Happy Hump Day News: French Grannies and an Otter Update

We’re almost on the Christmas home run and things might be feeling a little bit stressful… Take five, make a cup of tea, and read about some good things that are happening on our planet.

Every Little Helps

 

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Tesco is the latest supermarket to ditch unnecessary plastic by reducing the packaging on its Christmas range, following in the footsteps of the likes of Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer. The supermarket giant has also eliminated glitter from its wrapping paper and cards so that they can be recycled more easily. As the largest supermarket chain in the UK at the moment, these sorts of changes will make a huge difference to amount of plastic waste that is dumped in the ocean each festive season.

French Connection

 

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An ingenious new scheme is pairing language students up with elderly French people (many of whom are in care homes), allowing them to practice their conversation skills while chatting on a video call. The Share Ami scheme, started by French non-profit organisation Oldyssey, began with just 30 pairings, but it has now had enquiries from all over the world! French granny for Christmas, anyone?

Hello Possums!

 

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Rare pygmy possums have been discovered living on Australia’s Kangaroo Island after it was feared that the species had been wiped out in last year’s bushfires. The tiny creature weighs just seven grams and is the world’s smallest possum. It is only found on Kangaroo Island, Tasmania and the South Australian coast and has been recorded by scientists just 113 times.

Buried Treasure

 

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Santa may be delivering a few metal detectors down chimneys this year, after lockdowns encouraged people to search for treasure in their own gardens. The latest haul was found by a family in Hampshire who were actually just doing some weeding… They found a collection of 64 15th-century gold coins – four of which are engraved with the initials of the wives of Henry VIII. 

Super Smart Watch


An American student has developed an app that can help with night terrors caused by post-traumatic stress disorder. Tyler Skluzacek created the app to help his Dad, who was a combat vet, cope with his nightmares. The smartwatch app monitors heart rate and movement and vibrates when it appears that the wearer is experiencing a night terror so that their sleep pattern is restarted. The FDA-approved Apple Watch-compatible technology should be available by prescription soon!

Otter Update


You may remember one of our previous Happy Hump Day News stories about two lonely otters who had been paired up after the Cornish Seal Sanctuary created a dating profile on ‘Fishing For Love’. We’re pleased to report that Harris and Pumpkin are living happily together in SEA LIFE Scarborough – at least they won’t be lonely this Christmas!

And finally…

A biotech company in Spain that makes biological ‘switches’ from nature has created a ‘green piano’ made from living plants. Plants are natural conductors of electricity, so when these piano plants are touched, the change in frequency is translated into sounds. You can find Bioo’s plant piano in Ibiza – have a listen below, it does sound pretty Balearic!

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About Marianne
Marianne

When Marianne isn't writing about all the wonderful places you can visit through dealchecker, she enjoys exploring London, visiting scenic spots within the UK and adventuring further afield whenever possible!

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