re-wild the reef in future should things get a little bleak down there. It could help us to manipulate populations to improve biodiversity too.

Animal news

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A study from the universities of Cambridge, Leeds, and Glasgow, has shown that paying farmers to create more biodiverse areas within their farmland is the most cost-effective way to hit environmental targets in the UK. Not all fields are flat and green and fertile, some contain forests and rivers, some are green and flat but not very good at growing crops. Now, farmers can be paid to turn parts of their land into places that improve biodiversity, which in turn improves a number of climate-related problems we are facing, from carbon emissions to flooding.

New findings (which have yet to be peer-reviewed but are promisingly accurate) have suggested that small, fast-moving animals notice changes in their environment faster than large slow-moving animals. There’s a chance that it will show new links between the animal world and light pollution.

Research from the University of Calgary has decided to seriously look into how deer cells could be used to help with organ regeneration in humans, having assessed just how great and capable caribou and deer are at regenerating parts of their body. They’re the only mammal that can, and they are very good at it.

Plans for a Nottingham animal sanctuary - including restaurant and spa for the human visitors - have been unveiled. As well as having a rainwater capture and filtration system to ensure it's water efficient, it's going to be covered in solar panels, increase biodiversity and provide visitors with bikes so they can explore the nearby Erewash Valley Trail. Its engineer, Tim Hallam, told The Nottingham Post: "I'm fed up of lip-service environmentalism where a standard-issue, concrete monstrosity is built and a couple of solar panels are slapped on the roof so it's called environmentally positive. If we don't take this opportunity to make this the best testament to sustainability and carbon sustainability, then we've missed the point."

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